NASA’s sustainability policy is to execute NASA’s mission without compromising the 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. To this end, NASA implements sustainability practices that balance economic vitality (stewardship of public funds), environmental responsibility (protection of natural systems), and the needs of people (promotion of workforce and community well-being). These practices combine long-term planning and resource optimization, and risk management to provide a path towards accomplishing the mission in a responsible manner.
JSC has been working on sustainability projects in one form or another for over 20 years and continues implementing projects to realize the Center’s Sustainability Vision. To reach federal targets and NASA’s goals, JSC aims to integrate sustainability into everyday decision-making and activities. JSC’s sustainability program is divided into six resource categories:
JSC Sustainability Documents
- FY2022 Sustainability Snapshot
- A Brief History of Sustainability at JSC
- 2017 – 2018 Annual Sustainability Report
- 2017 Sustainability Engagement Strategy
- 2016 Annual Sustainability Report
- 2016 Sustainability Engagement Strategy
- 2015 Annual Sustainability Report
- 2015 Sustainability Engagement Strategy
- 2014 Annual Sustainability Report
- 2014 JSC Sustainability Engagement Strategy
- 2013 JSC Sustainability Annual Report
- Charter (2013) JSC Sustainability Engagement Strategy
- Charter (2012) Annual Sustainability Report
- Adapting Now to a Changing Climate (2012)
Highlights of JSC’s past and existing efforts:
- JSC hosts a Houston Zoo program that aims to increase the population of the endangered Attawater Prairie Chickens. The Zoo utilizes a portion of JSC’s Texas coastal prairie landscape to breed the birds in field pens that closely resemble their natural habitat.
- JSC is partially powered by an on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant. Compared to grid power and gas-fired boilers, this plant achieves significantly higher energy efficiency by greatly reducing electricity transmission losses and using otherwise wasted heat energy to generate steam.
- JSC’s free-range bicycle program offers employees access to over 300 bicycles while on-site. This program provides an emissions-free alternative to driving when employees need to commute across the 1600-acre campus.
- JSC’s location off of Clear Lake, a body of water feeding into Galveston Bay, makes the Center particularly vulnerable to climate change, especially flooding. JSC has implemented mitigation measures such as adding flood doors and raising air tunnel intakes to prevent disruption of operations.
- JSC’s shake and fold initiative aims to reduce the volume of one of the most common waste items at JSC: discarded restroom paper towels. In addition to installing hand dryers in high traffic areas, JSC implemented this program to educate and reminds employees to use a paper towel efficiently.
- NASA Sustainability webpage
- NASA Sustainability scorecard
- NASA Climate Action Plan
- Earth Observations webpage and data
- Climate Change webpage
Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance
- Executive Order 13693: Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade
- Executive Order 13990: Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis
- Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
- Executive Order 14057: Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability
- Additional relevant legislation: EISA 2007, Energy Act 2020, Clean Water Act 1973, and Clean Air Act 1970
Interested in joining our team? Intern with us! Each semester, the JSC Sustainability Office invites a university student to support the Center Operations team.