As part of our commitment to open, transparent government, the Department of the Interior joins other Federal agencies and departments in posting its fiscal year 2013 Office of Management and Budget Sustainability/Energy Scorecard, which rates each department's sustainability and energy performance.This is the fourth year that Federal agencies are posting these scorecards publicly.
This scorecard serves as a benchmark to help us track our progress toward statutory and Executive Order goals – building sustainability, energy, water, fuel, greenhouse gas, and waste reductions.Actions to meet those goals have resulted in reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, improved efficiency in our operations, and reduced costs. Based on scorecard benchmarks, Interior updated the Sustainability Plan in June 2014.
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 (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 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 18.3 percent compared to 2008; reduced other indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 26.0 percent compared to 2008; reduced our energy intensity (measured in British thermal units per square foot) by 33.8 percent compared to 2003; obtained 10.1 percent of facility electricity from renewable sources; reduced potable water consumption rate by 13.9 percent compared to 2007; and reduced fleet petroleum use by 17.7 percent compared to 2005.
Some notable accomplishments from 2013 include:
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) completed the Visitor Center and Headquarters at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Wisconsin, which includes a 38.5 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system, a 77-ton ground source heat pump, and a solar hot water system with a 120 square-foot solar collector. The project avoids 85.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide (MTCO2e) greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the annual emissions of 18 passenger vehicles.
- The National Park Service completed the conversion of an historic barn to an artist-in-residence studio at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Vermont. The project is off-grid and includes a 230 watt solar PV system. The park refurbished the interior with reclaimed wood found within the grounds.
- The Bureau of Reclamation's Socorro Field Division installed solar collectors for building heating at San Marcial Yard, New Mexico, which reduced heating costs by 70 percent.
- The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, completed a major upgrade to a wet lab replacing a once-through well water system with a re-circulating city water system. The result is a new wet lab with dramatically increased capacity and efficiency, elimination of constant flow well water, and a reduction of roughly of $9,000 of water discharge costs and 1,194 million Btu of energy per year.
- The FWS and USGS teamed together to construct their first net zero energy residences at the Patuxent Research Refuge and Wildlife Research Center, Maryland. Designed to LEED Silver standards, the three sustainable 1,500 square foot residences combine to generate approximately 26,937 kilowatt-hours per year of electricity, for a cost savings of $2,694.The net zero energy residences avoid 22.62 MTCO2e per year, which equates to taking 5 cars off the road for a year.
One area showing a need for improvement is 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 to work with OMB and CEQ on a strategy to increase the number of sustainable buildings in a way that accounts for our unique building inventory.
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. The body we created to oversee implementation of our sustainability programs is the Sustainability Council, a multi-level organization that includes more than 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:http://www.doi.gov/greening/index.cfm.