The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its fiscal year 2011 scorecard on sustainability and energy performance Friday, announcing the agency had met or exceeded requirements in five of the seven sustainability areas that the scorecard addresses.
Using the scorecard as a benchmark, USDA will continue to identify and track opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve efficiency and cut costs. Under Executive Order 13514, President Obama directed federal agencies to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets.
"This scorecard serves as an important tool to help measure progress in reducing waste and increasing efficiency in our operations," said Robin Heard, USDA's Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration. "Although the Department is doing relatively well, the scorecard identifies areas for continued focus and improvement."
USDA is meeting goals that reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions, decrease energy use per square foot, decrease potable water use per square foot, incorporate sustainable building practices in new and existing buildings and increase renewable energy use.
USDA made significant progress in FY2011 by reducing indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with employee travel and led the Federal government's efforts to increase purchases of biobased products under the Department's BioPreferred® program.
USDA listed decreasing fleet petroleum use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with fleet use as improvements that need to be made. To address those areas, USDA plans to increase the use of alternative fuels where available, acquire low emission and high fuel economy vehicles, acquire the optimal alternative fuel vehicle for each vehicle's mission and place alternative fuel vehicles where there is access to alternative fuel.
Many of the goals are expected to be achieved between 2015 and 2020.
To view USDA's Sustainability/Energy Scorecard, go to http://www.dm.usda.gov/emd/docs/USDA.pdf