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U.S. Department of Commerce Releases Benchmarks for Energy and Sustainability Goals

Green Arrows Symbolizing Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce released – for the first time – its fiscal year 2010 scorecard on sustainability and energy performance (PDF) to track progress in achieving the goals of its Sustainability Plan. Using this scorecard as a benchmark, the department will identify and track the best opportunities to reduce pollution, improve efficiency and cut costs before updating its plan in June.

The sustainability scorecard serves as an important tool to help the department identify targets for reducing waste and increasing efficiency. In 2010, the Commerce Department was on track to meet its goals for increasing renewable energy use and decreasing its fleet petroleum and potable water use. Compared with 2005, the department has reduced its fleet petroleum use by 18.4 percent; and since 2007, has reduced its potable water use by 20.3 percent.

Innovative green initiatives are being implemented across Commerce’s bureaus. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, for example, is installing a vehicle charging station for hybrid vehicles at its Gaithersburg, Md., campus. Along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NIST is also installing solar panels to increase its renewable energy use. At Commerce headquarters, the department participates in a multi-year green power purchase agreement to meet part of the building’s electrical energy needs.As the Commerce Department continues to improve its sustainability practices, areas of focus include decreasing energy use per square foot of building space, incorporating more sustainable building initiatives, and identifying cost-efficient ways to further reduce the department’s carbon footprint.

In October of 2009, President Obama directed federal agencies to lead by example in clean energy and to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets under Executive Order 13514. Based on these scorecard benchmarks, the Commerce Department will update its Sustainability Plan and post it publically here on, consistent with the administration’s commitment to open government.   

View the Commerce Department’s 2010 Sustainability Scorecard. (PDF)

View individual agency OMB Sustainability/Energy Scorecards on the White House website.


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