Federal Agencies Must Set GHG Emissions Reduction Goals

President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order today that sets sustainability goals for federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy, and economic performance. The Executive Order requires federal agencies to set 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets within 90 days.

The new executive order mandates agencies across the federal government to "measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets," the White House said in a statement.

The Executive Order also agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, including:

  • 30% reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020;
  • 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020;
  • 50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015;
  • 95% of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements;
  • Implementation of the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement;
  • Implementation of the stormwater provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 438; and
  • Development of guidance for sustainable Federal building locations.

The federal government is the largest consumer of energy in the US economy. It occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, employs more than 1.8 million civilians, and purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services.

The Executive Order builds on and expands the energy reduction and environmental requirements of Executive Order 13423 by making reductions of greenhouse gas emissions a priority of the federal government, and by requiring agencies to develop sustainability plans focused on cost-effective projects and programs.