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Sustainability for DOT Buildings and Operations

The Department recognizes that transportation plays a central role in the solution to tackling the climate crisis. DOT has identified Climate and Sustainability as a strategic goal in its FY 2022-26 Strategic Plan because climate change presents a significant and growing risk to the safety, effectiveness, equity, and sustainability of our transportation infrastructure and the communities it serves. To that end, the Department is working to create a more sustainable agency by reducing the greenhouse gases and other environmental impacts of its buildings and operations.

As outlined in the FY 2022-26 U.S. DOT Strategic Plan, DOT will lead by example to advance environmental sustainability. Through its internal initiatives, DOT promotes a sustainable, clean, and resilient future for employees, buildings, and operations by establishing a path to achieve net-zero emissions from all operations by 2050. To meet the challenge of the climate crisis, this includes eliminating GHG emissions from U.S. DOT buildings, in collaboration with other Federal partners.  

numerous sustainability programs at DOT, such as net-zero emissions operations, climate resilient buildings, energy and water conservation, sustainable acquisition and waste management.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration oversees the development of strategies, communicating, and assisting in the implementation of energy, environmental, and sustainability policies for DOT buildings and operations, which include:

  • Ensuring new light-duty vehicle acquisitions are zero-emission vehicles.
  • Electrifying facility operations where appropriate and shifting to carbon pollution-free electricity.
  • Using procurement policies to prioritize sustainable, low-embodied carbon products and products without harmful pollutants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
  • Building a climate-resilient inventory of facilities and operations.
  • Establishing a climate- and sustainability-focused workforce culture by adding climate training and measures to performance plans where appropriate.
  • Designing, building, or leasing resilient, net-zero emission buildings.
  • Encouraging use of sustainable transportation modes in U.S. DOT personnel work travel and commuting.
The six strategic goals of the U.S. DOT are illustrated as a Venn diagram with icons for each goal. The six goals are as follows with descriptions of the icons: Safety (a person walking along a road or through a crosswalk); Economic Strength and Global Competitiveness (dollar sign and bar graph); Equity (handshake with a gear and people in the background); Climate and Sustainability (wind turbine and solar power with electric plug); Transformation (three interconnected shapes); and Organizational Excellence (bar graph or chart with magnifying glass).

For a summary of current Federal sustainability plans, requirements, priorities, progress and resources, visit the Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer webpage. 

To view the Department’s status on its sustainability goals, see the reports published here (link to reports page).