Energy, Environment, and Fleet Program

Energy, Environment, and Fleet (EEF) Program Service facilitates VA’s efforts to comply with federal mandates related to energy, water, environment, fleet, sustainable buildings and climate change adaptation and resiliency. EEF formulates VA-level policy; provides oversight, guidance and training; and completes required Department-level reporting. EEF also coordinates enterprise-level operations of VA’s energy and fleet portfolio, including managing VA’s Energy Performance Contracting Program and VA’s Fleet Management Program.

Learn about VA’s sustainability efforts including sustainability planning, climate adaptation and agency performance data, from the White House Council on Environmental Quality page for VA.

Energy, Environment and Fleet (044E)
energy@va.gov

Program service achievements

Reduce energy use

$1.66B+

More than $1.66 billion in long-term avoided costs for VA facilities

40%

40 percent less energy per square foot for average VA vs. national average for hospitals

Improvements in energy and water infrastructure

$1.1B

$1.1 billion in upgrades at 88 medical centers through contracts with private sector investment since 2011

Energy highlights

VA’s 2022 sustainability awards

VA’s Sustainability Awards program, supported by VA’s Energy, Environment and Fleet Program Service within the Office of Asset Enterprise Management, has been providing recognition to VA facilities and employees for their significant contributions to environmental sustainability since 2010. The facilities and employees recognized this year come from a wide range of locations and positions and have gone above and beyond with valuable and inspiring projects that reduce environmental impacts while also helping VA operate more efficiently and better serve its mission. Awards are categorized under energy and water management, environmental management, fleet management, sustainable buildings, and climate adaptation.

View the 2022 Sustainability Award winners

VA’s progress on preparing for climate change

Since the publication of VA’s 2021 Climate Action Plan, VA has made substantial progress preparing the agency for the impacts of climate change. Organizations across VA are taking action, including issuing building design requirements and sustainable building certification standards, evaluating climate financial risk exposures and conducting outreach and climate education efforts for VA’s workforce.  Access VA’s 2022 Climate Adaptation Plan Progress Report (PDF, 8 pages), signed by VA Secretary McDonough, and the White House Fact Sheet, for more information about VA and government-wide climate adaptation actions.

VA’s 2022 sustainability plan

The White House published VA’s 2022 Sustainability Plan, which details VA’s progress and strategies to achieve its sustainability objectives, such as pursuing carbon pollution-free electricity, transitioning to zero emissions vehicles, increasing efficiency and promoting waste reduction. Learn more about the 2022 Sustainability Plan (PDF, 6 pages, 569 KB).

VA Medical Centers recognized for sustainable health care

Twenty-three (23) VA Medical Centers were recognized by the sustainable health care non-profit Practice Greenhealth in their 2022 Environmental Excellence Awards. Erie VA Medical Center, Iowa City VA Medical Center, Minneapolis VA Health Care System, and St. Cloud VA Healthcare System were recognized with the organization’s top award, the “Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award.” For a full list of award winners, visit the Practice Greenhealth 2022 Awards webpage.

Energy and water management

VA recognizes that, when conducting its mission to care for Veterans, it has a responsibility to minimize environmental and energy-related impacts. This can be accomplished through measures to conserve energy and water usage. VA employs a variety of methods to ensure its facilities are as efficient as possible by conducting building surveys, performing assessments, upgrading equipment and infrastructure, and tracking energy and water usage.

Energy and water assessments

Every four years, each VA medical center conducts energy and water assessments to determine how to upgrade and improve the facility’s efficiency. These assessments yield results for investments and energy conservation measures, which range from replacing windows and lighting to upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning or control systems.

Commissioning

All VA medical centers go through commissioning every four years.

Commissioning is a cost-effective approach that helps facilities control utility costs by ensuring that building systems can be operated and maintained according to the facility’s needs. It provides benefits such as extended equipment life and lower operating costs and leads to better building efficiency.

Metering

VA has installed electric metering systems at all VA medical centers to track energy usage and intensity. VA has also installed non-electrical meters that track a facility’s use of water, chilled water, steam and natural gas. These meters help VA determine the ideal locations for conducting energy and water conservation measures.

Energy performance contracts

Energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESC)s are contracting vehicles that allow Federal government agencies to partner with private sector companies and utilities to install energy and water conservation measures without the need for upfront appropriations. Private sector companies take on the performance risk of the equipment and obtain competitive financing from a third-party lender. The government agency pays them back over time from the energy and water savings associated with the more efficient equipment. These contracts provide a solution to more immediately upgrade aging infrastructure and critical building systems when appropriations are not readily available.

VA has awarded $1.1 billion in upgrades at 88 medical centers through ESPCs and UESCs with private sector investment since 2011. These contracts are repairing and replacing critical energy and water infrastructure and are expected to avoid more than $1.6 billion of energy and water costs for VA facilities over the life of these contracts.

VA awards ESPCs through our ESPC SDVOSB IDIQ, which was originally awarded to four companies on May 21, 2020, with an additional two on-ramped in March 2022. The current list of awardees is:

  1. CTI-OES Joint Venture (OES is now Engie)
  2. TLS-CES Joint Venture (CES is now RWE)
  3. US2 (now partnered with Southland)
  4. Venergy-Brewer Garret Joint Venture [Joint venture has since been disbanded]
  5. HICAPS (partnered with Trane)
  6. HSGS-Ameresco Joint Venture

The Department of Energy provides additional information and resources about ESPCs and UESCs.

Vehicle fleet efficiency and effectiveness

VA vehicle being charged through a solar-powered charger at the VA Medical Center in Topeka, Kans.

VA’s Fleet Management Program within EEF serves as the Department-level vehicle fleet management office while providing fleet management leadership, policy, and guidance to VA organizations. The VA Fleet Management Program monitors, coordinates and reports on fleet management activities at the Department level.

In accordance with Executive Order 14057, VA is pursuing a transition of its fleet of over 22,000 vehicles to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Through these efforts, VA is acquiring ZEVs through the General Service Administration as part of the annual vehicle lease replacement cycle while also planning for the installation and deployment of electric vehicle charging solutions.

Alternative fuel vehicle compliance reports

The following reports were published below as required by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, 42 USC 13218(b). Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 was the final year of this report requirement.

Environmental management

Green purchasing

VA advances sustainable acquisition by ensuring at least 95 percent of new contract actions (including task and delivery orders) for products and services (including construction) are energy efficient (ENERGY STAR or Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated), water efficient, biobased, environmentally preferable (e.g., Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered or non-toxic or less toxic alternatives), non-ozone depleting or made with recovered materials (i.e., contain recycled content), where such products and services meet agency performance requirements.  VA policy is to procure construction materials and other products and services with lower embodied emissions, in accordance with Federal Buy Clean policy in Executive Order 14057. The agency also provides education to employees about green purchasing.

Learn more about green purchasing.

Waste prevention and recycling

VA follows “reduce, reuse, and recycle” for materials and waste and maintains, and improves, life-cycle cost-effective waste prevention and recycling programs.  The agency provides training and education to employees on the VA’s waste prevention and recycling policies and programs.

The Department is committed to improving ongoing sustainability efforts, and the VA Environmental Management Program is an essential component in accomplishing this.  By promoting awareness of these programs to VA employees, as well as to the public, VA hopes to engage others in supporting our mission.

More information on the VA Environmental Management Program can be found in VA Directive 0057.

Chemicals management and pollution prevention

VA reduces the quantity of toxic and hazardous chemicals acquired, generated, used and/or disposed of. The agency reports and monitors actions being utilized to reduce the release and use of toxic and hazardous chemicals and materials across all areas of the VA.

Electronics stewardship

VA ensures purchase of EPEAT-registered electronics, active use of power management and EnergyStar features, extends the useful life of electronic equipment, and uses environmentally sound practices with respect to the disposition of used and excess electronic products.

Environmental compliance

VA monitors its progress towards meeting or exceeding requirements of all applicable executive orders and Federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations. The agency tracks, analyzes, and reports VA’s compliance to internal and external stakeholders.

Environmental management systems

VA implements Environmental Management Systems (EMS) at appropriate VA facilities and organizational levels. The agency ensures use of EMS as a primary management approach for addressing environmental compliance and reporting.

Additional information

For more information on the VA Environmental Management Program, as well as additional resources that may be of interest, please feel free to explore the following links.

Climate adaptation

Climate change is driving widespread changes to both natural and human systems. With a broad mission and geographical distribution of facilities, VA recognizes that climate change is impacting agency services, operations, programs, and assets.

VA’s 2021 Climate Action Plan (CAP)  (PDF, 29 pages, 546 KB) outlines VA’s response to the projected impacts of climate change to the department with the goal of ensuring sustained operations to support the uninterrupted delivery of benefits and services and VA’s “Fourth Mission.”

VA’s CAP was developed in response to the requirements in section 211 of Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis At Home and Abroad, signed January 27, 2021, which places greater emphasis on taking a government-wide approach to the climate crisis.

The CAP draws on VA’s ongoing efforts and establishes a pathway for expanding climate adaptation and resilience opportunities across all agency missions and roles. The plan focuses on VA’s physical infrastructure, resources, supply chain and the effects of climate change on the health of VA employees and the Veterans its serves.

In May 2022, VA stood up a senior-level Sustainability Task Force, chaired by VA’s Chief Sustainability Officer, to provide comprehensive oversight and leadership on sustainability and climate issues at VA.

VA’s progress on preparing for climate change

Since the publication of VA’s 2021 Climate Action Plan, VA has made substantial progress preparing the agency for the impacts of climate change. Organizations across VA are taking action, including issuing building design requirements and sustainable building certification standards, evaluating climate financial risk exposures and conducting outreach and climate education efforts for VA’s workforce.

Read VA’s 2022 Climate Adaptation Plan Progress Report (PDF, 8 pages), signed by VA Secretary McDonough, and the White House Fact Sheet, for more information about VA and government-wide climate adaptation actions.

Visit the White House Sustainability website for additional information on Federal agency plans.

Access VA’s 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Plan (PDF, 35 pages, 1.38 MB).

Environmental justice

Environmental Justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. VA integrates EJ into its mission by ensuring that it identifies and addresses programs, policies, and activities with the potential for disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income, or tribal populations.

On February 11, 1994, the President signed Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations. On August 4, 2011, VA and 16 other Federal agencies signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898 (EJ MOU). Combined, Executive Order 12898 and the EJ MOU required agencies to provide environmental justice strategies and implementation progress reports.

Green purchasing

Green purchasing, also known as sustainable acquisition, helps to reduce adverse impacts to the environment, conserve energy and other natural resources, improve public health and safety, and create new markets and jobs.  VA promotes the Federal Green Purchasing Program, which includes the acquisition of:

The green purchasing content within VA Directive 0057 constitutes VA’s Green Purchasing Program (GPP) and explain the policies, procedures and other key elements necessary to facilitate the continual improvement of VA’s GPP.

Helpful green purchasing resources

Sources of supply

Green Purchasing Mandates

It has been Federal policy for more than 40 years to use our purchasing power to help develop, demonstrate the viability of, and sustain markets for various kinds of green products.  Federal requirements include regulations, executive orders, and statutes.  Utilize the links below to learn more about these green purchasing mandates.

Archived Office of Management and Budget Scorecards