In fulfilling VA’s commitment to care for our Nation’s veterans and their families, we also strive to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment for current and future generations. The Green Management Program Office leads VA’s effort to keep our promises to Veterans through sustainability. We provide policy, guidance, training, outreach, and opportunities for national recognition in order to help VA’s workforce of more than 300,000 employees to be good stewards of the environment.
In accordance with Executive Order 13514, VA is committed to ensuring that our operations and actions are carried out in an environmentally, economically and fiscally sound manner. As part of the Green Management Program Office, the Environmental Management Program assures that environmental accountability is integrated into day-to-day actions as well as long-term planning.
The Environmental Management Program advances VA’s commitment to the environment through:
Reduce or eliminate the quantity of toxic and hazardous chemicals acquired, generated, used and/or disposed of. Report and monitor actions being utilized to reduce the release and use of toxic and hazardous chemicals and materials across all areas of the VA.
Ensure continuation of the mission by evaluation, planning for, and adapting to climate change impacts. Assess and respond to the challenges that a changing climate poses to our planning, facilities, and programs. Integrate adaptation considerations and planning into existing decision-making processes.
Ensure purchase of EPEAT-registered electronics, active use of power management and EnergyStar features, extend the useful life of electronic equipment, and use of environmentally sound practices with respect to the disposition of used and excess electronic products.
Monitor VA progress towards meeting or exceeding requirements of all applicable executive orders and Federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations. Track, analyze, and report VA’s compliance to internal and external stakeholders.
Integrate environmental justice into VA’s mission by identifying and addressing programs, policies, and activities with the potential for disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Implement Environmental Management Systems (EMS) at all appropriate VA facilities and organizational levels. Ensure use of EMS as a primary management approach for addressing environmental compliance and reporting.
Ensure the acquisition of environmentally preferable goods and services. Provide education to employees about green purchasing requirements and improve tracking and monitoring to verify compliance.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle materials and waste and maintain, and improve, life-cycle cost-effective waste prevention and recycling programs. Provide training and education to VA employees on the organization’s waste prevention and recycling policies and programs.
The Department is committed to invigorating and improving ongoing sustainability efforts and the Environmental Management Program is an essential component in accomplishing this. By promoting awareness of these programs to VA employees, as well as to the public, we hope to engage others in supporting our mission.
More information on the VA Environmental Management Program can be found in VA Directive 0057 and by exploring the links/resources available on this page.