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Performance.gov is a new site managed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that assesses how agencies do according to criteria outlined by Executive Order or as identified by the agencies themselves.

StarTwenty-four agencies are listed in the assessment for sustainability.Social entrepreneurs can use the set-up and content of Performance.gov in devising transparency, accountability, and reporting measures.  You can read more about what performance.gov is and the set-up and choice of criteria for reviewing how “green” federal agencies are in the previous posts in this series on Performance.gov.How Do Federal Agencies Score on Sustainability?

The ratings are relayed with green, yellow, and red dots indicating strong compliance (green), intermediate compliance (yellow), non-compliance (red) with target goals.

So, the million dollar question, how did the agencies score for 2010?

The Winners
The following Federal agencies led the pack, featuring green indicators for all criteria:

Strong Showing 
The following agencies had a strong featuring green indicators for 6 out of 7 criteria.

Bottom of the Class
The following agencies rounded the bottom of the group featuring a majority of non-green indicators (i.e. 4 yellow or red indicators)

As you may have read in a previous post, the Obama Administration recently unveiled its new website that provides a ‘score card’ on how government agency is faring according to criteria for redSustainability on Performance.gov: ucing waste and increasing efficiency.One of the areas of focus is sustainability, i.e. how agencies fare as to environmental factors related to emissions, energy use, oil consumption, and building efficiency. Below is a more-detailed look at the criteria.And stay tuned to find out how the agencies actually scored
  
The Federal Government’s Sustainability Report Card: The Criteria

President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 in October 2009. It proposed an integrated strategy for sustainability in the Federal Government–which is named the largest consumer of energy in America–including prioritizing reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions directly and indirectly caused by Federal agencies.  Specifically, it ordered Federal agencies to measure, record, publicly report, and reduce GHG pollution.

Calla lilyPresident Obama followed up with specific GHG reduction goals in 2010. These include reducing direct GHG by 28% by 2020 (Scope 1) and reducing indirect GHG by 13% by 2020 (Scope 2)—which is estimated to yield up to $11 billion in energy cost savings.Performance.gov aims to support these goals by displaying the status of 24 government agencies according to 7 specific criteria which include:

1. Inventory for Scope 1 & 2, greenhouse gas (GHG) Reductions. Scope 1 refers to direct GHG emissions from sources owned/controlled by the Federal agency. Scope 2 refers to direct GHG emissions resulting from generation of electricity, heat, or steam purchased by the Federal agency.

2. Inventory for Scope 3, GHG Reductions. Scope 3 refers to  greenhouse gas emissions from sources not owned or directly controlled by a Federal agency, but that are related to agency activities (i.e. vendor supply chains, delivery services, and employee travel and commuting)

3. Reduction in Energy Intensity. Energy intensity refers to energy consumption per square foot of building space, including industrial or laboratory facilities.

4. Renewable Energy Use. This refers to energy produced by solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or new hydroelectric generation.

5. Reduction in Potable Water Intensity. This refers to potable  water consumption per square foot of building space.

6. Reduction in Fleet Petroleum. This refers to goals outlined to use low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles (including alternative fuel vehicles) and reduce/optimize the number of vehicles in an agency fleet.

7. Use Sustainable Green Buildings. This refers to goals outlined ensuing that all new construction and major renovation/repair/alteration of Federal buildings complies with published guidelines regarding sustainability.

Performance.gov is a new tool for measuring sustainability at the Federal government level. The new site was launched last week by the White House. As explained by Deputy Director for Management and Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients, Performance.gov provides a report card on Sustainability and 7 other key performance areas of the federal government.Understanding this tool can help social entrepreneurs determine how to assess their own organization’s sustainability and offer an example of transparency and accountability.

Sustainability graphic on Performance.gov
Performance.gov: The Purpose

The site aims to promote alignment with goals of cutting waste, through accountability and transparency. Much of the data is not new, but is consolidated for simplified review. Performance.gov, according to its About section, has the purpose of compiling data in a central location to promote actionable change:

“Performance.gov is a central website that provides a window on the Administration’s efforts to deliver a more effective, smarter, and leaner government. The site gives the public, government agencies, Members of Congress, the media, and others a view of the progress underway in cutting waste, streamlining government, and improving performance.”

Additional Resources
  

Online Tool Grades Feds On Efficiency (InformationWeek)
Performance.gov (finally) launches (OhMyGov)

Stay Tuned
  
This post is the first in a three-part series exploring how performance.gov seeks to assess federal agency sustainability. You can read the second installment that relates to what criteria has been used to make the assessment here.  And you can find the third installment, that looks at how the federal agencies scored here.