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Sustainability at the Department of Energy. Josh Silverman Director, Office of Sustainability Support 2014 ASP Workshop September 15-18, 2014. Presentation Overview. What is sustainability? Considerations for the Federal sector Why it matters for DOE Drivers and Goals

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sustainability at the department of energy

Sustainability at the Department of Energy

Josh SilvermanDirector, Office of Sustainability Support

2014 ASP Workshop

September 15-18, 2014

presentation overview
Presentation Overview
  • What is sustainability?
    • Considerations for the Federal sector
    • Why it matters for DOE
  • Drivers and Goals
    • Focus on greenhouse gases and adaptation planning
  • Integrating sustainability into DOE operations


sustainability the triple bottom line
Sustainability: the Triple Bottom Line

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.”

  • - United Nations Brundtland Commission

Sustainable operations strive to balance and account for the triple bottom line

adapting sustainability to a federal context
Adapting sustainability to a Federal context
  • Triple Bottom Line is a corporate concept—it needs adjustments to fit Federal operations
  • Alignment with mission is key
    • So is integration with budgeting and planning
  • There are many rules and requirements
    • These are necessary—but insufficient
  • Key Question: “How does it support mission?”
sustainability at doe where we were and where we are going

Sustainable Operations

Sustainability at DOE: Where we were….and where we are going

Environmental Management Systems(Functional Integration)

Pollution Prevention/Waste Minimization

Compliance Focus



Adapted from ALCOA Presentation, “Our Story,” Pentagon, March 2001

why operate doe sustainably
Why operate DOE sustainably?

Health Legacy

  • RECA Payouts to date: $1.9 Billion
  • EEOICPA Payouts to date: $10.8 Billion

Environmental Legacy

  • DOE-EM Budget Request (FY 15): $5.6 Billion
  • Total Cleanup Cost:
      • $150 Billion—spent through 2013
      • ~$320 Billion—projected through 2066
sustainability drivers
Sustainability Drivers
  • E.O. 13653, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change (2013)
  • E.O. 13514 Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance (2009)
  • E.O. 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management (2007)
  • DOE O 436.1, Departmental Sustainability (2011)
  • Laws and Regulations
federal sustainability goals
Federal sustainability goals
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
  • Improve Water Use Efficiency and Management
  • Prevent Pollution and Eliminate Waste
  • Advance Regional and Local Integrated Planning
  • Implement Sustainable Building practices
  • Advance Sustainable Acquisition
  • Promote Electronics Stewardship
  • Sustain Environmental Management Systems
  • Prepare for the Impacts of Climate Change

EO 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance (2009)

EO 13653, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change (2013)

federal agency scorecard
Federal Agency Scorecard
  • Scope 1 and 2 GHG Emissions
  • Scope 3 GHG Emissions
  • Energy Intensity
  • Renewable Energy
  • Potable Water
  • Fleet Petroleum Use
  • Green Buildings

What are GHGs?

Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely. GHGs absorb and re-radiate some of the heat that would otherwise return to space. The primary GHGs include:

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous Oxide (N20)
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • Nitrogen Trifluoride (NF3)

Source: Parks Canada

doe scope 1 2 ghg inventory fy 2008
DOE Scope 1&2 GHG Inventory (FY 2008)

Total FY08 Baseline Inventory: 4.7 Million Metric Tons of CO2e

ghg footprint variability within a doe sit e
GHG Footprint Variability Within a DOE Site

Cleanup Site GHG emissions before (2011) and after (2012) Biomass Cogeneration Facility (BCF) became operational

what are fugitive ghg emissions
What are Fugitive GHG Emissions?
  • Emissions resulting from intentional or unintentional releases of GHGs
  • Arise from production, processing, storage, transmission, and use of fluorinated gases
    • Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
    • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
    • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
    • Nitrogen Triflouride (NF3)
  • Considered Scope 1 GHG (direct emissions), along with on-site fuel use and vehicle emissions
high impact gases
High Impact Gases

Global Warming Potential: the ability of a greenhouse gas to trap heat in the atmosphere, relative to the same unit of carbon dioxide (CO2).

how big is 22 800
How big is 22,800?

If this represents the global warming potential a unit of CO2 …

This represents the global warming potential of the same unit of SF6

doe focused on reducing fugitives
DOE Focused on Reducing Fugitives

FY08: 776,000 MTCO2e

FY12:385,000 MTCO2e

Other = Fugitive quantities of NF3, CO2, N2O, CH4, and other reported gases

other ghg reduction examples
Other GHG reduction examples

Green Buildings: NREL Research Support Facilityis the world’s largest “net-zero” building, hosting over 700 employees and a data center.

Renewable energy: The Pantex Renewable Energy Project began operations in June 2014. The 11.5 MW wind farm project will avoid 35,000 MTCO2e each year.

climate change mitigation and adaptation
Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation

Climate Change Mitigation - Measures to reduce climate change by, for example, reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases and particles, or increasing removal of heat-trapping gases from the atmosphere

  • Sustainability goals focus on mitigation, or preventing GHG emissions

Climate Change Adaptation – adjusting to a changing climate to reduce the negative impacts already occurring and taking advantage of new opportunities

  • DOE programs and sites must plan for these impacts
site specific impact spru
Site Specific Impact—SPRU

Separations Process Research Unit

  • Increased number of major storms
  • 2011 deluge caused overflow into Mohawk River
  • Major impacts to budget, publicconfidence, and timeline
site specific impacts lanl
Site Specific Impacts—LANL

Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Significant temperature and habitat changes in the region
  • Wildfires and increased temperatures are stressing forests, tree mortality, soil composition, and other biota
  • Impacts from wildfires and flooding
    • Threatens endangered species habitat
    • Contaminated stormwater runoff
    • Erosion
    • Waste Management Issues

The consequences of one eventserve to intensify the impacts ofsubsequent events

path forward climate adaptation
Path Forward: Climate Adaptation
  • Changing climate is a new “normal,” not a random occurrence—and DOE is already significantly impacted
  • Adaptation requires careful planning to incorporate appropriate strategies in agency missions and operations to ensure that Federal resources are invested wisely and that agency services and operations remain effective
  • Climate impacts should inform safety management, emergency planning, risk determinations, and environmental stewardship
    • Integrate climate considerations into planning activities and management decisions
implementation framework doe o 436 1 departmental sustainability
Implementation Framework: DOE O 436.1, Departmental Sustainability
  • Comply with EO and legislative sustainability requirements; achieve sustainability goals
  • Prepare Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP) to establish DOE’s sustainability goals and describe Departmental actions to achieve them
  • Use site environmental management systems (EMS) as the platform for establishing site-specific sustainability programs with objectives and measurable targets
  • Develop and implement Site Sustainability Plans (SSPs) to put established sustainability objectives and targets into action
  • Use alternative financing to the maximum extent possible for sustainability projects
sustainability p lanning involves back and forth communication
Sustainability planning involves back and forth communication

Senior Sustainability Officer (SSO), with Under Secretaries’ and Sustainability Performance Office (SPO) support, establishes DOE sustainability goals and reports goal progress in the SSPP

Under Secretaries support SSO:

- manage goal achievement through PSO/Field Managers

- develop composite sustainability plans based on Field Managers’ site sustainability plans (SSPs)

Program Secretarial Offices:

- review SSPs,

- develop or aid development of composite sustainability plans,

- prepare budget allocation

Field Managersrecord planned actions (projects and practices) and sustainable outcomes in SSPs reflecting EMS objectives and targets that contribute to achieving DOE missions and Departmental sustainability goals


The journey continues…

  • Sustainability must be integrated into planning, operations and maintenance so that the performance of mission activities, buildings, and equipment improves over time.
      • - There is no expectation of a sustainability line item in DOE’s budget
  • Sustainability is “baked in, not iced on”
    • We are all in this together for the long term
    • Advance mission by avoiding long-term legacies
thank you
Thank you!

Questions? Comments?


(202) 586-6535