Sustainability News

Executive Order 13693: Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade

On March 19, 2015, President Obama signed Executive Order 13693 which outlines steps for the federal government to lead and drive national greenhouse gas reductions and support preparations for the impacts of climate change. In addition to cutting emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy, the executive order outlines a number of measures to make the Federal Government’s operations more sustainable, efficient and energy-secure while saving taxpayer dollars and directs federal agencies to:

  • Ensure 25 percent of their total energy (electric and thermal) consumption is from clean energy sources by 2025.
  • Reduce energy use in federal buildings by 2.5 percent per year between 2015 and 2025.
  • Reduce per-mile GHG emissions from federal fleets by 30 percent from 2014 levels by 2025, and increase the percentage of zero emission and plug in hybrid vehicles in federal fleets.
  • Reduce water intensity in federal buildings by 2 percent per year through 2025.

Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015

Signed by President Obama on April 30, the act mandates that GSA develop model commercial leasing provisions and best practices to promote energy efficiency and water efficiency in federal and other buildings.  It also amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

GSA-DOE Verification Guide for Purchasers of Sustainable Products Now Available

Released last month, this guide outlines how to ensure compliance with the sustainability requirements included in a contract. It provides best practices that can be used during both pre-award and post-award stages of a procurements to help ensure contractors deliver the sustainable products enumerated in a contract or purchasing agreement. In addition, it provides guidance and resources to check whether a contractor or lessor has provided acceptable documentation to show compliance for many of the commonly used sustainable requirements (e.g., WaterSense, EPEAT, Green Seal).

EPA’s Waste Reduction Model WARM is Updated

EPA created the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas emissions reductions from several different waste management practices. Visit: for more information. WARM is available both as Web-based calculator and as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The Excel-based version of WARM offers more functionality than the Web-based calculator:

  • New source reduction factors for meat food waste types (beef and poultry) and updated weighted-average food waste types: Food Waste, Food Waste (meat only) and Food Waste (non-meat).
  • Addition of source reduction factors for mixed paper, mixed metals, and mixed plastics.
  • Corrections to errors in land-filling calculations and regional energy grids.
  • WARM Documentation updated to reflect model updates.

A Future for Wind Energy: Energy Department Releases Wind Vision Report

The DOE Wind Program’s Wind Vision Report has been released, which quantifies the benefits of a robust wind energy future. Read more about the release of this report from the Energy Department.

Stormwater Planning Tool

Try EPA’s new Climate Adjustment Tool, which helps engineers and planners evaluate the performance of water infrastructure against various climate change projections. Every year billions of gallons of raw sewage, trash, household chemicals, fertilizers, and more flow into our streams, rivers and lakes.