Many governments at all levels have started to focus on Sustainability Reporting. Other countries such as Sweden and Australia have incorporated the principles of Sustainability Reporting into all levels of the governmental reports. (Australia is probably the most advance country in the world regarding Sustainability Reporting.) Following are some web sites promoting Sustainability Reporting here in the United States.
US Federal Level:
Leading by Example in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance
As the largest consumer of energy in the American economy, it is the Federal Government’s responsibility to lead by example towards a clean energy economy.
With more than 1.8 million civilian employees, 500,000 buildings, and $500 billion in annual purchasing power, the Federal Government has a responsibility to lead by example when it comes to its environmental, energy, and economic performance. Demonstrating a commitment to this principle, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009 that directed Federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, eliminate waste, improve energy and water performance, and leverage Federal purchasing power to support innovation and entrepreneurship in clean energy technologies and environmentally-responsible products.
To learn more about how the Federal Government is helping to move the nation to a clean energy economy by leading by example, read the President’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, released in March 2011.
Featured Story: Implementation of Executive Order 13514 on Federal Sustainability
As the Federal Government moves forward to implement Executive Order 13514, agencies are implementing specific goals and targets. Agencies have reported on their status and planned milestones toward meeting specific targets and goals. Learn More
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Pollution
Executive Order 13514 requires Federal agencies to measure, report, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from agency operations to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and cut costs. In 2010, President Obama announced that the Federal Government will reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions, such as those from fuels and building energy use, by 28 percent by 2020 and will reduce its indirect greenhouse gas emissions, such as those from employee business travel and employee commuting, by 13 percent by 2020. By meeting these two goals, the Federal Government could save up to $11 billion in energy costs over the next decade and eliminate the equivalent of 235 million barrels of oil from its own activities.
The Federal Government’s progress towards meeting the GHG targets will be accomplished by holding agencies accountable for achieving related statutory and executive order goals and the individual targets they identified in their annual Sustainability Plans, through the OMB scorecard process, and monitoring of agency comprehensive GHG inventories on an annual basis beginning in January 2011. The President directed CEQ to issue guidance for GHG accounting and reporting for Federal agencies. The Final Federal Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting can be found here.
In April 2011, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released the first-ever comprehensive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory for the Federal Government, which accounts for the GHG emissions associated with the Federal Government’s operations in 2010.
The Federal Government's GHG inventory for 2010 was 66.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (MMTCO2e). The 2010 GHG inventory shows that the Federal Government successfully reduced GHG pollution by 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (MMTCO2e) since its 2008 baseline, and is on track to meeting the 2020 Federal GHG pollution reduction target.
Federal agency and department FY 2010 GHG emissions summaries can be found at http://www.data.gov/raw/4769.
Hold Agencies Accountable for Results
On May 31, 2013, Federal agencies released their annual Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Sustainability and Energy Scorecards. These scorecards help agencies identify, target and track the best opportunities to lead by example in clean energy; and hold them accountable for meeting annual energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets. Based on scorecard benchmarks, each agency will update its annual Sustainability Plan to expand on successes and address areas needing improvement.
Since 2006, OMB has used the scorecard process to evaluate Federal agencies’ performance in achieving energy, transportation, and environmental goals. To streamline the evaluation process, make it more transparent, and align it with the goals of Executive Order 13514, OMB combined past scorecard metrics into a single OMB Sustainability/ Energy scorecard.
Through the OMB scorecard process, agencies are assessed on energy and water intensity reductions; fleet petroleum reduction; greenhouse gas emissions; green building practices; and, renewable energy use. Agencies are also evaluated on their progress towards implementing additional statutory or Executive Order targets and goals reflected in their annual Sustainability Plans, such as green purchasing and electronics stewardship. CEQ and OMB work with agency leadership to craft strategies for improvement and provide additional support and assistance as needed.
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, located in Montpelier, Vermont, was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to accelerate the development of Vermont’s green economy. We provide early stage grant funding, technical assistance, and loans to entrepreneurs, businesses, farmers, networks and others interested in developing jobs and markets in the green economy. VSJF currently has 9 staff and 11 board members.
Jobs or the environment? The early 1990s were characterized by a debate pitting environmental protection against economic development. Many said it was one or the other, that both could not exist at the same time. But in 1995, a group of successful entrepreneurs within Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility saw the need to transcend this divide. Sustainable development was a new idea at the time and it provided the group with a theme, a vision, and goals to work toward: Vermont could meet the economic needs of its citizens—without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs—by greening its economy, promoting social justice and equity, and practicing stewardship of its natural, built, and cultural environments.
This group, which called themselves the Sustainable Jobs Coalition, began crafting legislation to launch an organization that could provide early stage funding and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, businesses, farmers, networks and others interested in developing a green economy. With bi-partisan support from the Vermont Legislature, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund was created in 1995. The name of the organization was meant to reflect the proposition that accelerating the development of new markets for sustainably produced goods and services would lead to the creation of new environmentally-friendly and community-supporting jobs.
The fourth annual Sustainability Report to our Community provides an in-depth look at the City’s progress towards sustainability in 2012. The Office of Sustainability is making significant strides toward making Indianapolis a more livable city for all residents, all while creating better tools to help track and report the City’s sustainability advancement and developing measureable goals for the future.
The Office of Sustainability has defined a sustainable community as one with a strong economy, a healthy environment and a focus on the well-being of residents. Mirroring the framework established by the Sustainability Tool for Assessing and Ranking (STAR) Communities program, the Sustainability Report identifies major accomplishment in seven benchmark categories critical to achieving the mission of making Indianapolis the most sustainable city in the Midwest.
Natural Systems: A community’s natural systems provide a number of economic and quality-of-life benefits that contribute to sustainability.
Economy & Jobs: A healthy economy and strong jobs climate are a foundational aspect for building sustainable communities.
Built Environment: Healthy communities build environments in which all citizens can live, work and play.
Climate & Energy: Recognizing the scarcity of all resources and minimizing waste will help the City achieve its long-term goals for sustainability.
Education & Arts: Successful communities recognize the value of a diverse, vibrant, educated and connected populace.
Health & Safety: Encouraging active lifestyles and accessible care increases the livability of any community.
Equity & Empowerment: Sustainable communities allocate resources and opportunities fairly so all people in a community thrive.
The Sustainability Report to our Community is intended not only to highlight the City’s success stories of the past year, but also to be a resource guide for residents and businesses. The report aims to share sustainable best practices to bolster economic development, create jobs, save energy, reduce costs, improve connectivity, reduce pollution and enhance the quality of life.
The Office of Sustainability is committed to leading by example and engaging government, community and business stakeholders. With a strong foundation in place, and with your continued support, 2013 will be a hallmark year for sustainability in Indianapolis