Office of the Climate Change Advisor

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Performance Scorecard National Roadmap
Performance Scorecard
Starting this year, each national forest and grassland will be tracking progress using a new 10-point scorecard. The Forest Service's research branch along with regional and national programs will provide support for this agency-wide effort.

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National Roadmap
The Roadmap will help to guide the Forest Service as it works to ensure that national forests and private working lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change.

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Performance Scorecard: 10- Sustainable Operations

Scorecard Question

Is progress being made toward achieving sustainable operations requirements to reduce the environmental footprint of Agency operations?

What are other forests doing?

Cleveland National Forest


The Cleveland National Forest (R5) analyzed electricity use by zone in the Supervisor's Office and installed automatic motion sensors in all common rooms. They are also installing water meters on all Forest administration and recreation sites. They plan to recycle 3,000 tons of steel and 30,000 tons of concrete generated from the removal of the former Laguna Air Force Base. 

Nez Perce National Forest


On the Nez Perce National Forest (R1), the maintenance manager at the Red River Ranger Station repaired leaks on the system’s galvanized water lines. These repairs reduced water usage by 6,400 gallons per day and reduced the energy requirement because the well now runs once instead of five times per day.


See also

The USDA Forest Service Sustainable Operations Website
The primary resource for sustainable operations information in the Forest Service, including information on each of the six target areas. This page will also lead to tools and resources located on the Forest Service intranet.

Units are strongly encouraged to report on Element 10 using the Appendix G. The Leadership in Sustainable Operations (LISO) self-reporting tool includes all 66 action items listed in Scorecard Element 10 Appendix G (additional description below). By completing LISO and answering all of the action items on Appendix G, you will have completed your Element 10 reporting requirements. 



Video Presentations

Sustainable Operations – Our Environmental Footprint and the Climate Change Connection
A presentation introducing the concept of sustainable operations and how it connects to other aspects of the Forest Service's mission.

Sustainable Operations Peer Learning Webinars
These monthly webinars are designed to provide technical assistance in specific areas identified as ‘needs’ after reviewing FY 2011 Scorecard Element 10 reporting.  The target audience for these tool-based webinars includes Climate Change Unit Coordinators, Forest Green Team members, Forest Energy Managers, Forest Engineers, and others with an interest in, or passion for, “greening” agency business operations.

Tools & Links

Green Team Toolkit – How to Start a Green Team
A collection of resources to help get started in reducing a Unit's environmental footprint. Introductory material and 'tips' for making progress in each of the 6 target areas are included here.

Utility Bill Clean Up Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
The goal of Utility Bill Clean-Up is to provide the tools necessary to understand the cost and consumption associated with a Unit’s energy use, water use, and solid waste disposal and to identify places where efficiencies can be realized. This procedure was created by a multi-disciplinary team of Forest Service employees with varied backgrounds.

Sustainable Operations Training Opportunities
A list of opportunities for more in-depth training on sustainable operations.

Intranet links for FS Employees

SusOps Demonstration Website
This Forest-Service only website contains success stories, resources and tools, training material, and green team information for nearly any target audience.  This is the primary, internal SusOps website.

Green Purchasing Toolkit
This Toolkit provides resources to encourage and guide sustainable acquisition for contracting officers, purchase card holders, program managers, and Climate Change Scorecard Coordinators.

Sustainable Operations Statistics (SOS) Tool
The SOS Tool is an online resource for Forest Service employees who are primarily interested in data on agency energy use and cost from 2008-2012 at several organizational levels (i.e., national, regional, forest, zip code/city).  These statistics and reports use data collected from sources within and outside the Forest Service, currently including data on:

  • Historical data on metered Utilities: Electricity, Natural Gas, and Water (from 2008 to 2012)
  • Current data on Fleet (back to 2007)

Leadership in Sustainable Operations (LISO)

The LISO tool offers individual Forest Service Units a means to self-report and track Unit progress in Sustainable Operations (including progress on Climate Change Scorecard Element 10), as well as a platform on which to share sustainability stories, connect with “green” pros and expand their sustainability network.

Fleet Life-Cycle Expense and Efficiency Tool
A tool designed to help you compare and select vehicle options, taking greenhouse gas emissions into account.

FY12 – FY15 Element 10 Implementation Plans
Sample Implementation Plan templates that can be used to get to Yes on this element using Appendix G.


Scorecard questions, concerns or suggestions for
additional resources?

Inquire with the Climate Change Advisor.

All Scorecard Elements

  1. Employee Education
  2. Climate Change Coordinators
  3. Program Guidance
  4. Science-Management Partnerships
  5. Other Partnerships
  6. Assessing Vulnerability
  7. Adaptation Actions
  8. Monitoring
  9. Carbon Assessment and Stewardship
  10. Sustainable Operations

Getting to YES

To answer “yes,” your Unit should do one of the following:

  • Complete the Leadership in Sustainable Operations (LISO) action item checklist annually – Preferred Reporting Option
  • Complete the Sustainable Operations Checklist (Appendix G) annually
  • Demonstrate in the Narrative Form that it has made progress toward the applicable sustainable operations requirements listed in the definitions

The definition of “yes” varies depending on the reporting method, as described below.

Leadership in Sustainable Operations (LISO) & Appendix G: The definition of “yes” is identical for these response types and is defined as “completing 75% of applicable action items.” Because there are 66 Element 10 Action Items, a “yes” is defined as completing 50 or more Action Items (assuming all are applicable). When calculating the percent completion, LISO accounts for “not applicable” answers.

Narrative Form: For those Units using the Narrative Form, a “yes” is defined as “making progress towards sustainable operations.” Examples of such progress should be clearly articulated in the narrative statement. A quantitative summary of the impact such actions had at the Unit (e.g., # kWh reduced as a result of installing automatic power strips at all work stations) is also requested, if feasible.


Environmental Footprint

Environmental footprint is a measure of human demand on an ecosystem. For the Forest Service, footprint areas include energy, water, waste, fleet/transportation, and purchasing.

Sustainable Operations as Defined by EO 13514

Sustainable operations as defined by EO 13514 are operations conducted in such a way as to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, and that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.


Applicable means cost effective, practicable, and appropriate and feasible within the Unit’s geographic area. For example, a Unit in a remote area may not be able to meet the requirement to use non-petroleum fuels if such fuels are not commercially available in their area.

Sustainable Operations Requirements

Sustainable operations requirements are the legal requirements of EO 13423, EO 13514, Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, summarized as follows (full list here):
  • Energy: Reduce energy intensity (BTU/GSF) by 3 percent per year or 30 percent total by FY 2015 (2003 baseline). Increase use of renewable energy to not less than 5 percent of total electric energy in FY2011-12 and not less than 7.5 percent of total electric energy in FY2013 and beyond. Renewable energy credits are doubled if the energy is produced at a federal facility, on federal lands, or on Indian land.
  • Water: Reduce potable water intensity (gal/GSF) by 2 percent per year or 16 percent total by FY2015 (2007 baseline). Reduce industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water consumption by 2 percent per year or 20 percent total by FY2020 (2010 baseline).
  • Fleet and Transportation: Reduce fuel consumption by 2 percent per year or 20 percent total by FY2020 (2005 baseline), increase use of non-petroleum fuels by 10 percent per year by 2015 (2005 baseline), right-size fleet, and increase use of low emission and high fuel economy vehicles.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from direct sources (Scopes 1 and 2) by 21 percent and from indirect sources (Scope 3) by 7 percent by 2020 (baseline 2008).
  • Waste Prevention and Recycling: Divert 55 percent of non-hazardous solid waste in buildings by FY2015 (FY2005 baseline); by FY2015, divert 50 percent of construction and demolition debris

Geographic Scale

To reach Agency-level sustainable operations requirements, significant efforts must be made at the Unit level, with assistance, guidance, and leadership from the Regions, Stations, Area, and national level. Place-based solutions are the most effective for making operations more sustainable and implementing a culture of sustainable consumption over the long run.


Full Guidance Document
PDF, 2.2 MB, 104 pp

Download Appendix G: Sustainable Operations Checklist
PDF, 385 K, 32 pp