Establish Internal Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets

Question to Answer

  1. What are appropriate GHG emission reduction targets for specific agency programs and sites?

Not all administrative units within the agency have the same potential to contribute to agency-level targets. This step aims to help agencies establish what each major administrative unit (e.g. program site) should contribute to the agency goal based on its planned growth trajectory and estimates of its cost and potential to reduce GHG emissions.

As illustrated in the figure below, two sites may have equal potential to reduce GHG emissions. But a site expecting significant mission-related growth prior to the 2020 target year may have a lower reduction target (-17%) than a site that is not expecting any growth beyond its baseline year (-22%). Without considering the unique potential of each site, an agency may set internal goals that are either too ambitious or too conservative for those sites.

Figure 1 – An image of two vertical bar charts: one is titled 'Site A Reduction Potential (MTCO2e), and the other is titled Site B Reduction Potential (MTCO2e). The 'Site A' chart shows 2008 baseline emissions at 23,000 MTCO2e, 2020 emissions without change at 29,000 MTCO2e, and 2020 emissions with change at 24,000 MTCO2e. The 'Site A' chart also shows a 26% increase in MTCO2e between 2008 baseline emissions and 2020 emission without change; a 4% increase in MTCO2e between 2008 baseline emissions and 2020 emissions with change; and a 17% decrease in MTCO2e between 2020 emission without change and 2020 emissions with change. The 'Site B' chart shows 2008 baseline emissions at 23,000 MTCO2e, 2020 emissions without change at 23,000 MTCO2e, and 2020 emissions with change at 18,000 MTCO2e. The 'Site B' chart also shows a 0% increase in MTCO2e between 2008 baseline emissions and 2020 emissions without change; and a 22% decrease in MTCO2e between 2008 baseline emissions and 2020 emissions with change.

Figure 1. Comparison of appropriate percent reduction targets at two similar sites.

Next Step

Also see Prioritize Strategies and Set Internal Reduction Targets for Scope 1 & 2 GHG Emissions and for Scope 3 GHG Emissions.

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