As part of our commitment to open, transparent government, the Department of the Interior joins other Federal agencies in posting its fiscal year 2011 Office of Management and Budget Sustainability/Energy Scorecard that rates each agency’s sustainability and energy performance. This is the second year that Federal agencies are posting these scorecards publicly.
Using this scorecard as a benchmark, Interior will continue to identify and track the best opportunities to reduce pollution, improve efficiency, and cut costs. Under Executive Order 13514, President Obama directed Federal agencies to lead by example in clean energy and to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets.
This scorecard serves as an important tool to help us develop targets to reduce greenhouse gases and waste, and increase efficiency in our operations.
Interior will update our annual Sustainability Plan based on scorecard benchmarks.
Some of the ambitious sustainability goals to which Interior has committed include:
- Reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. vehicle emissions) and certain indirect greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. purchased electricity) by 20 percent by 2020
- Reducing other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. airline business travel) by 9 percent by 2020
- Working toward making15 percent of our existing buildings and building leases meet “green” standards by 2015 (5,000 gross square feet threshold for existing buildings and building leases)
- Reducing potable water consumption intensity by 26 percent by 2020
- Diverting at least 50 percent nonhazardous solid waste and construction and demolition debris by 2015
- Ensuring that 95 percent of all new contract actions include green requirements
Interior is meeting goals to decrease energy use per square foot; decrease potable water use per square foot; decrease fleet petroleum use; establish inventories of direct and indirect GHG emissions; and, increase renewable energy use.
Interior has reduced our energy consumption rate by 22.8% compared to 2003; uses 10.1% of facility electricity use from renewable sources; has reduced potable water consumption rate by 11.2% compared to 2007, and has reduced fleet petroleum use by 14.0% compared to 2005.
Some notable accomplishments from 2011 include:
- Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, the National Park Service (NPS) completed the construction of a 539 KW photovoltaic system at Yosemite National Park in California. This system is the largest grid-connected photovoltaic system in the NPS and will generate nearly 970 MWH of electricity annually. The solar panels are installed at the El Portal Maintenance Complex on the roofs of existing buildings and on newly constructed shade structures under which government vehicles are parked.
- The NPS also added two new net-zero buildings: the Painted Hills House at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon, and the Student Intern Center at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California. The Painted Hills House is a solar-powered employee home, and is the first net-zero house in the NPS. The Student Intern Center is the first grid-tied net-zero energy facility completed in the National Park System, A 35 KW photovoltaic (PV) system provides all the energy needs for the facility over the course of a year, and surplus PV power also offsets electrical need for an existing NPS building nearby. The new facility is heated and cooled by a highly efficient ground source heat pump system with a unique feature to increase thermal transmission from the soil to the pipe loops.
- The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Rawlins Field Office in Wyoming completed construction of a 100 KW wind turbine as part of BLM’s multi-phased energy savings performance contract. This system will generate approximately 240 MWH of electricity annually.
- Bureau of Reclamation Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in New Mexico implemented various energy conservation measures and process changes that resulted in an annual savings of 247 MWH.
- A new, unique high-performance 9,839 square-foot Visitor Center has transformed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Neosho National Fish Hatchery in Missouri, the oldest operating Federal fish hatchery, into a model of sustainability. This is the first Federal hatchery and LEED Gold-rated building nominated by the Service for this award. The building is equipped with a 31.13-ton geothermal heat pump and a 3.36 kW net-metered PV system. Low-flow plumbing conserves 28,225 gallons of water annually. Water-efficient landscaping using native plants eliminates the need for irrigation, and stormwater containment and drainage swales help to maximize water conservation.
Areas showing a need for improvement include ensuring that 95% of Interior contracts include green requirements and increasing Interior’s percentage of sustainable buildings. To address areas that need improvement, Interior will continue to provide quarterly training for procurement staff and implement green strategic sourcing contracts to ensure purchase of green products. Also, a Technical Work Group on Sustainable Buildings, comprised of experts from bureaus and offices across the Department, is continuing work on a sustainable buildings strategy and implementation plan to help make 15% of the Department’s building inventory green by 2015.
In order to reach our sustainability goals, we’re tapping into one of our greatest strengths as a Department: the passion and ingenuity of our employees. Therefore, the body we created to oversee implementation of our sustainability programs is the Sustainability Council, a multi-level organization that includes 226 representatives from employees at all levels, from all bureaus. Every person working at the Department is a part of our sustainability program either directly through the Council or indirectly through its activities.
For more information on greening please visit the Department’s greening website at: www.doi.gov/greening.