The White House continues to make sustainability a priority. In October, President Barack Obama issued an executive order setting sustainability goals for federal agencies’ environmental and economic performance, and energy and water efficiency. The federal government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, and purchases more than $500 billion in goods and services per year.

The order, signed Oct. 5, requires federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days; increase energy efficiency; reduce fleet petroleum consumption; conserve water; reduce waste; support sustainable communities; and leverage federal purchasing power to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies.

Among the specific targets are:

• 26 percent improvement in water efficiency by 2020;

• 50 percent recycling and waste diversion by 2015;

• Implementation of the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirements.

To reach these goals, each agency will develop a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that will prioritize actions to meet the targets.