Case Studies: Federal Agencies Using IT for Sustainability Goals

Press Release
Sept. 24, 2012
Contact: Laura Rehrmann, 703-516-0621,

C2ES Releases Case Studies of Federal Agencies Using Information and Communications Technologies to Meet Sustainability Goals

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions issued a new report today presenting eight case studies of federal agencies using information and communication technologies to meet the twin challenges of cutting costs and advancing sustainability goals.

The report, Leading by Example: Using Information and Communication Technologies to Achieve Federal Sustainability Goals, was funded by the Digital Energy and Sustainability Solutions Campaign (DESSC). Its findings will be discussed by C2ES Senior Adviser Stephen Seidel at two sessions at the 2012 GreenGov Symposium on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.

The case studies document how the use of smarter technologies enable agencies to use less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time cutting costs and enhancing productivity.

“As the nation’s largest landlord, fleet operator, and purchaser of goods and services, the federal government has both the opportunity and responsibility to lead by example in moving our nation in a more sustainable direction,” said C2ES President Eileen Claussen.

Among the examples in the report:

  • In a pilot project, the General Services Administration redesigned office space at its headquarters in a flexible way that embraced the latest mobility and collaboration tools, reduced the amount of space it needed and cut energy use by 45 percent.
  • To better manage its vehicle fleet, the Smithsonian Institution implemented a state-of-the-art information management system and uses GPS tracking (telematics) to improve the utilization of its fleet, resulting in an 18 percent reduction in the number of its light-duty vehicles.
  • NASA brought space-age technology down to earth in its Sustainability Base office building, which is capable of producing more electricity than it consumes.
  • GSA shifted its email operations from energy-intensive local servers to the cloud, cutting energy costs by 85 percent.

Among the lessons that can be drawn from the case studies is the importance of setting clear, measurable goals and tracking progress toward success.

The eight case studies in the report are:

  • GSA’s Prototype Alternative Workspace: Redesigning the Federal Workplace for the 21st Century
  • Sustainability Base: Channeling NASA’s Expertise to Create a High-Performance Building Here on Earth
  • Defense Connect Online: Advancing Sustainability through Enhanced Collaboration and Communication Tools
  • Shift to the Cloud: Achieving Efficiency through Cloud Computing and Data Center Consolidation
  • Fleet Management at the Smithsonian: Using New Tools to Advance Sustainability and Efficiency
  • Testing New Building Technologies at DoD and GSA: Advancing Energy-Saving Innovations
  • Energy Savings at Sector San Juan: The Coast Guard’s Innovative Shift to Clean Energy in Puerto Rico
  • GSA’s Print Management Initiatives: Cutting Costs and Saving Energy Through Smarter Printing

About C2ES

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan 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.