Guidance for Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Inventories

As part of President Obama's Executive Order 13514, which calls on Federal agencies and departments to lead by example in increasing sustainability and energy-efficiency across the Federal Government, agencies are required to report and reduce greenhouse gas pollution to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets. GHG emissions serve as a useful metric to measure the effectiveness of agency energy and fuel efficiency efforts as well as renewable energy investments. 

In 2010, President Obama announced a Federal Government-wide target of a 28 percent reduction by 2020 in direct GHG emissions, such as those from fuels and building energy use, and a target 13 percent reduction by 2020 in indirect GHG emissions, such as those from employee commuting and landfill waste.  Combined, these two goals could result in a cumulative reduction of 101 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the emissions from 235 million barrels of oil.  Meeting Federal agency GHG pollution reduction targets is estimated to result in a cumulative $8 billion to $11 billion in avoided energy costs through 2020.

Federal departments and agencies will achieve GHG pollution reductions through a combination of efforts, including becoming more energy efficient, reducing petroleum used in government fleets, and increasing its use of renewable energy.

Guidance for Federal Government Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting

In October 2010, The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released Guidance on Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting that establishes Government-wide requirements for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with Federal agency operations.

The  Guidance serves as the Federal Government’s official Greenhouse Gas Protocol and was used by Federal agencies to develop their GHG inventories. Federal agencies are required to submit GHG inventories annually beginning in January of 2011, as called for in the Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (Executive Order 13514) signed by President Obama on October 5, 2009.

In June 2012, CEQ finalized an update to the guidance based on recommendations from an interagency work group co-chaired by the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program, the Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read the Revised Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Guidance
Read the Technical Support Document