HHS Sustainability

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) focuses on sustainable and efficient operations to uphold the HHS mission of protecting the health and well-being of all Americans.

What does Sustainability mean?

Sustainability means living in such a way now that does not sacrifice the well-being of future generations; that is, to meet the needs in the present within the Earth's closed system, while restoring, protecting, and maintaining the natural systems, services, and resources that make life possible, including clean air, clean water, and clean soil. Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with the HHS mission to protect the health of all Americans.

Sustainability and Climate Reports, Progress Data

This Climate Action Plan (CAP), also referred to as Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP), represents a concerted effort to enhance resilience and adaptation to climate change throughout the activities of HHS. This is in accordance with Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which sets forth a government-wide approach to address the climate crisis. The 2021 HHS Climate Crisis Adaptation and Resilience Policy Statement and 2021 HHS Climate Action Plan are now available for viewing.

HHS outlines its path towards sustainable operations and efficiency in the 2020 HHS Sustainability Report and Implementation Plan.

The previous year's HHS Sustainability Report and Implementation Plan is available for viewing at 2019 HHS Sustainability Report and Implementation Plan.

This plan puts forth specific HHS sustainability goals to improve operations efficiency, while increasing productivity and transparency. As specific program areas work toward these goals, it is important to note that becoming more sustainable is up to all of us.

By statute, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publishes agency progress and scorecards on federal agency performance on energy efficiency and sustainability. The HHS FY 2019 OMB Scorecard for Efficient Federal Operations/Management can be viewed at HHS FY2019 OMB Scorecard for Efficient Federal Operations Management.

The Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, housed within the White House Council on Environmental Quality, graphs HHS progress toward energy and sustainability goals in the following categories: facility energy use, water use, renewable electricity, facility efficiency investments, high performance sustainable buildings, fleet petroleum and alternative fuel, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Additional Resources

Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE)

The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health established OCCHE on August 30, 2021 in response to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. This is the first office of its kind at the national level to address climate change and health equity. The Office’s mission is to protect vulnerable communities who disproportionately bear the brunt of pollution and climate-driven disasters, such as drought and wildfires, at the expense of public health.

Sustainability across HHS

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