Facilities Toolbox: Sustainability Tools
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Is sustainability required?

Photo of an office that has natural light from a skylight.

Daylight from the skylight
in this reception area
makes electric lights
unnecessary most of the
time and reduces energy

Forest: Lolo
District: Superior

Yes, sustainability and energy efficiency are required for all Federal agencies. Sustainability and energy efficiency are required for new buildings, existing buildings, equipment, appliances, and fleet. The Chief's letter of January 9, 2007 emphasizes that sustainability is required within the Forest Service. Forest Service Handbook 7309.11, Chapter 70 explains sustainability requirements for buildings. The Checklist for Sustainable New Construction and Major Renovations lists the requirements for sustainable new construction and major renovations, provides tools and references, and includes a compliance assessment and verification form (checklist) that can be used to document sustainable design and construction.

The Forest Service must comply with USDA Departmental Regulation 5600-005, Environmental Management. It sets specific requirements for reducing energy use, purchasing or generating renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water use, purchasing energy-efficient equipment and appliances, and installing energy use-tracking equipment (link available only to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees).

DR-5600-005 was written to guide UDSA agencies in complying with the dozens of Federal laws, regulations, and orders addressing different aspects of sustainable development in Federal facilities. These include:

In addition, the Code of Federal Regulations and various procurement guidelines and regulations establish performance standards and mandate consideration of environmental performance. These requirements are described in part 1.3 Current Federal Regulations of the Federal Energy Management Program's publication Greening Federal Facilities.

The Forest Service Sustainable Operations web site contains information about Forest Service sustainability policies and projects. USDA also has a Sustainable Operations web site that contains information about USDA sustainability policies and projects.