In conjunction with anniversary, Administration releases agency sustainability plans
One year ago, President Biden delivered an ambitious Federal Sustainability Plan by issuing Executive Order 14057 on Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. One year into implementation, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken swift action to make Federal Government operations cleaner, healthier, and more resilient while growing well-paying clean energy industries, creating jobs, and making the nation more economically competitive.
To mark the anniversary, today Federal agencies released their Annual Sustainability Plans, which outline the steps they are taking to meet the President’s Federal sustainability goals. These plans build upon the actions agencies announced in their October 2022 Climate Adaptation Progress Reports.
Highlights of 2022 include:
- Achieved a record five-fold increase in light-duty zero-emission vehicle purchases from the previous year;
- Announced the intent to buy clean electricity through the first-ever 24/7 100 percent carbon-free electricity tariff in the United States;
- Established the first-ever Federal Building Performance Standard to drive building electrification;
- Issued a plan for major suppliers to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets;
- Secured $5 billion through the Inflation Reduction Act to catalyze markets for American-made, lower-carbon construction materials; and
- Launched the COP27 Net-Zero Government Initiative to extend U.S. international climate leadership.
ONE YEAR OF DELIVERING RESULTS
Through the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan and Executive Order 14057, the Federal Government will transform its portfolio of 300,000 buildings, fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks, and annual purchasing power of $630 billion in goods and services to:
- Achieve a zero-emissions vehicle fleet and an energy efficient, all-electric building portfolio powered with 100 percent carbon-free electricity;
- Boost the climate resilience of Federal infrastructure, operations, and supply chains; and
- Foster a culture of sustainability within the Federal workforce, advance equity and environmental justice, and leverage partnerships to accelerate progress.
Over the past year, the Biden-Harris Administration has put the Federal Government on a path to save taxpayer dollars, support robust climate action, create thousands of jobs, and advance America’s capacity to supply the goods of the future. Key highlights of Agency Sustainability Plans include:
Transitioning to 100 percent acquisition of zero-emission vehicles by 2035 for the Federal vehicle fleet, including 100 percent light-duty vehicle acquisition by 2027: In 2022, ZEVs made up 12 percent of new Federal light-duty vehicle acquisitions, a five-fold increase from the previous year. Agencies also accelerated ZEV charging infrastructure installations, with more than 8,000 new charging port installations in progress. Additionally, in 2022 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) became the first Federal agency to upfit an electric vehicle (EV) for law enforcement use. The Federal Protective Service is field testing the Ford Mustang Mach-E as the first of a variety of EVs to pilot across its varied law enforcement missions and serving as a model for other Federal, Tribal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to follow.
Achieving 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity use by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 basis: In November 2022, the Administration announced the Federal Government’s first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a utility to provide 24/7 100 percent carbon-free electricity for Federal agency use. This MOU model may be replicated between a Federal agency and local electric utilities in other parts of the country in 2023. Agencies are also leveraging Federal land to build new clean energy sources. For example, at Edwards Air Force Base, the Department of Defense (DOD) is completing a 520-megawatt solar array, one of the largest solar projects in North America, with 3 gigawatt-hours of battery storage to provide resiliency and backup power to the base. In the process, DOD also created more than 1,000 union and other construction jobs. This project will be online in early 2023. Additionally, DOD issued a request for proposals in 2022 to install the first-ever small microreactor at Eielson Air Force Base.
Modernizing the Federal buildings portfolio to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, including a 50 percent reduction in building emissions by 2032: Yesterday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the first-ever Federal Building Performance Standard, setting an ambitious goal to cut energy use and electrify equipment and appliances in 30 percent of the building space owned by the Federal Government by 2030. In August 2022, the Administration launched its Climate Smart Buildings Initiative, which is expected to catalyze over $8 billion of private sector investments by 2030 to boost the efficiency and resilience of Federal buildings via energy savings performance contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA) is demonstrating net-zero emissions buildings by converting a vacant warehouse at the Denver Federal Center Campus into an efficient, all-electric 150,000-square foot office space as well as building an all-electric, energy-efficient Federal courthouse for the Southern District of Iowa. Both projects will be completed in 2023. Earlier this year, the Department of Energy announced its Net Zero Labs Pilot Initiative to increase the energy efficiency and electrify four of its national laboratories, serving as a model to follow for other hard-to-decarbonize industries.
Increasing the sustainability of Federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from Federal procurement by 2050: In November 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration issued a proposed rule to protect the Federal Government’s supply chains from climate-related financial risks by requiring major Federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets. Earlier this year, the Administration announced it would prioritize, for the first time ever, the use of American-made, lower-carbon construction materials in Federal procurement and federally funded projects through its Federal Buy Clean Initiative. In March, GSA issued new standards for the concrete and asphalt used in nationwide GSA construction, modernization, and paving projects. To date, GSA has completed seven Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded paving projects using the new asphalt standards.
Advancing equity and environmental justice: Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Federal agencies, for the first time, incorporated environmental justice into their annual Sustainability Plans and Climate Adaptation Plans, and are moving forward to further integrate environmental justice considerations into decision making. GSA has launched a quarterly environmental justice training for all GSA employees and reconvened its Environmental Justice Working Group, which is developing a stakeholder engagement toolkit and assessing GSA’s policies and programs through an environmental justice lens.
Fostering a culture of sustainability within the workforce: The Council on Environmental Quality kicked off 2022 with an interactive quarterly speaker series to enhance Federal employee sustainability and climate literacy. To date, more than 28,000 attendees have participated in the speaker series events to hear from dynamic and inspirational thought leaders about shifting to sustainable Federal operations. In July, DHS launched a program to train its first cohort of climate adaptation professionals, who will be deployed across the agency to deepen sustainability and climate adaptation expertise. In September 2022, GSA released the first-ever climate adaptation training for the Federal procurement community.
KEEPING THE MOMENTUM GOING
President Biden’s efforts to reestablish the Federal Government as a climate leader has galvanized climate action and commitments by other national governments around the world. At the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27), 18 countries announced they have joined the United States in its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions from national government operations by 2050. Additionally, two more countries announced they are joining the United States-led Net-Zero Government Fleet declaration, for a total of eight countries committing to transitioning their government owned and operated fleets to zero-emission vehicles across all vehicle classes by 2035.
In the year ahead, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to lead by example in tackling the climate crisis in ways that grow good jobs and industries for America’s workers. The Biden-Harris Administration looks forward to working through its vast network to deliver the cost savings and pollution reductions that American taxpayers deserve.