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Sustainability/Energy Scorecard

As part of our commitment to open, transparent government, the Department of  the Interior joins other Federal agencies in posting its fiscal year 2012 Office of Management and Budget Sustainability/Energy Scorecard  that rates each agency’s sustainability and energy performance.  This is the third 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. Based on scorecard benchmarks, Interior will update our Sustainability Plan this June.
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 making 15 percent of our existing buildings and building leases meet “green” standards by 2015 (building inventory larger than 5,000 gross square feet)
  • 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 reduce direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions; decrease energy use per square foot; decrease potable water use per square foot; decrease fleet petroleum use; and, increase renewable energy use.

Interior has reduced direct and certain indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 11.6% compared to 2008; reduced other indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 7.5% compared to 2008; reduced our energy intensity by 28.6% compared to 2003; uses 8.6% of facility electricity use from renewable sources; has reduced potable water consumption rate by 11.3% compared to 2007, and has reduced fleet petroleum use by 16.6% compared to 2005.

Some notable accomplishments from 2012 include:

  • The National Park Service completed a 305 kilowatt off-grid solar photovoltaic system on Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California.  This project was installed at a National Historic Landmark and was designed to have minimal impact on the historic resources. This system will generate 411 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, reducing the use of diesel-powered generators, and avoiding 418 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 87 automobiles or 22 homes. The project also includes an interpretation kiosk for the 1.4 million visitors to the site and includes a real-time display of the electricity produced.

  • In FY 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed its first net-zero energy LEED Platinum certified building, Headquarters and Visitor Center at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Los Banos, California.  During the first year of operation, the new building produced an impressive 103 megawatt-hours of electricity via nine solar photovoltaic arrays totaling 59.2 kW that helped save 42.2 metric tons of greenhouse gases. Numerous energy technologies were used throughout, yielding energy performance far better than 30 percent compared to an average building. Water use is reduced more than 35 percent with low-flow and waterless plumbing that saves approximately 396,000 gallons annually.  Xeriscaping, native plants, limited drip-irrigation, and stormwater containment conserve water outdoors. Interpretation of the facility’s “green” features is highlighted by dynamic, interactive exhibits for the estimated 150,000 visitors annually.
  • The Bureau of Land Management replaced a number of older facilities with a new Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument – Kanab Administrative Facility in Utah.  The facility was designed with energy conservation and sustainability in mind and has achieved LEED Gold certification.  Value analysis and integrated design were employed, incorporating proper orientation on the site, extensive daylighting, automatic light dimming controls, occupancy sensors, south-facing window shading, well-insulated and airtight building envelopes, high-performance glazing, high-efficiency mechanical systems (ground-coupled heat pumps and energy recovery ventilators in the office building, and gas-fired radiant tube heaters in the warehouse), direct digital controls, on-site renewable energy generation (solar photovoltaic), low-flow plumbing fixtures, rainwater collection for irrigation, and site water runoff retention.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey completed a successful energy savings performance contract (ESPC) at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin.  New renewable energy technologies provide 3.9 percent of the site electricity consumption.  In FY 2012, energy consumption was decreased by 3,841 million British thermal units or 14 percent from the prior year.  In addition, the energy intensity had decreased by 27.4 percent since FY 2003 due to the implementation of the ESPC.

Areas showing a need for improvement include increasing Interior’s percentage of sustainable buildings. 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, the Sustainability Council, is a multi-level organization that includes over 200 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 and sustainability please visit the Greening the Department of the Interior website at: