Government Going Green: Sustainability Initiatives to Catalyze Clean Energy Growth
The climate crisis affects us all. Sweeping changes need to be made around the globe to minimize human contribution.
What better place to start than with the largest employer, landowner, and energy consumer in the most influential country in the world?
The United States Federal Government will be making some significant changes according to Executive Order 14057.
What does that mean? Let’s take a look.
The Goals of the Government
The main goal is to lead the nation to net-zero emissions by 2050. This overarching goal is going to require some serious changes.
Here is the general breakdown the government hopes to use over the next few decades to reach the lofty goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
By 2030, 100% net annual carbon pollution-free electricity and 50% 24/7 carbon pollution-free electricity
By 2035, an entire fleet of zero-emission vehicles: by 2027, all light-duty vehicle acquisitions should be zero-emission
By 2045, a net-zero emissions building portfolio, including a 50% emissions reduction by 2032
By 2030, a 65% reduction of scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from their levels in 2008
Net-zero emissions from Federal procurement, promoting construction materials with lower emissions
Infrastructure and operations that are resilient to the climate
An educated workforce committed to sustainability
Small, consistent actions must be taken, policies must be changed, and investments must be made to reach these supporting goals. The hope is that the innovations required to make these changes will spur the private sector toward similar goals.
Net-Zero Emissions Buildings, Campuses, and Installations
How will the government reduce building emissions by 50% in 2032 and zero by 2045?
The main idea is to prioritize energy efficiency and eliminate the use of fossil fuels. This includes installing carbon pollution-free energy solutions, conserving water and energy, and using less overall space.
Every new project larger than 25,000 square feet must be net-zero emissions by 2030. Plus, new constructions and remodeling projects alike should use the CEQ’s Building Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings.
Increase Energy and Water Efficiency
All agencies must prioritize energy and water efficiency. Types of facilities (hospitals, office buildings, etc.) should set an attainable emissions reduction target for 2030, according to the capability of each type.
Reduce Waste and Pollution
The government is setting aggressive waste reduction goals for all its agencies. Waste and pollution can be drastically reduced by supporting markets for recycled products and moving toward a circular economy.
Each agency must aim to divert 50% of non-hazardous solid waste from landfills per year by 2025. The next step is to reduce this waste by 75% per year by 2030.
A Cleaner, Greener Future
If we want to see progress toward a healthier planet, we’re all going to have to work together. The US Federal Government’s project is a massive step in the right direction and, hopefully, will help spur the private sector to move the same way.
Here’s to a cleaner, greener future!