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Agency Priority Goal:
Environmental Sustainability

GSA took actions to directly reduce its consumption of resources and provided customer federal agencies with solutions to manage and reduce their consumption.

In FY 2011, there were three key areas where GSA sought to make the greatest impact in improving federal environmental performance: government-wide policy, greening the federal supply chain, and recycling in federal buildings. GSA is creating innovative sustainability solutions by using existing processes to deliver radically different outcomes for GSA, federal agencies, industry, and the public.

GSA is responsible for formulating and maintaining government-wide policies covering a variety of administrative activities including: the acquisition, management, and disposal of personal and real property; federal employee travel and transportation; federal information technology; and the use of regulatory information and federal advisory committees. GSA uses its policy responsibilities to ensure that all federal agencies have access to and use the most effective practices for managing property, technology, and administrative services.

In FY 2011, GSA modified government-wide policies and set the example by applying new sustainability policies internally to ensure policy making embodies sustainability goals and drives the GSA zero environmental footprint objective. Among the agency’s successful accomplishments this year were the:

  • Launching of the Sustainable Facilities Tool that attracted over 7,500 visits from the public and other federal agencies in the first 20 days and registered projects from more than 30 federal agencies;
  • Joining with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Council on Environmental Quality to issue the National strategy for Electronics Stewardship, which outlines a series of improvements to federal electronics procurement and property management policies;
  • Moving to electronic reporting of electronic equipment disposal and publishing the baseline dataset on; and
  • Reporting on common space utilization benchmarks.

Resource, technology, and leasing issues prevented GSA from completing the number of electricity sub-metering pilots originally planned; however, three of five metering pilots were launched during the fiscal year.

Another way GSA worked toward environmental sustainability in FY 2011 was by greening the federal supply chain. GSA incorporated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in procurement decisions to reduce the environmental impact of the federal government. As of September 30, 2011, GSA used GHG emissions as a technical evaluation factor in four procurements: the carbon footprint tool; the Federal Emergency Management Agency Joint Field Office blanket purchase agreement (BPA); the Information Technology commodities BPA; and the short term rental BPA. These four procurements will inform future efforts related to green practices in the federal supply chain.

Additionally in FY 2011, GSA significantly outperformed the FY 2011 target for solid waste recycling by 862 tons through increasing communication and collaboration across the GSA real estate footprint. GSA also improved the reporting of solid waste disposal across its portfolio.

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2011 AFR PDF