What Is Sustainability?
For IHS, sustainability means:
- The long-term management of our facilities and operations in a manner that ensures that IHS planning, practices, and operations reduce our impact on the environment.
- To provide a safe and healthy environment for IHS staff, visitors, and patients.
- Partnering with Tribes to develop sustainable communities.
The concept of sustainability has emerged as a result of significant concerns about the unintended social, environmental, and economic consequences of rapid population growth, economic growth and over-consumption of our natural resources. Implementing sustainable practices helps to ensure that the actions of the present generation do not compromise the environment for future generations.
To address these mounting challenges, federal agencies are subject to numerous statutory requirements, executive orders, and other policies surrounding sustainability. Below is a brief list of the various regulations and laws that guide IHS' sustainability initiatives.
Under the guidance of the above regulations, IHS and HHS have made significant efforts to further their departmental compliance. Below are links to some initiatives undertaken in the last few years.
- EO 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance
: Directs federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets; participate in regional and local planning activities; and leverage federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.
- EO 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management
: Directs federal agencies to conduct their environmental, transportation, and energy-related activities under the law in support of their respective missions in an environmentally, economically and fiscally sound, integrated, continuously improving, efficient, and sustainable manner.
- Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) Overview
[PDF]: Provides a six-page overview of EISA as it applies to the FEMP.
- Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT)
: Signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005. The Act has 12 titles, addressing such topics as energy efficiency, renewable energy, types of fuels and vehicles, and research and development.
- Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings, known as the "Guiding Principles"
: Consistent with and in addition to Federal policy, statutes, executive orders and supplemental agency policies and guidance, the Parties to this MOU collaboratively seek to establish and follow a common set of sustainable Guiding Principles for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and materials aimed at helping Federal agencies and organizations.
HHS Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan
[PDF]: The 2012 HHS Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan outlines HHS progress and strategies for the coming year in greater detail, and focuses on areas of success those that need improvement. The plan prescribed will be accomplished within available funding provided by the FY 2012 appropriation and within the levels requested by the President's Budget.
HHS Climate Change Adaptation Plan
[PDF] : This document will outline the challenges posed by climate change to the HHS mission, programs, and operations, and identify specific actions in FY 2013 and beyond to better understand and address those challenges.
- IHS Environmental Compliance Awareness Guide [PDF]: Developed by the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering (OEHE) in December 2007. Provides an introduction to environmental regulations for Facilities Managers, CEOs, and other agency staff, including their basic responsibilities under each regulation, and resources to help them achieve compliance.
- Indian Health Manual, Chapter 13 - "Environmental Compliance, Stewardship, and Sustainability": This issuance establishes the policy, procedures, and responsibilities for managing environmental compliance, stewardship, and sustainability objectives in the Indian Health Service (IHS).
- Environmental Policy Statement: The IHS Director has signed the Environmental Policy Statement which supports the HHS' Go Green Get Healthy initiative, and the above IHS' Indian Health Manual, "Chapter 13: Environmental Compliance, Stewardship, And Sustainability."
- Sustainability Advisory Board Charter: The Charter establishes the Indian Health Service (IHS) Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB supports the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in planning, implementing, and monitoring sustainability efforts.
Check out the brand new IHS 2012 Sustainability Annual Progress Report [PDF - 1.6MB]
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