We are getting better, but one can never rest on their laurels:
Garbage drops as CA’s recycling goal grows
Californians have slashed the amount of stuff they throw away each day, pushing per capita disposal rates down to a record low last year even though the economy picked up steam.
It’s a good showing — but residents aren’t doing nearly as well as they might have thought, and state officials are asking for help to dramatically boost waste reduction and recycling by 2020. That likely will result in a suite of new rules, programs and fees designed to improve reuse of materials and minimize the need for more landfills.
California set a goal of a 50% reduction in 1989. In the last decade, most of the state has achieved that and surpassed it (the current statewide rate is 65%). Now, the government has upped the ante, asking for 75% by 2020.
The Department of Energy (DOE/FEMP) is holding a monthly online seminar focusing on sustainability. The sessions provide support for legions of federal workers that are leading the nation into our new green economy.
The first session (of six) focuses on Executive Order 13514, commonly called the sustainable order. The following training sessions are as follows:
- Mar 4 – Energy 101
- Apr 1 – Water Efficiency Planning and Implementation
- May 6 – Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting
- Jun 3 – Advanced Metering Requirements and Best Practices
- Jul 1 – Operations, Maintenance, and Commissioning
Each session is available for free through online video streaming.
I attended the first one (virtually) and here are my notes. Also, I am keeping out the presenters emails but if you have questions and would like their contacts, please let me know.
“As the largest consumer of energy in the US economy the Federal government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies.”
The thinking behind the Order is to:
- have the federal government “lead by example”
- “take pride in agency accomplishments” (highlight work already being done)
- encourage agencies to think “integrated planning”
- push/pull/force agencies to reach across “stovepipes”
The Federal Government:
- Occupies nearly 500,000 buildings
- Operates more than 500,000 vehicles
- Employs more than 1.8 million civilians
- Purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services
Benefits to the Nation:
- Energy savings – Avoided Costs – Jobs – Innovations – Improvements to Local Infrastructure
- Establish an integrated agency strategy for sustainability, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the federal government in order to lead by example and achieve a clean energy economy.
- “really talking about practical application”
- “requires strategic perspective bringing together the right components”
- “planning is crucial”
- GHG reduction targets, energy efficiency, water use efficiency and mgmt, pollution prevention, waste elimination
- Regional and local integrated planning
- High performance sustainable Federal buildings
- Sustainable acquisition
- Electronics stewardship
- Environmental mgmt systems
Scopes in Greenhouse Gasses, asking for an absolute percentage reduction target for FY 2020, relative to FY 2008. Due:
- Scope 1-2 – jan 4, 2010
- Scope 3 – jun 2, 2010
By FY 2015 achieve a %50 or higher solid waste diversion and construction/demolition diversion
This represents “nothing less than a transformational shift in how federal governments operate”
- DOE to develop greenhouse gas accounting and reporting recommendations by April/Oct
- DOT to site sustainable locations for federal facilities
- GSA to develop local transportation logistics
- DOE to write federal fleet mgmt guidance
- GSA to pass along vendor and contractor emissions guidnace
- EPA to write stormwater guidance for federal facilities
Full copy of the briefing: Executive Order 13514 Training