GSA Commits to New Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target


Will Reduce Operational Emissions 54% by FY2025; Leader Among Federal Agencies

Photo (above): This is the lobby of the nation’s first net-zero energy usage historic building at the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building and Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Supporting the Obama Administration’s new GHG reduction commitments announced today, GSA has committed to reducing its Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions1 over the next decade to 54% below FY 2008 levels, a reduction well beyond the government-wide average commitment of 42%. Since 2008, GSA has already reduced its annual GHG emissions by 43% below its baseline of 2.3 million metric tons—the equivalent of keeping over 5,000 railcars worth of coal in the ground every year.

As detailed in its newly announced 2015 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, GSA will continue to reduce GHG emissions through building renovations, use of renewable energy, and fleet management, including projects such as those listed below.


  • As the nation’s largest owner of existing Class A office space, GSA is focused on reducing energy in federal facilities through the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs).
  • ESPCs allow building owners to finance energy-saving renovations with zero upfront cost, and pay for them over time using the cost savings from avoided energy use.
  • At the New Carrollton federal building and a nearby building in Maryland, GSA is using a Deep Energy Retrofit ESPC to cut overall energy use by 60%. This will eliminate 20,000 tons of GHG emissions annually, equivalent to the energy used by 1,745 homes.
  • The New Carrollton project will install approximately 1 megawatt (MW) of on-site solar and geothermal renewable energy. The project will also include over 10,000 new LED lighting fixtures.
  • Savings in the first year of operation are expected to be nearly $3 million.

Net Zero

  • GSA is at the forefront of net-zero energy building design. Through renewable technologies and energy efficiency, net-zero energy buildings produce as much or more total energy than they consume.
  • GSA achieved the nation’s first net-zero energy usage historic building at the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building and Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado.
  • At the Aspinall building, GSA used geothermal heating and cooling, a solar panel array, state-of-the-art light fixtures that respond to natural light levels, and solar control window film to achieve net-zero energy usage.

Renewable Power

  • GSA is helping to transform the nation’s energy grid by buying renewable power.
  • GSA recently signed a contract for 81 megawatts of solar energy from two locations on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
  • This project will create hundreds of temporary jobs during construction, dozens of permanent jobs after it’s complete, and contribute $20 million in revenue to the local economy over the lifetime of the project. Construction on the project will begin in the spring of 2016, with the site expected to be operational and delivering power by December 2016.

Fleet Management

  • GSA developed a fleet GHG analysis tool showing each agency’s current fleet and efficiency by vehicle type, along with the path the agency could take to reduce their GHG emissions by 30% by 2025
  • As part of GSA’s commitment to agile, low-cost IT development, the tool was developed via an open Hackathon and uses commercial visualization software.

1. Scope 1 includes GHG emissions from the natural gas, heating oil, and motor vehicle fuels used in federal buildings and vehicles. Scope 2 are emissions created during the generation of purchased energy sources, such as electricity, steam, and chilled water.

Last Reviewed: 2019-05-24