Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Federal Carbon Footprint Tool Released-Building GHG Reduction Planning Module Planned

On August 27, The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced a new version of its GSA Carbon Footprint Tool. GSA offers tool to all federal agencies to assist them in compiling their annual comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and tracking their progress toward achieving their GHG reduction goals. The agency says there is no charge to use this tool.

The new upgrades include advanced analytics features to help users verify data, identify underperforming, and take corrective action. GSA says the redesign was based on extensive internal user experience audits, focus groups, and input from over 30 federal agencies. GSA believes the redesigned tool is easier to navigate, enables users to find and share key information faster, and offers better support for mobile devices. The redesign focuses on helping agencies save time and money associated with implementing GHG reductions under Executive Order 13514.

Highlights of the GSA Carbon Footprint Tool's redesign include:

  • Aligning site navigation with the GHG inventory and reduction process. The Tool is now organized by key tasks—from initial agency site setup to data collection, second-party data verification, DOE FEMP Reporting Portal reporting, GHG reduction planning, and goal tracking.
  • Enabling agencies to seamlessly import building energy data from EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and GSA building and travel data systems. Data can also be downloaded for export to the DOE FEMP Reporting Portal with a single mouse click.
  • Embedding a quality assurance review process that allows agencies to submit their GHG emissions data to agency administrators for second-party review and verification.
  • Allowing agencies to share site and GHG emissions data on the GIS map fosters interagency collaboration for climate adaptation planning; and creating a benchmarking capability lets agencies compare their building energy and GHG emissions performance against other buildings within the portfolio and against industry averages.

GSA plans to release a Building GHG Reduction Planning module by the end of the year that will allow agencies to review the potential cost, payback period, return on investment, and GHG emissions reductions associated with building energy conservation measures. This feature will incorporate money-saving strategies in the initial planning processes so that agencies can focus their efforts on the implementation phases.

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