The Department of Commerce has recently sponsored several initiatives to green the economy and enhance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology trade around the globe. But the Department is also working internally to green its operations. On December 9 Secretary Locke signed a new environmental policy renewing the Department of Commerce’s commitment to sustainability and environmental management (PDF). The policy commits the Department to considering environmental impacts in all planning, purchasing, operating, and budget decisions; purchasing greener products; reducing energy, water, and fuel use; promoting reuse, recycling, and diversion of waste from landfills whenever possible; providing a safe and healthy work environment for its employees; complying with environmental laws and applicable executive orders; and implementing a Department-wide environmental management system applicable to all operating units, staff, and contractors.
The new policy is the final milestone for the new headquarters-level, Department-wide environmental management system (EMS), which has been under development for several months. The EMS provides a set of roles, responsibilities, processes, and procedures for managing progress towards the Department’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan goals and reducing the Department’s environmental impacts. Read more about the Department’s environmental management system or to download a copy of the new environmental policy (PDF).