White House releases federal workforce to-do list to meet green government goals

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The Biden administration is instructing agencies on how to bolster the federal workforce to achieve its green government goals.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality issued guidelines this week directing agencies and the federal government as a whole to “develop new resources, training, and systems to equip and inspire the federal workforce.” “.

“Agencies should develop, conduct, support and promote training, education and engagement activities that equip their workforce with the necessary skills and tools…

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The Biden administration is instructing agencies on how to bolster the federal workforce to achieve its green government goals.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality issued guidelines this week directing agencies and the federal government as a whole to “develop new resources, training, and systems to equip and inspire the federal workforce.” “.

“Agencies should develop, conduct, support and promote training, education and engagement activities that equip their workforce with the skills and tools necessary to achieve EO sustainability goals,” said writes the CEQ in its guidelines.

The guidelines also outline the steps agencies must take to align with the administration’s ultimate goal of achieving net zero emissions across all federal operations by 2050.

To achieve this goal, the administration expects agencies to source 100% carbon pollution-free electricity on a net annual basis by 2030, purchase only zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and achieve net zero emissions in all federal buildings by 2045.

The CEQ said the agency’s actions mandated in its guidelines will lay the foundation “for a decade of action to reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions from federal operations and fostering greater sustainability across government.

“Achieving these ambitious commitments requires action from every agency, starting today,” CEQ wrote.

CEQ says it will decide on metrics to track the development of a climate and sustainability-focused workforce no later than FY2023, in partnership with the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management.

OPM, meanwhile, is working on a report analyzing the role of the federal workforce in climate adaptation and sustainability. The next report will specifically examine the state of the agency’s commitment, employee training, and leadership capabilities needed to achieve the administration’s green government goals.

The guidelines call on all agencies to develop human capital planning strategies to achieve the goals of the executive order and to provide measures to achieve those goals.

This includes integrating sustainability and climate action goals into employee performance plans, as well as identifying the “staff, training and associated resources needed to implement and achieve the goals” of the Executive Decree.

Goals of Sustainable Federal Buildings

The administration requires all new major federal construction and building retrofit projects under design in fiscal year 2022 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, “and, where possible,” to become zero water and net waste buildings.

“The goal is to increase efficiency, optimize performance, reduce emissions, encourage the responsible use of materials and resources, ensure the health of occupants, reduce waste and ‘increase the agency’s resilience and adaptation to climate risks,’ the guide states.

This requirement applies to federal buildings and retrofit projects that encompass more than 25,000 gross square feet. Agencies are expected to track progress towards this goal annually.

New federal buildings under construction must also meet or exceed the government’s sustainable design and operating principles.

“Energy efficiency, electrification, onsite renewables, and onsite energy storage can support the agency’s efforts to meet both federal green building requirements and emissions goals. net zero,” says the guide.

The CEQ directs agencies to use sustainable building materials for the construction and retrofit of federal buildings, and to include the charging infrastructure necessary to support a fleet of all-electric federal vehicles.

The guidelines also outline considerations for agencies to take into account when planning new facilities. This includes ensuring that federal facilities integrate with existing local infrastructure and ensuring wide access to public transit.

“It is the federal government’s policy to promote sustainable locations for federal workplaces and to enhance the vitality and livability of the communities in which they are located,” the guide states.

The administration is also directing agencies to optimize their leased real estate and consolidate office space where possible, to “avoid unnecessary real estate expenditures and reduce emissions, energy and water consumption.” and waste”.

Resources under the Reduction of Inflation Act

The guidance will also help set in motion the agency’s action under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.

The $740 billion legislation provides multi-year hiring and training investments in several agencies, including the Department of the Interior and its National Parks Service, the Department of Energy, the environment, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the CEQ.

The legislation gives the Postal Service $3 billion to purchase electric vehicles and install the charging infrastructure to support them at facilities owned or leased by the USPS.

The General Services Administration would receive $975 million to support emerging sustainable technologies, and an additional $250 million to convert federal facilities into “high-performance green buildings.”

The GSA would also receive $2.15 billion for low-carbon materials in the construction and retrofit of federal buildings, particularly those that “have significantly lower levels of intrinsic greenhouse gas emissions” per compared to industry standard materials, as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, which already serves as the coordinating body for projects under the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure law, would receive $350 million for environmental review improvements.

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