Federal Government Taking Steps toward Sustainable Operations
As the White House pushes for significant energy gains in commercial buildings, Obama is also driving the federal government to save energy. “We (the federal government) are the single largest energy user in the United States,” Moore said. With an energy and fuel bill that tops $24 billion a year, the federal government has a responsibility to the taxpayer to reduce energy use, she said.
In October 2009, Obama signed Executive Order 13514
, which requires federal agencies to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and develop aggressive sustainability plans. “The Executive Order is really about practicing what we preach,” Moore said.
A key element of Executive Order 13514 is to use the purchasing power of the federal government to promote greener products. The effort was inspired by work that companies like Wal-Mart and UPS have done to green their supply chains.
“We purchase more than half a trillion dollars worth of stuff a year,” Moore said. “This is an effort that GSA is deeply committed to lead.”
Two websites can help facility managers inside and outside the government learn from federal green efforts. FedCenter.gov
provides a wide range of information about federal environmental efforts, from high performance buildings to the launch of a Facebook page for the White House Council on Environmental Quality
A second website, aimed primarily at federal employees, is devoted to the White House GreenGov
effort. That site offers information about greening ideas submitted by federal employees, the GreenGov symposium and an online discussion group to help federal employees turn sustainability ideas into action.