Reducing the Federal Carbon Footprint

About the author: Viccy Salazar joined EPA in 1995. She works in our Seattle office on waste reduction, resource conservation and stewardship issues.

Recently, we launched a new program to help federal facilities reduce their carbon footprint called the Federal Green Challenge. It helps federal facilities meeting their Executive Order requirements to green up their operations by focusing on Energy, Transportation, Waste and Water. When given a framework to act, it is amazing how much the federal community wants to make an environmental difference. Facilities across Region 10, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, have committed to reduce their carbon emissions by over 9 million pounds in 2009 alone. In addition, the program will be helping federal facilities during the year by hosting 12 webinars on topics including the four target areas – energy, transportation, waste and water and several others including green meetings, sustainability, and implementing you EMS. It is wonderful seeing the government begin to lead by example.

Even though the program is only open to federal facilities, all the information is public and hopefully, other organizations will use the information to measure their progress. On the website there are tips for making changes, tools for measuring your results, and examples of how others have done it. Let me know if the information is useful and what else would be useful.