The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. As stewards of the environment, the Forest Service is committed to efficiently using energy and reducing consumption of resources in our daily operations. This work was accelerated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a series of Executive Orders (EO) including Executive Order 13423 [PDF], “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management”, and a new EO, 13514, entitled “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance,” which builds upon the foundations already laid through statute and prior executive action requiring the Federal Government to lead by example towards a clean energy economy.
To reduce our environmental footprint, coordinated actions are required to accomplish agency wide reductions in fuel and energy consumption; increased use of renewable power sources, increased green purchasing; increased recycling, and improved monitoring of contractor compliance with sustainability-related requirements. Additionally, integrated efforts are needed to address and track greenhouse gas inventories and emissions, promote efficient use of water resources and encourage pollution prevention. It’s not about new work; it’s about doing our work differently.
EO 13423 identifies six areas for reducing our environmental footprint. In addition, the EO directs federal agencies to use an Environmental Management System (EMS) to reduce their environmental footprint. Learn more about the Forest Service’s EMS by visiting the EMS website. Find information about each Footprint Focus Area in the articles below.
- Improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through the reduction of energy.
- Shift toward renewable energy such as solar power and biomass.
- Reduce water consumption in our buildings, grounds and related facilities.
- Green Purchasing
- Increase the sustainability performance of purchased goods and services, and the performance of our suppliers, contractors and partners.
- Increase the number of Forest Service buildings that are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.
- Fleet and Transportation
- Improve our transportation and travel practices, which in turn will reduce harmful emissions, increase operational and fuel efficiency, and reduce the use of non-renewable fuel.
- Waste Prevention and Recycling
- Minimize waste generation and reduce landfill use. Reduce, reuse and recycle materials.
- Sustainability Leadership
- Make strong efforts to meet or exceed the requirements of Executive orders and policies related to sustainable operations.
- Leadership and management have a commitment to communicate the agency’s vision for sustainable operations.
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