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Sustainability policy orders set to “Green” DOT

Sustainability policy orders set to “Green” DOT

I am very proud to report that DOT has made great progress with sustainability over the last several years.

Through the hard work and innovation of our employees, and commitment from each of the Operating Administrations (OAs), we have transformed our Department—rising from the bottom to the top half of all federal agencies —with our sustainability performance. Our remarkable progress is captured on the Department’s annual OMB Energy and Sustainability Scorecard, where we have gone from a majority of red scores to a majority of green scores in three years.

Graphic depicting a green cartoon truck with a leaf for exhaust

DOT is committed to incorporating sustainability principles into our policies, operations, investments, and research as we work to improve the national transportation system. 

Looking ahead, we must continue on this path to sustainability. The ever-evolving policy landscape means that the finish line for sustainability is always moving. We must build on our great progress and push forward. To guide this process, DOT has finalized a suite of nine Sustainability Policy Orders and is communicating them broadly to our employees. This is the first major overhaul and clarification of the numerous sustainability requirements that apply to DOT in over a decade. The policy orders impact all aspects of the Department’s operations, from sustainable buildings, to its vehicle fleet, to green purchasing.

These policies will allow us to build on the significant progress made by employees who enthusiastically made changes in their everyday activities to further sustainability and improve efficiency.

For example, our fleets increased alternative fuel use by more than 200,000 gallons in three years, along with a 600,000 gallon reduction in petroleum consumption. Many of our Operating Administrations have created standard contract and statement of work language templates to help us green procurements. The majority of employee workstations are now set up to be power managed, and double-sided printing is the default setting on most of our printers. Finally, employee initiatives at DOT facilities have decreased water consumption 24% per square foot (compared to a 2007 baseline) and energy intensity 19% (compared to a 2003 baseline).

These are important accomplishments that put DOT in a great position to meet more ambitious sustainability targets. However, employees and partners must continue to ask themselves, “What can I do to integrate environmental, economic, and social considerations into day-to-day operations?”

As we roll-out these new policies, I am confident that this framework, combined with the dedication of our employees, will help us to lead federal agencies on sustainability.

Brodi Fontenot serves as DOT's Assistant Secretary for Administration, Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO), and Senior Sustainability Officer (SSO). 

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