EPA's Pre-EO 13514 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
In This Section
In October 2009, Executive Order (EO) 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, established the first comprehensive federal requirements for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions quantification and management. Prior to EO 13514, in order to better understand and manage its own GHG emissions footprint, EPA had begun working in 2008 to quantify its GHG emissions and to develop a comprehensive strategy for reducing them. Although at the time federal mandates did not require specific quantitative GHG emission reductions, EPA took a proactive approach to demonstrate leadership in this area by developing a voluntary GHG emissions inventory and quarterly reporting system.
Developing the Inventory: A Phased Approach
In January 2008, EPA began developing its GHG emissions inventory following the GHG Inventory Guidance developed by EPA's Climate Leaders Program. The Agency chose to take a phased approach. In the first phase, the Agency quantified the GHG emissions associated with energy consumption at the Agency’s 34 reporting facilities—facilities where the Agency controls building operations, pays utilities directly, and reports annual energy and water consumption data to the U.S. Department of Energy in order to demonstrate compliance with federal energy and water reduction requirements.
EPA’s initial GHG emissions inventory quantified emissions for three of the six major GHGs—CO2, CH4, and N2O—and accounted for the efforts that EPA had made to offset, or adjust, its emissions through green power and renewable energy certificate (REC) purchases. This quantification required EPA to calculate the following:
- Direct stationary emissions: EPA’s direct stationary sources of GHG emissions generally include the onsite combustion of natural gas, fuel oil, propane, and kerosene for heating and on-site power generation.
- Indirect stationary emissions: EPA’s indirect stationary GHG emissions result from purchased electricity, steam, chilled water, and high-temperature hot water.
- Inventory adjustment from renewable energy purchases: EPA has a long history of leading the federal government in the support of the renewable energy market. This commitment to the development of clean energy generation resulted in the avoidance of GHG emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel at conventional power plants. To quantify the environmental benefits of EPA’s renewable energy purchases EPA used the Climate Leaders-approved methodology to adjust its GHG emissions inventory.
EPA was able to expand upon this foundational inventory to meet the new GHG emissions inventory and management requirements established by EO 13514. Learn more about EPA’s current GHG inventory and other actions the Agency is taking to reduce its GHG emissions.