Portfolio-Based Planning Process for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Portfolio-based management for GHG mitigation helps agencies move from "peanut-butter" spreading obligations for meeting GHG reduction targets evenly across all agency operating units to strategic planning of GHG reduction activities based on each operating unit's potential and cost to reduce emissions.

The portfolio-based planning process for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation offers an approach to:

  • Evaluating the GHG reduction potential at the site, program, and agency level
  • Identifying strategies for reducing those emissions
  • Prioritizing activities to achieve both GHG reduction and cost objectives.

The result of this prioritization will lay the foundation for a robust site-level and agency-level Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP).

The planning process includes the following key steps:

The real benefit of portfolio planning is helping agencies set meaningful internal targets for resource allocation and accountability. Meaningful targets reflect what each organization has the potential to reduce and how cost effective it may be for that organization to reduce GHG emissions. This provides is an alternative to the more common "peanut-butter spreading" approach, where the agency spreads targets evenly across all internal organizations.

To establish meaningful targets, agencies must have a deeper understanding of its major GHG emission sources and opportunities to improve. This understanding comes from bottom-up analysis of opportunities at the site-level or program-level.

As you'll see, portfolio-based planning isn't just a tool for financial managers. There is growing recognition in the Federal sector that portfolio-based management of Federal assets can lead to more efficient results. For example, the General Services Administration has been instituting client portfolio planning to help Federal agencies optimize their existing real estate portfolios while focusing on future needs. And some operating units within agencies are beginning to apply a portfolio-based planning approach to optimizing energy management activities across the multiple programs and sites that they manage.

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