The Office of Federal Sustainability (OFS), housed within CEQ and led by the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, works across Federal agencies, departments, and other White House components to ensure effective implementation and achievement of statutory requirements and Administration goals related to Federal energy and environmental performance.
The Federal government manages more than 350,000 buildings, 600,000 vehicles, and $500 billion annually in purchased goods and services and is the largest consumer of energy in the Nation. By increasing the efficiency of Federal operations, Federal agencies cut waste, save taxpayer dollars, reduce impacts on the environment, and promote clean air, land, and water.
Executive Order 13834
On May 17, 2018, President Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13834, titled “Efficient Federal Operations,” which directs the heads of Federal agencies to manage their buildings, vehicles, and operations in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources and protects the environment. EO 13834 sets forth goals for agencies to:
(i) achieve and maintain annual reductions in building energy use;
(ii) meet statutory requirements relating to the consumption of renewable energy and electricity;
(iii) reduce potable and non-potable water consumption;
(iv) utilize performance contracting to achieve energy, water, and building modernization, and infrastructure goals;
(v) ensure new construction and major renovations conform to applicable building energy efficiency requirements and sustainable design principles, consider building efficiency when renewing or entering into leases, implement space utilization and optimization practices, and annually assess and report on building conformance to sustainability metrics;
(vi) implement waste prevention and recycling measures;
(vii) acquire, use and dispose of products and services, including electronics, in accordance with statutory mandates for purchasing preference; and
(viii) track and report on energy management activities, performance improvements, cost reductions, greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water savings and other performance measures regarding sustainable management of Federal facilities, vehicle fleets, and operations.
- EO 13834 Implementing Instructions: On April 30, 2019, CEQ issued instructions to Federal agencies for meeting energy and environmental performance requirements in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment, as required under EO 13834.
- Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: On December 22, 2020, CEQ issued updated sustainable buildings guidance for Federal agencies titled “Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions,” to assist agencies in designing, locating, constructing, maintaining, and operating Federal buildings in a sustainable manner. This Guidance provides new flexibilities regarding the use of third-party green building certification systems, and provides a consistent government-wide portfolio approach for Federal agencies to design, mitigate, and measure the impact of their buildings.
As of 2019, the Federal government has:
- Reduced total Government-wide energy use for buildings, vehicles, and equipment by approximately 28 trillion Btu’s, a 3% reduction since FY 2016.
- Improved energy efficiency in Federal facilities, achieving the two best years on record (FY 2017 and FY 2019), measured in terms of energy use per square foot.
- In FY 2019, used renewable energy to power 8.6% of its facility electrical energy needs.
- Since FY 2016, increased on-site renewable energy consumption by almost 5% or 1,085 megawatt hours.
- Reduced Government-wide water consumption in buildings by 4.8 billion gallons, a 3.8% total reduction since FY 2016.
- Improved water efficiency in Federal facilities, reducing water intensity as measured in water use per square foot, by 5.6% since FY 2016 and achieved the lowest Government-wide water intensity on record in FY 2019.
- Since FY 2016, utilized almost $4 billion of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC), resulting in the four highest years of annual ESPC investments.
- In FY 2017 and 2019 the Federal Government completed the two largest energy savings performance contracts in the history of the Department of Energy ESPC program, awarding a $243 million and $344 million contract which are estimated to result in over $650 million and $834 million in energy savings respectively.
- Sustainable Buildings
- Since FY 2016, added 7.1 million square feet of sustainable Federal building space, contributing to a total of 2,525 sustainable Federal buildings or 207 million square feet across the entire Government portfolio by FY2019.
- Diverted more than 40% of non-hazardous waste annually from landfills.
- Since FY 2016, reduced petroleum fuel use in Federal vehicle fleets by 1.4% or nearly 4 million gallons of gasoline.
- In FY 2019, Government-wide fleet vehicles used over 10 million gallons of alternative fuel (as measured in gallons of gas equivalent) or nearly 3.2% of its total covered fleet fuel use.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Federal operations by 2.7%, or over 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent since FY 2016.
- FY 2019 Government-wide emissions were the lowest ever reported since tracking began in FY 2008.
The underlying data for the information provided above, which covers the period FY 2017 through FY 2019, is available at Sustainability.gov.
As part of its responsibilities to implement the EO, CEQ oversees the Federal Interagency Sustainability Steering Committee, composed of Chief Sustainability Officers appointed by the head of each agency. More than 30 agencies report on implementation and progress toward EO goals in annual Sustainability Report and Implementation Plans. Agency performance is evaluated by OMB in annual scorecards.
Visit the Office of Federal Sustainability website to learn more.
Related Presidential Messages and Proclamations:
- Food Waste
- Earth Day
- National Energy Awareness Month