NASA's sustainability policy is to execute NASA's mission without compromising our planet's resources so that future generations can meet their needs. Sustainability also involves taking action now to provide a future where the environment and living conditions are protected and enhanced. In implementing sustainability practices, NASA manages risks to mission, risks to the environment, and risks to our communities. To this end, NASA seeks to use public funds efficiently and effectively, promote the health of the planet, and operate in a way that benefits our neighbors.
On October 5, 2009, President Obama signed EO 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. This Executive Order (EO) built upon and expanded requirements outlined in EO 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management. In addition to outlining new requirements for greenhouse gas management and sustainable buildings and communities, to mention only a few of the requirements, the new EO requires NASA and all Federal agencies to develop, implement, and annually update a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP).
As outlined in the EO, the SSPP is to include the following:
- Signed policy statement committing the agency to comply with environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and EOs.
- NASA's goals and targets (most prescribed through existing statutes and EOs) scoped to sustainability.
- Description of NASA's activities, policies, plans, procedures, and practices relevant to the implementation of existing statutes and EOs (EO 13423, EO 13514).
- Description of implementation approach for achieving results prescribed in EO 13514.
- Description of how NASA integrates sustainability into NASA's strategic planning and budgeting process.
- Methods by which NASA will provide information about agency progress, performance, and results to the public and NASA personnel.
- Evaluation of NASA's climate change risks and methods to manage their impacts to operations and mission.
NASA ensured that its SSPP followed closely the templates and guidance provided by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for developing Agency sustainability plans.
The 2012 NASA SSPP is a compilation document consisting of:
- The 2012 Policy Statement,
- Executive Summary,
- NASA size and scope table, and
- NASA-specific Executive Order progress graphs.
The Plan also has three appendices:
- Appendix 1 – Climate Change Adaptation Plan,
- Appendix 2 – Vehicle Management Plan, and
- Appendix 3 – Bio-Based Procurement Addendum
NASA has been on the path to achieve long-term sustainability goals for many years through numerous efforts in energy conservation, recycling, water management, pollution prevention, design and construction, maintenance and operations, master planning, and electronic stewardship, to mention a few. We will stretch and strive in our efforts to "execute NASA's mission without compromising our planet's resources and making sure future generations can meet their needs." We owe it to the future NASA employees and American citizens in the generations yet to come.
If you have any questions or comments about the SSPP or the Climate Change Adaptation Plan, please contact:
Environmental Management Division
NASA Headquarters, Suite 5E39
Washington, DC 20546
Phone: (202) 358-0230
Click below to learn more about:
- Appendix 1 – NASA Climate Risk Management Plan and Report
- Appendix 2 – NASA Fleet Management Plan
- Appendix 3 – NASA Biobased Addendum
NASA's Fact Sheet on NASA and Green Engineering *NEW*
NASA's Fact Sheet on NASA's Green Roof Research
NASA's Environmental Policy
NASA's Green Initiatives
NASA's Climate Change Adaptation Policy Statement