Thursday, June 9, 2011
Julie Malone 4237
Final Paper Assignment
May 28, 20111
With gasoline prices on the rise, the expansion of renewable energy (RE) must be a priority in Colorado. However, it may not be that simple. People are now realizing alternative methods, such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, tidal, and wave, need to be used as the cost of energy and fossil fuel skyrocket. The purpose of this paper is to provide information of whether RE in Colorado will grow and create jobs in order to attract qualified people to the State. I will address Colorado's current energy use, generation resources being used, current state of RE generation, renewable technology, projected growth of energy demand, RE potential (current, future, and barriers), and policies to overcome.
Current Energy Use
Colorado’s population has grown to 5.0 million people as of 2010, ranking the state 22nd largest in the United States. The total current energy use (in Trillion Btu) is 1,498 (304 million Btu per capita) as of 2008:
- Fossil Fuels: Coal (385.4), Natural Gas (508.5), Petroleum (496.2) (89.8 million barrels of oil)
- Renewable Energy (81.7)
- Net Interstate Flow of Electricity (26.2)
That breaks down for (in billion Btu) residential (350.1), commercial (300.2), industrial (412.5), and transportation (435.3) (EAI 2011).
Generation Resources Being Used
Coal at 3,045 thousand Megawatt hours (MWh) and natural gas at 826 thousand MWh fired power plants dominate electricity generation in Colorado. The state produces coal from both underground and surface mines, primarily in its western basins (Sand Walsh, Piceance, Paradox, and San Juan), and ships and markets it throughout the United States (U.S.). Colorado also brings in coal, primarily from Wyoming, to supplement local production. Colorado is a top natural gas-producing State with an output accounting for over five percent of U.S. natural gas production. Coalbed methane (unconventional natural gas produced from coal seams) accounts for over forty percent of Colorado's natural gas production and almost thirty percent of all coalbed methane produced in the U.S. (EIA 2009, 2011).
Petroleum-fired electricity generation is 1 thousand MWh, which accounts for only 0.1% share of the U.S. total. Colorado has enormous deposits of oil shale rock (marlstone) in The Green River Formation, a group of basins in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah that holds an estimated 1 trillion barrels of oil. However, there are no plans for the construction of commercial oil shale production facilities in Colorado. Hydroelectric (200 thousand MWh) and wind power (200 thousand MWh) facilities account for most of the State’s renewable electricity generation. However, much of Colorado’s substantial RE potential remains to be developed (EIA 2009, 2011).
Current State of Renewable Energy Generation
As of 2009, Colorado ranked relatively low in RE generation. In August 2009, a proposal was made for a biomass plant to be located in Vail that would use the thousands of trees that were recently killed by pine beetles to create a new sustainable source of energy. The proposed plant would reduce carbon emissions and forest fires in addition to creating a reliable source of energy that is likely to last at least ten years (EIA 2009). The latest data from EIA (2011) for Colorado, released April 2011, shows Total Renewable Net Generation to be 5,324 MWh generating from primarily wind (3,221 MWh) and hydro conventional (2,039 MWh), with small quantities of other biomass (37 MWh), solar (18MWh), and MSW/landfill gas (8 MWh).
Barriers for Renewable Energy Generation
The main barriers for RE generation include price competitiveness and regulations. Others are:
- Unfavorable utility rate structures (rate increases) may increase unless energy is carefully monitored;
- Absence of standard interconnection rules, uniform procedures, and technical requirements can make it difficult or impossible for renewable systems to connect to the electric utility's grid;
- Necessary environmental permits for large-scale technology at major industrial facilities and officials are familiar with the environmental effects of the generation processes;
- Many renewable resources are located in remote areas that lack ready or cost–effective access to transmission (EPA 2011).
Barriers to clean energy are not financial, but rather the bureaucratic red tape put forward by a system that was designed for an outmoded energy paradigm. It involves complex environmental studies, permitting issues, and water laws. Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) has partnered with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to streamline permitting of small hydro projects in existing conduits in the state (Konrad 2011).
Colorado Renewable Energy Technology
Despite fierce competition from other regions of the U.S., Colorado is a disproportionately large player in the renewable energy industry. Colorado’s gross state product accounts for only about 1.7% of the U.S. GDP, but in 2007 Colorado had roughly 6% of the wind and photovoltaics market, and 5% of the biofuels market. Hottest sectors include: wind, solar thermal, solar photovoltaics, fuel cells, biofuel, R&D (federal government), recycling, energy efficient windows/doors and green building (ASES 2009).
In 2010 clean technology was the only sector within the state to grow with 1,600 companies employing more than 19,000 workers. According to Tom Clark, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation’s executive vice president, more than 20 wind and solar businesses, manufacturers, and developers such as Aluwind, juwi Solar Inc, and REpower Systems are looking at the state to expand their operations have announced they would expand or relocate to Colorado. The largest committer is Vestas, the Denmark-based manufacturer of wind turbines, will invest more than $1 billion at four Colorado plants in Windsor, Brighton, and Pueblo. Renewable Energy Systems Americas, Inc. (RES Americas) established its North American base in Broomfield in 2008 (Rascalli 2011).
Projections for growth in energy demand going out to 2030
The vast majority of jobs created by RE&EE include: electricians, truck drivers, welders, machinists, roofers, accountants, cashiers, software engineers, civil engineers and energy efficient construction and energy audit specialists. RE&EE is an effective job creation mechanism, generating 70% or more than 2.5 times as many jobs per revenue as the oil and gas sector.
On August 26, 2010 Governor Bill Ritter sent out a press release announcing that 23 New Energy Economic Development (NEED) grants: $2.2 million funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to recipients across Colorado for RE&EE projects that will help create and retain jobs, strengthen local economies, and save money and energy in communities, school districts and nonprofits (.
Renewable Energy Potential, Now and Future
Renewable energy has a strong support team in Colorado. Organizations such as
Policies Overcome Barriers
In March 2010, Governor Ritter signed House Bill (HB) 1001 to increase Colorado’s renewable energy standard (RES) from 20% to 30% by 2020. The law opens up a new frontier of RE investment and jobs in Colorado, creating an expansive market for increased development of solar, energy, agricultural biomass and other innovative technologies. By mandating a renewable target of 2020, the RES enforces corresponding reductions in fossil fuel use, and at the same time, the creates a market that attracts new jobs and business investment in emerging renewable technologies to the state (.
Mary Broderick, a Renewable Energy Agent with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 68, believes that this legislation makes Colorado a leader in clean energy as well as a leader in ensuring that workers are adequately trained and safe as everyone works together to make the New Energy Economy a reality. IBEW worked closely with the Colorado Solar Energy Industry Association to arrive at policy that makes sense for the workforce, contractors and consumers.
For large-scale RE resources, such as wind farms and solar thermal facilities, the new RES law directs the state utilities commission to consider “best value” factors affecting employment and the economic health of Colorado communities when approving resource plans. Factors include:
- Availability of apprenticeship programs;
- Employment of Colorado workers;
- Long-term career opportunities;
- Industry-standard wages, health care, and pension benefits.
This creative approach was the product of close collaboration between environmental and labor members of the Colorado Apollo Alliance (.
Over the last several years Colorado has done much at the state level to give Counties a framework and a "toolbox" to pursue and develop RE&EE programs leading to innovations not yet occurring at other levels of government. Local level policies and citizen efforts need to be tracked to promote RE&EE. The Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES 2011) created “The Colorado Local Clean Energy Policy Guide” to showcase and monitor innovations and activities, and to better understand the opportunities for advancing RE&EE projects within each County, and to provide individuals, businesses, and organizations with resources and ideas. CRES Policy Committee identified the State’s 64 county governments, 29 municipal utilities and 22 rural electric associations as some of the key players in local energy policy development. In the summer of 2010, the committee members created a survey of five open-ended questions, designed to allow each organization to tell its story and demonstrate the unique nature of resources and projects in its region:
- What policies, incentives, programs or new ideas within the area are related to renewable energy, efficiency and sustainability?
- Has the organization supported any type of resource assessments or feasibility studies to advance projects?
- What finance innovations or partnerships in the area support renewable energy, efficiency and sustainability?
- Any actual, new, or projected renewable energy or efficiency projects in the area?
- Organizational barriers and/or what policies are needed to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the area?
Renewable energy is becoming vital to the growth of the State of Colorado and to this country. HB 1001 has made it possible for this state to create RE jobs to attract qualified, skilled people to restore the economy. After examining Colorado's current energy use, generation resources being used, current state of RE generation, renewable technology, projected growth of energy demand, RE potential (current, future, and barriers) and policies, this paper concludes that Colorado will create the jobs, it is just a matter of counties and companies allowing growth and having confidence in the job market and hiring workers.
American Solar Energy Society (ASES). 2008. Renewable energy and energy efficiency generate nearly 90,000 jobs in Colorado.
Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES). 2011. Colorado local clean energy policy guide. http://www.cres-energy.org/documents/LocalPolicyGuide-20110420-CRES_Final.pdf
. 2011. Colorado Energy News. Metro Denver EDC touts state’s cleantech growth. http://coloradoenergynews.com/2011/05/metro-denver-edc-touts-cleantech-growth/ (accessed May 25, 2011).
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2008. Consumption, price, and expenditure Estimate. http://www.eia.gov/emeu/states/ hf.jsp?incfile=sep_sum/plain_html/sum_btu_1.html (accessed June 30, 2010).
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2009. Analysis. http://www.eia.gov/state/state-energy-profiles-analysis.cfm?sid=CO (accessed May 26, 2011).
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2011. Colorado renewable electricity profile. http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/ state_profiles/colorado.html (accessed May 26, 2011).
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2011. Data. http://www.eia.gov/ state/state-energy-profiles-data.cfm?sid=CO (accessed May 26, 2011).
Thursday, February 17, 2011
EPM 4232 Sustainability Policy and Practice
November 17, 2010
Creating a sustainable plan is not a simple task. It takes seriously thought and consideration of ideas of how one can help the environment, obtain a reasonable ecological footprint, and provide substance to future generations. This sustainable plan begins with a definition, family background, why a sustainable plan is necessary, eight planned goals to achieve, needed resources, timetable, costs, environmental and social benefits, obstacles, and concluding with an ideal outcome.Sustainable Plan
A sustainability plan is about developing a process to create a stronger environment, social responsibility, and be bottom-line driven. It is assuring continuous functioning and growth of this planet. Society needs to minimize resource use and maximize resource efficiency allowing future generations to have part of the enjoyment process. Sustainability entails critical resource, and environmental, social and economic components. We need to manage the earth’s resources and get rid of air pollution.
One way of looking at personal sustainability is not dumping one’s personal “pollution” on the next generation. When we are living, we are often hoarders and never get a chance to de-clutter our lives. We often have to die before we release our clutter. This does not benefit our relatives or friends at all since they have the burden of cleaning up our mess, where it becomes a curse. There is not enough money in the world that can help the mental and physical anguish of cleaning up someone’s clutter.
This sustainable plan is about my family and providing various ways we can improve the sustainability of our home. This class is about sustainability, and what a better way of grasping the concept than starting with one’s personal life. I found it time to de-clutter my life and my home. I learned about personal sustainability the hard way: watching grandparents that lived through the Great Depression hoard clothes, chemicals, food, hardware, and wood for over forty years. After their death, I realized there were other folks out there just like them; afraid to throw anything away because they “might need it someday”. That day never arrived but was a learning lesson for me to create a sustainable plan to become eco-friendly.
Why a Sustainability plan is Needed
A sustainable plan is needed when we accumulate years’ worth of “stuff” that could be passed on to another in need. My husband, John, and I accumulated over 40 years worth of stuff. We also inherited my mother’s clutter after her death in March 2009. Being sustainable helps with our environmental footprints; I recently took a test of my footprint and I use three earths just with my needs. I believe that every family is like a little company since we use chemicals, products, electricity, office supplies, food, and dispose of unwanted items. We are all a part of an environmental meltdown (Hart 2010, 8). American families have become consumerists by purchasing electronics, vehicles, clothing and demanding material items. We use raw materials and fossil energy in order to ship products and service. As individual families we contribute to air emissions, dead zones, and waste management by the products we purchase.
Families are used to the industrial revolution with cheaper cars and appliances. The new way of being sustainable is purchasing and using products that will last for years. Similar to a company, families also believe in the “Great Trade-Off Illusion” (Hart 2010, 23) since we believe that we must sacrifice finances to meet social obligations. However, this is not true. We do not need to believe in the make, take, and waste philosophy in a sustainable world. Our lives have become more efficient and we believe in recycling our unwanted items.
When examining at our stuff, I realized that we are part of a non-sustainable consumer-based society. We have extra computer hardware and miscellaneous gadgets for the “just in case days”.
- The first critical step in the sustainability plan is to assess, identify and inventory our lifestyle, activities, and hobbies to determine the associated environmental impacts.
Define Goals and Targets
- For those actions that have a potential to cause an impact to the environment, I will need to develop goals and targets for the reduction or elimination of the associated negative environmental impacts. I need to maintain balance between my personal lifestyle while taking into account economic, environmental, and social costs and benefits.
Action Plans and Monitoring Plans
- I will develop an action plan and monitor my family on a daily basis. If such plans need implemented, goals and targets can be edited per my schedule allows. The monitoring plans will measure progress toward meeting sustainability goals.
- Each action plan contains implementation initiatives with general actions that will reduce my family’s impact on the environment.
I will use Word documents, along with dates and actions taken to monitor performance.
Goals and Objectives - Realistic and Idealistic
The main goal for this sustainable plan is to get rid of unsustainable products in the house as much as possible, recycle unneeded items, or give away items that we no longer need. Companies and homes are similar; every company has departments, every home has rooms.
Goal 1: Eco-friendly cleaning products
Increase use of 100% environmentally-friendly products by end of FY 2010
- Change laundry detergent to Seventh Generation®, (Seventh Generation 2010) to help with environmentally-friendly ingredients and positive impact on the environment.
- Hair and body products that is earth-friendly and better on the hair such as Burt’s Bees® Products (Burtsbees 2010).
- Dawn® dishwashing soap (Dawn-dish 2010) for cleaning dishes and help the wildlife at the same time. Seventh Generation® also produces dish soap.
- Green Works® All-purpose 97% naturally derived cleaner instead of national brands for cleaning purposes (Green Works 2010).
Goal 2: Energy-efficient
Decrease electricity costs up to 75% by end of FY 2010
- Replace regular light bulbs (incandescent) with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).
- We can save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime.
- Use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and lasts up to 10 times longer.
- Produce about 75% less heat, so it's safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling (Energy Star 2010).
- Replace regular holiday light bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) technology (Hart 2010 p 160).
- LED is extremely energy-efficient (80-90 percent more efficient than incandescent), last 8-10 years, and are durable.
Goal 3: Water Use Efficiency and Management
Obtain healthy drinking water immediately
The mission is to compare Highlands Ranch’s water quality (Highlands Ranch 2009) to a more healthy and environmentally-friendly water, Culligan® (2010) for our water supply.
- Highlands Ranch treats and monitors its water through fluoride and chlorine, yet it tastes similar to “soap”, which could be caused by either the district water or apartment complex’s pipes.
- Culligan, on the other hand, uses the Aqua-Cleer® Drinking Water System, the most innovative water filtration system available today. The system features 13 interchangeable water filters that enable the system to be customized to address specific water problems and offers filters that reduce a wide-range of impurities, including sediment, chlorine, lead, radium, and arsenic. We will receive water delivered (20 pound bottles) on a bi-monthly basis. This service will save on the cost of single-serve bottles ($1.00 each) of water and plastic from ending up in landfills, not to mention offers a healthier alternative from drinking sugary drinks.
Goal 4: Downsize and Reduce Goods
The mission is to organize and reduce personal items in the home and garage to better fit our needs and live more functionally by the end of summer 2011. Clutter is visual pollution and tends to keep your mind busy by avoiding life. We need to focus on the important things in life and not on accumulated stuff.
Implementation Method: Organize all items into four categories: Keep, toss, recycle, and donate. Items to be kept: place in container and label. Toss: big garbage bag. Recycling items will need to be separated into paper, metal, cardboard, glass, and plastic. Donated items can be separated by either Goodwill, Cancer Society, Freecycle™ (Yahoo group), and any other organizations.
- Unwanted vitamins, office supplies, hair products, magazines, food, clothing can be offered on Freecycle™ to provide free items to other family in need.
- Outdated newspapers and magazines, glass, and plastics can be put in recycle bin to help save on landfills.
- Donate wigs, hair pieces and accessories to the American Cancer Society to help cancer survivors.
- Donate fabric to the local hospitals for quilt-making (end of life quilts).
Goal 5: Organize Food
Decrease hoarding for end of FY 2010
Being sustainable means only having enough food that feeds a family now, without hoarding, and giving away excess supply. My husband and I designed an Excel spreadsheet and inputted all of the food supply (canned, boxed, or jars) we possess, organized the food on shelves in order by categories, and will give unwanted food to either food shelters or advertise them on Freecycle™ for others to enjoy. Badly outdated food will either be used immediately or discarded. Foods that are not really necessary will be used up first and not repurchased until we need them for specific meals.
Goal 6: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals
Reduce pollution as a continuous goal
While taking a class on sustainable transportation, one of my assignments was to browse the grocery store’s produce section to learn where and how far fruits and vegetables originated from to arrive at my local store. To my surprise, the major countries include Indonesia and Mexico, but very few from Colorado. This experience taught me to look for locally grown food to be more sustainable.
The goal of organizing our food thereby helps with menu preparation. Also, if food is hidden, it costs money to replace the item and unneeded pollution in the air from driving, when a simple inventory can tell us what we have or haven’t got on hand.
Goal 7: Grow Our Own Vegetables
My sustainable plan will include growing my own fruits and vegetables for Spring of 2011. First, my porch will need protected from prying neighbors; chicken wire held my four large wooden sticks will be appropriate. I will purchase various types of vegetation that will grow in a small area (5 x 10 feet) such as tomatoes, lettuce, and bell peppers. My plan will include a watering can, planting dirt, pots, and fertilizer for a safe and happy growth.
Goal 8: Reduce Paper
Clutter and visual pollution
My plan includes organizing paperwork such as past statements and college research, scan important information, shred confidential information, and deposit in recycle bin by Summer 2011.Resources Needed
The sustainability plan will require the following items: a laptop with an Internet connection, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, various size bags, cell phone, shredder, and a vehicle (when necessary).
Overall Plan and Timetable
The overall plan and timetable for my sustainable plan will be immediate, continuous, and up to a year to complete, depending on weather and school requirements as well as unforeseen handicaps.
Anticipated Dollar Costs: Short Term, Long Term
The only dollar costs anticipated will be the cost of grocery shopping. All other items I already own, including CFL bulbs and LED Christmas lights. Unanticipated costs will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
My sustainable plan will contribute less to landfills and provide other families with extra household items for free. Using environmental-friendly soaps will help with the already eroded sewer systems and any water runoffs that end up in the ocean. Electricity and fuel savings will reduce air pollution significantly. Growing our own vegetables will also reduce fuel (transportation) costs and pollution.
Anticipated Social Benefits
The anticipated social benefits will involve helping people and organizations through household donations. Wigs and hair accessories will help women cancer survivors. Clothing donated to organizations, such as Goodwill, will help train employees, provide jobs, and clothe others in need. Giving to Freecycle™ will provide others in need of food, clothes, and appliances for free.
Largest Potential Obstacles
The largest potential obstacles facing my sustainability plan are time, school, and proper organization. I need to use my time management accordingly in order to re-organize my home and accomplish all of my goals. I will need to schedule my sustainability plan around my college classes. Organization will play an important key in my sustainability plan.Ideal Outcome
This sustainability plan focuses on nature’s economy since items in my household are going to be reused or recycled, instead of just throwing out items while other people have to rely on the money economy and purchasing nonsustainable products (Hart 2010, 58). The ideal outcome is to decrease my family’s environmental footprint, so that we are using less than one earth instead of three.References
Burt’s Bees. 2010. Shampoos. http://www.burtsbees.com/natural-products/hair-shampoos/ (accessed October 24, 2010).
Centennial Water and Sanitation District. 2009. 2009 Highlands Ranch water quality report. Highlands Ranch. http://www.highlandsranch.org/
03_p&os/osicfiles/CCR09.pdf (accessed November 12, 2010).
Culligan. 2010. Products. http://www.culligan.com/en/faq/. (accessed October 24, 2010).
Dawn. 2010. Products. http://www.dawn-dish.com/en_US/home.do (accessed October 24, 2010).
Energy Star. 2010. Light bulbs (CFLs) for consumers. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=LB (accessed October 24, 2010).
Green Works. 2010. All-purpose cleaner. http://www.greenworkscleaners.com/products/all-purpose-cleaner/ (accessed October 24, 2010).
Hart, Stuart. 2010. Capitalism at the crossroads. New Jersey: Wharton School Publishing.
Seventh Generation. 2010. Laundry. http://www.seventhgeneration.com/Green-Cleaning (accessed October 24, 2010).
From: Julie Malone
(Submitted as Midterm Examination Paper for University of Denver
graduate seminar 4232 "Sustainability: Policy and Practice," Arthur H.
Date: November 24, 2010
Subject: The Institute of Museum and Library Services Sustainability Plan
This is in response to a request from the Executive Office regarding comments on The Institute of Museum and Library Services Sustainability Plan.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums with a mission to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. The IMLS is strongly committed to supporting and complying with the Federal Executive Order 13514 (White House 2009), which mandates agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with meeting a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets for sustainability. As required in the executive order, the agency director has appointed the Chief Information Officer, a member of the senior executive team, to serve as Senior Sustainability Officer (SSO). With that said the IMLS has numerous current and planned initiatives that strongly support sustainability.
The IMLS have set realistic goals and objectives that can be accomplished:
- Goal 1 Convert to environmentally-green office space
The first goal of greenhouse gas reduction is to develop and maintain an agency comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory, high-performance sustainable design / green buildings, regional and local planning, and water use efficiency and management. The agency manages no fleets nor owns any buildings, but instead leases private office space through a General Service Administration (GSA) long-term lease agreement. IMLS has a staff of approximately 70 FTE’s and 8 contractors, in which all employees and contractors occupy a single floor of leased space and have no field offices. Two years prior to the end of the current lease for office space (2013), the IMLS will initiate a project to find leased space in an Environmentally Green building that will need to meet the minimum requirements of the Executive Order.
The Federal Executive Order 13514 requires a 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020. IMLS needs to provide information of what the agency plans to do about water use efficiency and management. In comparison, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) uses water-saving devices for potable water sources in their building. ACHP also mentioned having renewable electricity goals as it will take steps to reduce its consumption of non-renewable energy. IMLS needs to follow in ACHP’s steps and push their goals of reducing or converting non-renewable energy to a more efficient type of energy. The Federal Executive Order 13514 is implementing a net-zero-energy building requirement by 2030.
- Goal 2 Telework, reduce commuting, increase webcasting
For the second goal of greenhouse gas reduction, IMLS will encourage the increasing use of telework by having the Human Resources Director take lead in addressing the existing telework policy to revise it to provide greater flexibility for managers and staff, and review the technology tools used to support remote access.
Note: Nearly 25% of the agency staff telework regularly and will be provided a laptop in lieu of desktop systems and be required to use a virtual private network (VPN) that allows secure remote access from any internet access point. This exchange will be scheduled during the desktop refreshment at the end of FY10 or beginning of FY11.
The IMLS will continue to promote the use of alternative modes of transportation for its commuters other than those that produce greenhouse gases. The agency plans to maintain their current usage level for public transportation, which is at 87% of staff. This percentage is a little lower than the ACHP at 93%, but still a positive move toward helping with greenhouse reduction. This percentage may be lower due to the fact that IMLS encourages employees to telework instead of commuting to work.
IMLS can help reduce greenhouse gases from flying by using webcasting extensively when engaging constituents around the country and reducing staff travel requirements.
The end goal will be to use telework effectively one day per week for at least 50% of all staff over the next three years. This will help the teleworkers balance quality of life and work life, not to mention human factors of less stress and improved personal health. While not measured by the agency, by using increased telework greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. By having teleworkers it will reduce energy, water and disposable waste that were being wasted by occupied leased office space. While the goal of 50% of all staff teleworking at least one day per week is laudable, to better meet the outlines of Goal 2 and Goal 3 greenhouse gas reductions, this could realistically be increased substantially; potential telework penetration in the IMLS could be 75%-80% of employees’ teleworking up to five days per week without needing to occupy office space through the reduction and/or elimination of paper files, increased use of webcasting, and the use of SmartPhone technologies.
The above goals alone will help the federal target mandate of reducing greenhouse gases (from energy use and other sources) to meet its target of 28% and indirectly by another 13% by 2020, including attributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
IMLS’s CIO office is working with the federal IT community on the Data Center Consolidation Plan and is planning to consolidate the closet data center via interagency agreement or with a private partner over the next two years.
- Goal 3 Reduce printing and emailing large files
The third goal of greenhouse gas reduction, reduce printing and emailing of large files, will be lead by the Office of the Chief Information.
The new implemented method will be to develop a centralized printing station for groups of 4-5 employees; develop centralized location for posting agency documents and train staff on using a central shared location; set limit for size of internal email attachments, as appropriate.
A printer consolidation plan will be established over the next two years as the agency moves forward with plans to reduce the employee to printer ratio. The current ratio (staff to printer) of standalone printers is 1.1. The goal will be to improve this ratio to 5 to 1 over the next two years. Consolidating printers will help save funds on materials and services and as an expense on the federal budget.
Along with decreased printer use, ACHP increased use of uncoated printing and writing paper containing at least 30% postconsumer fiber (in accordance to the required Executive Order) and reduced in-house printing paper use by changing default settings on distributed printers and copiers to double-sided printing. I would recommend IMLS to add switching paper products and using double-sided printing to save on paper costs to their sustainability goals.
The IMLS Agency Sustainability Plan specifies “Reduce Printing/Emailing of Large Files” under Section 2, Goal 2, Goal B. While the goal mentioned of creating and training employees in the use of a centralized repository for electronic documents is laudable and to be encouraged, it is uncertain how this will reduce or eliminate excess printing of said documents. While emailing large document attachments uses up considerable server storage space and can be seen as a way to prevent having to add additional storage (and hence increase the environmental impact of the electricity consumption as well as the manufacturing, shipping and replacement of said storage), it does not directly address how a centralized storage and retrieval system will prevent employees from printing multiple copies of the same documents, which is the idea behind Sec. 2(e)(iv) of the Executive Order. It is recommended that the IMLS Plan be modified to provide more detail on how policies will be implemented to reduce printing of documents unnecessarily, whether through emailed attachments or a centralized repository.
- Goal 4 Recycling
The Federal Executive Order 13514 requires 50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015. IMLS has a recycling program in place in coordination with building management and has recycling bins stationed throughout the office space. The IMLS will continue to promote its current recycling program. This is an excellent program that most agencies use including ACHP.
Steps to implement this plan will include the following:
- Training on the sustainability plan will be provided for all staff during the next year, and the approved plan will be posted on the agency website.
- The agency director has appointed the Chief Information Officer, a member of the senior leadership team, as the Senior Sustainability Officer (SSO) who will be responsible for overall management of the plan and the related efforts.
- The executive leadership team will be briefed throughout the year by the agency’s SSO on progress, issues, and other factors affecting the plan. The SSO and other members of the executive leadership team will have a statement incorporated into their performance plans identifying their roles in supporting agency sustainability goals.
The executive leadership team will be responsible for reviewing, prioritizing, and determining which agency policies will need updating to reflect initiatives related to sustainability.
- The executive leadership team will be responsible for ensuring that all goals of this plan are integrated into agency projects and plans as appropriate.
- The executive leadership team will be responsible for ensuring that all budgetary needs related to this plan are integrated into agency budget submissions.
- Agency sustainability goals with associated metrics will be updated every six months to measure against past performance and planned goals.
In order to implement the goals of the sustainability plan, The IMLS executive leadership team will own the responsibility for effective implementation of EO 13514. The team will consist of the agency Director, the Deputy Director for Library Programs, the Deputy Director for Museum Programs and Strategic Partnerships, the Deputy Director for the Office of Policy, Planning, Research and Communications, the Chief of Staff, the General Counsel, the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Human Resource, and the Chief Information Officer.
When it comes to budgeting there are always holes that need to be filled or adjusted. For example, as I mentioned earlier, there will be an expense for laptops and VPN’s for the teleworkers in the end of FY10 or the beginning FY11; costs will depend on individual needs and responsibilities, such as a particular software license or upgrade. Time will be the judge on any additional expenditure in the budget.
As for building usage, IMLS should show a decrease in water usage and electricity. I believe the IMLS sustainability plan has potential of accomplishing its requirements as long as executive leadership team meet regularly, keep focused on the plan, and educate employees accordingly. It is my opinion that IMLS can mesh with other agencies quite well considering all of the agencies are working toward the same sustainability goal.
While comparing IMLS to ACHP, I noticed that both agencies have an overall similarity of sustainability plans. It was mentioned that the GSA is focusing on an overall “Zero Environmental Impact” goal. IMLS can stride to accomplish this goal but it will take time for the agency to comply.References:
The White House. 2010. Advisory council on historic preservation. http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/sustainability/
plans (accessed October 16, 2010).
The White House. 2010. Federal leadership in environmental, energy and economic performance - executive order 13514. http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/sustainability (accessed November 16, 2010).
The White House. 2010. Institute of museum and library services agency Sustainability Plan. http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/
eop/ceq/sustainability/plans (accessed October 16, 2010).