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Sustainability Mission

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) strives to protect, sustain, and improve the natural and man-made environment of our Nation, and is committed to compliance with applicable environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders. Sustainability in NWW will support the Army and the nation in achieving our energy security and our goals will reduce energy dependence, increase energy efficiency and adopt renewable and alternative energy sources.

The Corps of Engineers is committed to ensuring that sustainability is not only a natural part of all our decision processes, but should also be part of our organizational culture. We define sustainability as an umbrella concept that encompasses energy, climate change and the environment to ensure that what we do today does not negatively impact tomorrow. The Corps of Engineers is a steward for some of the Nation's most valuable natural resources, and we must ensure our customers receive products and services that provide for sustainable solutions that address short and long-term environmental, social, and economic considerations.

Sustainability

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You, too, can strive to make sustainability an outcome of your activities. You can conserve energy and reduce pollution by making small changes to things you do in the office, at home and while traveling. For example, at home you can turn your refrigerator down or set your washer to use only warm or cold water. At the office you can purchase recycled office products, and ensure lights not in use are turned off. On the road you can car pool with office colleagues, avoid hard accelerations, reduce time spent idling, unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce your vehicle's weight, or drive smart by going easy on the brakes and gas pedal. There are many ways individuals can help sustain our environment.

The mission of USACE is to provide vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters. In achieving this mission, the USACE must contribute to the national welfare and serve the public by providing quality and responsive services to the Nation, the Army, and other customers in a manner that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable, and that focuses on public safety and collaborative partnerships. 

Our central goals in NWW are to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 23% by 2020, 26% reduction of potable water consumption by 2020 and 30% reduction of vehicle fleet by 2020.

Consistent with these goals, NWW supports US Army Corps of Engineers, “Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan FY 2011 - FY 2020" dated June 3, 2011 and the 10 Goals approved by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ).

NWW is improving energy efficiencies at our projects by using hybrid vehicles, native vegetation, geothermal in lieu of traditional HVAC, wind turbines, and more efficient pumps to meet our sustainability goals.

As a prominent Federal entity, a key participant in the use and management of many of the Nation's water resources, a critical team member in the design, construction, and management of military and civil infrastructure, and as responsible members of the Nation's citizenry, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) strives to protect, sustain, and improve the natural and man-made environment of our Nation, and is committed to compliance with applicable environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders.

Executive Order (EO) 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, states that sustainability "means to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations. " The EO emphasizes that sustainability should not only be a natural part of all the Corps' decision processes, but should also be part of our organizational culture. The Corps is a steward for some of the Nation's most valuable natural resources, and we must ensure our customers receive products and services that provide for sustainable solutions that address short and long-term environmental, social, and economic considerations.

Background

The United States Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Operating Principles were developed to ensure that Corps of Engineers missions include totally integrated sustainable environmental practices. The Principles provided corporate direction to ensure the workforce recognized the Corps of Engineers role in, and responsibility for, sustainable use, stewardship, and restoration of natural resources across the Nation and, through the international reach of its support missions.

Since the Environmental Operating Principles were introduced in 2002 they have instilled environmental stewardship across business practices from recycling and reduced energy use at Corps and customer facilities to a fuller consideration of the environmental impacts of Corps actions and meaningful collaboration within the larger environmental community.

The concepts embedded in the original Principles remain vital to the success of the Corps and its missions. However, as the Nation's resource challenges and priorities have evolved, the Corps has responded by close examination and refinement of work processes and operating practices. This self-examination includes how the Corps considers environmental issues in all aspects of the corporate enterprise. In particular, the strong emphasis on sustainability must be translated into everyday actions that have an effect on the environmental conditions of today, as well as the uncertainties and risks of the future. These challenges are complex, ranging from global trends such as increasing and competing demands for water and energy, climate and sea level change, and declining biodiversity; to localized manifestations of these issues in extreme weather events, the spread of invasive species, and demographic shifts. Accordingly, the Corps of Engineers is re-invigorating commitment to the Environmental Operating Principles in light of this changing context.

The Environmental Operating Principles relate to the human environment and apply to all aspects of business and operations. They apply across Military Programs, Civil Works, Research and Development, and across the Corps. The Principles require a recognition and acceptance of individual responsibility from senior leaders to the newest team members. Re-committing to these principles and environmental stewardship will lead to more efficient and effective solutions, and will enable the Corps of Engineers to further leverage resources through collaboration. This is essential for successful integrated resources management, restoration of the environment and sustainable and energy efficient approaches to all Corps of Engineers mission areas. It is also an essential component of the Corps of Engineers' risk management approach in decision making, allowing the organization to offset uncertainty by building flexibility into the management and construction of infrastructure.

The re-energized Environmental Operating Principles are:

          · Foster sustainability as a way of life throughout the organization.

· Proactively consider environmental consequences of all Corps activities and act accordingly.

· Create mutually supporting economic and environmentally sustainable solutions.

· Continue to meet our corporate responsibility and accountability under the law for activities undertaken by the Corps, which may impact human and natural environments.

· Consider the environment in employing a risk management and systems approach throughout the life cycles of projects and programs.

· Leverage scientific, economic and social knowledge to understand the environmental context and effects of Corps actions in a collaborative manner.

Employ an open, transparent process that respects views of individuals and groups interested in Corps activities.

Contact Us

If you have any ideas on how the Walla Walla District can improve its sustainability mission or just have a question, e-mail us at: nwwsustainability@usace.army.mil