Treasury Notes

 Going Green at the Treasury Department

By: Dan Tangherlini

In October 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to lead by example in clean energy; and to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets.

As part of that effort, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality developed a scorecard that each agency can use to track its progress toward meeting objectives, as well as to identify new opportunities for reducing pollution, improving efficiency, and cutting costs.

Today, as we mark Earth Day, I’m pleased to report that Treasury received “green” ratings across-the-board earlier this week on its energy and sustainability scorecard. Highlights from Treasury’s efforts include: 

  • Reducing fleet petroleum use by over 50 percent from our 2005 baseline; 
  • Reducing potable water use by 20 percent from our 2007 baseline; 
  • Ensuring that renewable energy accounts for more than 9 percent of the total electricity used at Treasury facilities. 

While that represents good progress, we still have more work ahead of us. And we’re committed to building on those efforts. 

In January, Treasury completed its first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory. We’re also in the process of updating and improving our Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan. Those efforts will help us lay the groundwork for further reductions in our agency’s carbon footprint moving forward. 

And that’s not just good for the environment. It’s good for the government’s bottom line – because going green saves green for taxpayers. 

OMB and CEQ estimate that keeping federal agencies on track to meet the scorecard’s energy and greenhouse gas performance standards should reduce the cost of government by a cumulative total of $8 to $11 Billion by 2020. 

That’s a win-win for the American taxpayer. And we’ll continue to work hard to do our part here at Treasury. Not just on Earth Day, but through a sustained commitment to reducing our environmental impact throughout the entire year. At Treasury, green is our favorite color

Dan Tangherlini is Assistant Secretary for Management, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Performance Officer

Posted in:  Earth Day
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