U.S. government survey shows uncertainty about America’s sustainability efforts

Written By: Thatcher Michelsen May 2, 2012 0
Almost 50 percent of federal agencies don't have enough financial support to take on sustainability initiatives, respondents said.
Almost 50 percent of federal agencies don't have enough financial support to take on sustainability initiatives, respondents said.

President Barack Obama has made improving the United States' energy efficiency and decreasing its dependence on outside suppliers a priority to his cabinet. Obviously, that's a tough task to address considering how heavy America's reliance on foreign oil is. To get an inside look at this progress the Government Business Council (GBC), with support from Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., conducted a survey of 172 randomly selected federal managers, according to a press release.

Of those respondents, just 40 percent said that the government is currently "leading by example" in energy efficiency compared to other nations. The others indicated that they didn't believe this was the case or were simply unsure. The study also revealed that almost 50 percent of federal agencies don't have enough financial support to take on sustainability initiatives.

"This report highlights the critical linkage between energy efficiency and mission effectiveness. Federal agencies are in a unique position to spearhead energy efficiency efforts and lead by example, not only in reducing energy waste and consumption, but also in reaping significant cost savings for taxpayers," Barbara Humpton, senior vice president of business development at Siemens, said in a statement. "At Siemens, we're committed to helping the federal government achieve unprecedented levels of energy effectiveness, security and independence."

Erin Dumbacher, director of research at the GBC, said that the report also brings attention to the "battle" for notoriety and necessary resources needed in agencies to carry out the president's ideal sustainability standards. There has been progress, however, but she added that with this report, the government can have a good look at the work it has ahead of itself if it wants to "lead by example" in sustainability.

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