Sunday, October 11, 2009

Executive Order Sets New GHG Emissions Target

New Executive Order released October 5th requires Federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days!

This new Executive Order requires agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets. It describes a process by which agency goals will be set and reported to the President by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The Executive Order also requires 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 in alignment with the Livability Principles put forward by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Will this Executive Order actually stick? Can Federal agencies actually get their act together and meet this order within 90 days? I'm optimistic they can, but it's going to take a lot more than policy to change the way these agencies do business. If I was to prioritize, I'd look at making contracts green first... the government cannot change fast enough, but the companies who work for them can be more agile and they desparately need business the government offers. Put the burden on change where it can be affected fastest. All of the other items on this list can be accomplished by changing procurement policies.


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