Sustainability at TVA
Sustainability relates to everything we do to keep our business healthy and thriving long into the future for the benefit of the environment, economy and our stakeholders. It is incorporated into the work we do to protect the shoreline to our preservation of reasonable rates, and from our commitment to employee well-being to our economic development efforts throughout the region. In short, it is our commitment to keeping The Tennessee Valley a vibrant place to live, work and play.
TVA’s Vision reinforces our sustained efforts to be a leader in cleaner air, greater energy efficiency and responsible environmental stewardship. TVA’s Environmental Policy focuses on reducing the environmental impact of its operations, protecting public health and safety, and enhancing the Valley’s land and water resources. The goals of EO 13514 are consistent with these goals.
Details of executive order implementation
The EO 13514 goals call for an integrated strategy toward sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing building energy efficiency, applying Sustainable Guiding Principles to new and existing buildings, improving water efficiency, preventing pollution, eliminating waste, purchasing sustainable products and services, and improving electronic stewardship.
As part of an integrated strategy, TVA set up a governance structure that includes the Energy and Environmental Sustainability Committee. This Committee, made up of senior representatives across all TVA organizations, coordinates energy-saving and sustainability efforts throughout the agency by reviewing proposed projects that meet sustainability goals and recommending them for funding by Senior Leadership.
TVA also participates in federal agency working groups focused on these issues in order to learn about how others are meeting goals, share the latest technologies and methodologies toward meeting them and to participate in the development of guidance for Executive Orders and legislation.
TVA Sustainability initiatives and achievements in FY2012 include:
- Prepared a Climate Change Adaptation Plan and hosted a 60-day comment period. Comments received will be considered in the 2013 Plan update.
- Updated its Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan on June 29, 2012, under Executive Order 13514.
- Ended the year with an 11.5% reduction in Scope 1 (combustion of fossil fuel) and Scope 2 (purchase of electricity) greenhouse gas emissions staying on track towards meeting its 17% reduction target by FY 2020.
- Achieved an agency renewable energy percentage of 7.9%, which exceeds the stated FY 2012 objective of 5% and the FY 2013 goal of 7.5%.
- Surveyed nearly 4 million sq. ft. of facilities which identified nearly $11.5 million in energy and water improvements with a potential cost savings of $1.2 million per year.
- Accomplished a 21.2% reduction in facility energy use from 2003. TVA’s buildings are now using almost half the average energy use of all other Federal buildings thanks to coordination of energy management efforts and energy efficiency improvements.
- Reduced potable water usage by 31%. This was achieved through a combination of implementing water improvements in facilities, repairing leaks and closing the aging Muscle Shoals water plant.
- Added 5 hybrid gas/electric vehicles, 1 electric vehicle, and 257 E85 vehicles to its fleet bringing the total number of hybrid vehicles to 51, electric vehicles to 5, and E85 vehicles to 720.
- Developed a policy to phase out the use of incandescent bulbs in buildings, plants and field offices.
- Continued the Sustainable Acquisition Program, which will require all applicable TVA contracts to meet “green” standards (recycled content, Energy Star or Low Standby Power rating and Biobased or environmentally preferred).
Areas we need to improve in are:
- Scope 3 GHG - TVA fell behind on reducing its transmission and distribution losses, employee commuting, business ground/air travel, solid/liquid waste disposal greenhouse gas emissions with no net decrease. TVA is working to reduce this trend in order to meet the 21% Federal reduction goal by FY 2020.
- Sustainable Green Buildings - TVA continued applying Sustainable Guiding Principles (SGPs) to new and existing buildings and finished the year with 3 existing buildings meeting SGPs. To date, 31 building modification designs are complete, 12 buildings underwent construction modifications and another 8 buildings are currently being modified to meet SGP requirements. TVA plans to show significant improvement in FY 2013.
- Reduction in Fleet Petroleum Use - This is the first year TVA’s light vehicle fleet is required to meet the petroleum reduction goal of 2%/yr reduction from a FY 2005 base. TVA achieved a 2.2% reduction for the year but falls short of reaching the seven-year accumulated 14% reduction. TVA continues to strategize means for catching up but recognizes that it will take several years to do so.