Alexandria, VA - In a podcast interview last week, Kathleen Bartholomew, Team Leader for Department of Interior’s Environmental Management and Integration Team, talks about the agency’s goals defined in its strategic sustainability performance plan. The Sustainabilty Plan, submitted for the first time in June, establishes specific targets for reduction of greenhouse gas, energy and water use, recycling and green product procurement required by Executive Order 13514.
Under the EO, all 55 agencies submitted the first annual Sustainability Plans to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. CEQ and the Office of Management and Budget will monitor agency progress toward those goals as part of the annual budget reviews.
At Interior, sustainability plan development involved members across all programs and levels. “We put together a strategic sustainability plan writing team,” said Bartholomew. “It included people from environmental, facilities, acquisition, fleet, budget, as well as other subject matter areas to accomplish the goal.” This process brought departments and staff together that would not typically interact. The resulting Sustainability Plan addresses ten performance measures, including greenhouse gas emissions exams and reductions for scope 1, 2, and 3. The Environmental Management and Integration Team is then responsible for executing the sustainability plan for the department in order to meet the aggressive Executive Order goals. .
“We are excited about the positive environmental impacts that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will have on our organizations, as well as the country,” Bartholomew explains.
Going forward, the EMI Team is forming an agency sustainability council to provide oversight on the plan’s execution for meeting their goals. The council will create action plans for each goal, tracking progress throughout the year.
“We are implementing a department-level environmental management system to help manage and reach goals throughout the department,” says Bartholomew. DOI also plans on involving outside stakeholders as necessary to assist in working through the goals.
“It is a challenge for the Department of Interior—and all the agencies-- to make sure we have the resources to meet the mandates of EO 13514,” closes Bartholomew.
Listen to the interview: To hear the interview go to www.ceileadership.org.
About CEIL Inform, Educate, Enable.
The Center for Environmental Innovation and Leadership (www.CEILeadership.org) is an independent organization that facilitates information and education exchange among government and military professionals charged with identifying, specifying and buying green goods and services, and with vendors, contractors and consultants that provide green goods and services. CEIL is the sponsor of GOVgreen Conference and Exposition, a nonpartisan event designed to bring government employees and green suppliers together face-to-face in one convenient place to discover optimal solutions to green the government. The event takes place November 9-10 in Washington, D.C. and is free to all credentialed government professionals and military personnel.
For more information contact Ann Seltz, President, at [email protected] or at 703-706-8221 or visit www.CEILeadership.org.