Initiatives

Achieving Federal Sustainability Goals through Intelligent Efficiency

As the nation's largest landlord, employer, fleet operator, and purchaser of goods and services, the federal government has the opportunity, if not the responsibility, to lead by example in moving our country in a more economically efficient and environmentally sustainable direction.

Faced with tightening budgets, agencies are looking for new ways to reduce costs and increase productivity, while at the same time meeting a growing list of Congressional and executive mandates to consume less energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Executive Order 13514 (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance) requires each agency to develop a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that sets clear goals and implementation activities.

The expanded use of intelligent efficiency – the application of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to reduce energy consumption – has become an important means of enabling agencies to achieve these multiple objectives. Recent technological developments have created new energy-saving opportunities in the areas of smarter buildings, electricity, transportation and travel substitution. In addition, mobility and collaboration tools offer many opportunities to transform the federal workplace while cutting energy use.rop

Overview Report

In June 2013, Leading by Example 2.0: How Information and Communication Technologies Help Achieve Federal Sustainability Goals, highlights federal agencies’ initial progress in adopting these technologies and outlines steps to overcome barriers to expanded use.

Case Studies

In September 2012, C2ES released a report, Leading by Example: Using Information and Communication Technologies to Achieve Federal Sustainability Goals, presenting eight case studies of federal agencies using smarter technologies to use less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time cutting costs and enhancing productivity. The eight case studies are:

Energy Efficiency Gains through Information Communication Technology

Information and communication technologies provide new tools that can used to enhance energy efficiency and reduce costs.

Faced with tightening budgets and a growing list of congressional and executive mandates to save energy, reduce greenhouse emissions, and enhance sustainability, federal agencies are increasingly turning to ICT to help meet these objectives.

A C2ES analysis, built on a series of case studies of federal agencies, determined that, if widely implemented, information and communication technologies could help agencies meet half of their goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and save more than $5 billion in energy costs through 2020.

These ICT tools include:

  • Sensors and controls to reduce energy use in buildings, which are the source of roughly 80 percent of federal emissions;
  • GPS-based systems to improve vehicle fleet management;
  • Cloud-based email and information technology services; and
  • Enhanced mobility and collaboration tools such as teleworking and teleconferencing to reduce business and training travel.

Our report, Leading by Example 2.0: How Information and Communication Technologies Help Achieve Federal Sustainability Goals, highlights federal agencies’ initial progress in adopting these technologies and outlines steps to overcome barriers to expanded use.

The report builds on our case studies of eight federal agencies: Leading by Example: Using Information and Communications Technology to Achieve Federal Sustainability Goals.

C2ES is a founding member of a new global partnership – ICT for Sustainable Energy (ISEP) – aimed at improving energy efficiency and curbing greenhouse gas emissions through the use of information and communication technologies to achieve the goals of the UN's Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) initiative.

 

For more information about the project, or questions and comments, please contact ict@c2es.org.

 

Additional Resources:

 

State Transportation Officials Meet in Raleigh to Pave Way for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Press Release
June 25, 2012

Contact: Rebecca Matulka, 703-516-0621, matulkar@c2es.org
 

State Transportation Officials Meet in Raleigh to Pave Way for Plug-in Electric Vehicles
 

Transportation officials from eight states are meeting today and tomorrow in Raleigh to develop state-level strategies for accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

The two-day workshop is being co-organized by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) as part of a broader effort with industry, environmentalists, and policymakers to advance PEVs nationwide. The workshop is being hosted by the city of Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center. Speakers include North Carolina Transportation Secretary Gene Conti and Raleigh Mayor Pro Tem Russ Stephenson.

Officials from Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin and from the U.S. Department of Transportation will examine how state transportations departments can help ensure the smooth introduction of the new infrastructure needed for charging electric vehicles. Other participants include representatives of Raleigh and other cities taking the lead on introducing PEVs.

“PEVs are a transformative technology—they offer us a way reduce both our reliance on imported oil and our carbon footprint,” said Judi Greenwald, C2ES’s vice president for technology and innovation. “But to realize this potential, a broad range of stakeholders and policymakers will need to work together. We’re very pleased to be working with these states and others to help make sure that happens.”

"Our goal for this project is to not only help DOTs define their role with respect to electric vehicles, but to create a community of practice so that we can learn from each other and share resources as this rapidly evolving technology comes into the market," said Jeff Doyle, director of public/private partnerships at the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The Raleigh workshop will lead to a new “self-assessment” tool to help state transportation planners understand PEV needs in their states and develop cost-effective strategies to meet them. It follows a similar workshop in March at the University of California, Berkeley.

The workshop is part of a broader C2ES initiative implementing the recommendations of its PEV Dialogue Group, which includes automakers, electric utilities, policy makers, environmental groups and others. In March, the group released An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid, which outlines steps to safeguard grid reliability while ensuring that PEV owners can plug in at home and on the road.  Washington State and Raleigh both participate in the PEV Dialogue Group.

C2ES is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program to help communities across the country assess PEV-related needs such as revising codes and updating permitting processes to smooth the installation of residential and commercial charging stations.

Some PEVs such as the Nissan Leaf run exclusively on rechargeable batteries; others such as the GM Volt couple batteries with gasoline engines that extend their range to that of a conventional vehicle. More than 30,000 PEVs have been sold in the United States since January 2011. Nearly 10 companies now have PEVs on the road, and over the next year or two, all of the major automakers plan to offer them.

More information on this project and the PEV Dialogue Group Initiative is available at www.c2es.org/initiatives/pev.

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About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, long recognized in the United States and abroad as an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues. C2ES is led by Eileen Claussen, who previously led the Pew Center and is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Promoting Low-Carbon Innovation at Rio+20

As Rio+20 negotiators rush to complete a consolidated text of outcomes before heads of state begin arriving tomorrow, participants at hundreds of side events are calling on business and government to take stronger action on clean energy, poverty elimination, food security, oceans, sustainable cities, green technology development, education, and more.

On Sunday at the U.S. Center pavilion, C2ES and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) convened a panel of companies, small-business innovators, and business representatives highlighting the critical roles played by each in promoting low-carbon innovation and sustainable development.

Bringing Lessons in Low-carbon Innovation to Rio+20

Opportunities for low-carbon innovation are growing, driven by policy changes, market shifts, and continued growth in energy demand, particularly in developing countries. This Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the UN’s “Rio+20” Conference on Sustainable Development, C2ES will have a chance to share what it’s learned about low-carbon innovation with partners from around the world.

With the Global Environment Facility (GEF), we will convene a panel of companies (Johnson Controls, DuPont), small-business innovators (from the Cleantech Open), and government and business representatives (from UNIDO and ABDI) to share stories and lessons from the front lines of clean-tech entrepreneurship. The event, to be held at the U.S. Center pavilion, will examine the keys to successful low-carbon innovation, and the benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation, energy security, resource efficiency, and job creation.

C2ES, Citi Unite to Promote Employee Engagement on the Environment

Press Release
June 13, 2012

Contact: Colleen Kredell (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions) 703-516-4146
or Tyler Daluz (Citi) 212-793-5234

 

C2ES, Citi Unite to Promote Employee Engagement on the Environment

New York—Citi and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) today announced a new partnership to raise awareness and mobilize action on energy and climate issues in communities throughout the United States and globally. C2ES will support Citi’s efforts to engage the bank’s employees, their families and members of their communities in conserving energy and achieving other environmental objectives.   

“Citi is a longtime leader in the banking sector in advancing practical solutions to the energy and climate challenges facing the world today,” said Katie Mandes, Vice President for Community Engagement with C2ES. “We are thrilled to be able to help Citi take its environmental commitment to the next level.”  

C2ES has partnered with a range of companies to enable and support employee action at home and in the community to live more sustainably. Through the use of online tools and other resources, as well as hands-on activities and community outreach, C2ES and its corporate partners have directly engaged more than 100,000 people and identified over 80 million pounds of greenhouse gas savings. 

"Citi recognizes the importance of business leadership on environmental issues,” said Pamela Flaherty, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi. “We look forward to working with C2ES to strengthen our employee engagement activities on these vital issues for the future of our communities and our planet.”

The C2ES-Citi partnership will draw on the expertise and the resources of C2ES to strengthen Citi’s employee engagement efforts on sustainability issues. In particular, C2ES will support the work of Citi Green Teams, employee-led groups that promote awareness of sustainability issues and help their colleagues reduce their environmental impact at Citi worksites throughout the world. 

The two organizations’ collaborative efforts will build on a robust program of existing sustainability initiatives at Citi. Citi earned the 2011 Energy Star Partner of the Year award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and in April of this year announced that it had reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 13.6 percent from 2005 levels. In 2010, the company established a set of environmental goals it intends to reach by 2015 through investments in energy efficiency, green buildings, and technology optimization. Among Citi’s goals: reduce the company’s absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent; reduce waste to landfill by 40 percent; and reduce water use by 20 percent.

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About Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. 

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, long recognized in the United States and abroad as an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues. http://www.c2es.org. To find out more about C2ES’s Make an Impact program, visit makeanimpact.c2es.org.

Leveraging Natural Gas to Reduce GHG Emissions

A comprehensive analysis by C2ES concludes that increased natural gas use can help reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the near to medium term, but deeper long-term reductions will require broader deployment of other low-carbon energy sources as well.

"Leveraging Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions" examines the climate challenges and opportunities posed by the current natural gas boom. The report synthesizes information from a series of background papers and workshops in Houston and Boston attended by several dozen experts and representatives of industry, environmental organizations, and state agencies

Among the report’s key findings:

  • U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are back down to mid-1990s levels, in part because electricity generators are using more natural gas, which emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal. Further reductions can be achieved by substituting natural gas for coal and oil in the transportation, manufacturing and building sectors.
  • Simply substituting natural gas will not achieve the deeper emissions cuts needed in the longer term.  Zero-carbon energy sources such as solar, wind and nuclear are critical.  Strong support also is needed to perfect and deploy technologies to capture carbon emissions from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants and bury them underground.

The potential climate benefits of increased natural gas use can be maximized only if further steps are taken throughout the natural gas system to reduce leaks of methane, the principal component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas.

Read the report summary.

Read the full report.

 

Following is a summary of opportunities and challenges identified in the report, and key next steps:

Opportunities

  •     Increased direct use of natural gas in homes and businesses by replacing certain electric appliances, such as space and water heaters, with natural gas models.
  •     Reduced reliance on petroleum and reduced emissions by substituting natural gas for diesel and gasoline in fleets and heavy-duty trucks.
  •     Manufacturing growth with reduced emissions by using natural gas in more efficient combined heat and power systems.
  •     Expanded use of natural gas-powered fuel cells and microturbines producing efficient, on-site energy that makes use of waste heat.

Challenges

  •     Funding expensive infrastructure to deliver natural gas to more homes and businesses.
  •     Ensuring that natural gas complements -- not crowds out -- zero-carbon energy such as nuclear, wind, and solar.
  •     Overcoming regulatory hurdles and a lack of incentives for on-site (distributed) power generation.
  •     Identifying and addressing methane leaks from the production, transmission, and distribution of natural gas.

Next steps

  •     Educating consumers about the full-fuel-cycle efficiency of natural gas appliances.
  •     Encouraging innovative funding models and incentives to extend natural gas lines to consumers and promote on-site power generation.
  •     Informing manufacturers about the increased efficiency and resilience of combined heat and power systems.
  •     Aligning state policies to overcome perceived conflicts between utilities and combined heat and power operations, encourage development of distributed generation technologies such as microturbines, and address the high cost of expanding natural gas infrastructure.

Additional Resources:

 

Video of our launch event

Remarks by Eileen Claussen and Michael Webber

CEO-Level Discission on the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of natural gas

Promoting Clean-Tech Innovation for Low-Carbon Growth

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
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Download presentations from our side event at RIO+20

Opportunities for clean-tech innovations are growing, driven by policy changes, market shifts, and continued growth in energy and resource consumption, particularly in developing regions of the world. The next 20 years will be critical for the development, demonstration and deployment of clean technologies that can support climate mitigation and adaptation, energy security, resource efficiency, job creation, and competitiveness. This panel will feature recent projects and lessons learned in promoting low-carbon and clean-tech innovation and entrepreneurship in both established multinational companies and start-ups. Business leaders will discuss the drivers and strategies for developing solutions that reduce GHG emissions at the same time as they bring bottom-line value, improved efficiency, enhanced performance, or competitive edge in a global marketplace. Innovation experts from business and government will describe the steps that can be taken to recognize and support innovation and entrepreneurs in their countries, including the needs for mentorship and incubation for aspiring innovators and small-medium enterprises.

This RIO+20 side event was held on Sunday, June 17, 2012, from 5:00-6:30 pm at the U.S. Center pavilion. Links to PDFs of the presentations are provided below.

Opening remarks:

  • David Rodgers, Senior Energy Specialist, Global Environment Facility
  • Meg Crawford, Markets Business Strategy Fellow, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Panelists:

  • Clay Nesler, Vice President, Global Energy Sustainability, Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Dawn Rittenhouse, Director, Sustainable Development, DuPont
  • Rex Northen, Executive Director, Clean Tech Open
  • Pradeep Monga, Director, Climate and Energy, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Roberto Alvarez, Agency for Industrial Development in Brazil (ABDI)

This event is organizied by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

NEORI Report Methodology

Analysis for Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery: A Critical Domestic Energy, Economic, and Environmental Opportunity Detailed Methodology and Assumptions

May 2012

Download the full brief (PDF)

Other resources:

Summary:

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and the Great Plains Institute (GPI) conducted an analysis, with extensive input from the participants of National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI), to inform NEORI’s recommendations for a federal production tax credit to support enhanced oil recovery with carbon dioxide (CO2-EOR). In particular, C2ES and GPI explored the implications of the recommendations for CO2 supply, oil production and federal revenue. This document describes the research, assumptions, and methodology used in the analysis. 

 

Introduction:

C2ES and GPI compared the likely cost of a federal tax credit for greater CO2 capture and supply with the federal revenues expected from applying existing tax rates to the resulting incremental oil production. C2ES and GPI quantified two key relationships for CO2-EOR develop-ment and a related tax credit program:

  1. Cost gap – the difference between CO2 suppliers’ cost to capture and transport CO2 and EOR operators’ willingness to pay for CO2. The goal of the tax credit is to bridge the cost gap. Thus, the cost gap determines the expected level of the tax credit in a proposed competitive-bidding process.
  2. Revenue neutrality/revenue-positive outcome - the federal government will bear the cost of a CO2-EOR tax credit program, yet it will enjoy increased revenues from the expansion of CO2-EOR oil production when existing tax rates are applied to the additional production. C2ES and GPI analyzed when the net present value of expected revenues would equal or exceed the net present value of program costs.

C2ES and GPI calculated the tax credit required to bridge the cost gap, and the cost and revenue implica-tions. C2ES and GPI developed input assumptions based on real-world physical and market conditions after consulting with NEORI participants and other industry experts and reviewing available literature. C2ES and GPI developed a core scenario based on “best guess” inputs and conducted several sensitivity analyses of key inputs. C2ES and GPI demonstrated that a program can be designed that will become “revenue positive” (defined as when the federal revenues from ad¬ditional new oil production exceed the cost of a carbon capture tax credit program after applying a discount rate to both costs and revenues) within ten years after tax credits are awarded. Sensitivity analysis reveals that the program remains revenue positive using a realistic range of likely assumptions.

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