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White House Executive Order Aims to Green Federal Facilities

October 2009 - Energy Efficiency

President Obama recently signed an executive order that sets sustainability goals for Federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy and economic performance.

The Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance executive order requires Federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days; increase energy efficiency; reduce fleet petroleum consumption; conserve water; reduce waste; support sustainable communities; and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies.

The order requires agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets. It also requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, including:
- 30 percent reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020
- 26 percent improvement in water efficiency by 2020
- 50 percent recycling and waste diversion by 2015
- 95 percent 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
- 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.

In response to the order, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) called on the Administration to ensure adequate workforce is available to address the new requirements.

“We are concerned that the executive order may lead to carbon emission reporting and tracking requirements on federal contractors that go beyond what most companies, especially small architecture firms, are able to perform,” says Christine McEntee, Executive Vice President and CEO of the AIA. “The AIA stands ready to work with the Administration to ensure that any tracking and reporting provisions adhere to existing guidelines and best practices, such as those found in the AIA 2030 Commitment program.”


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