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DOE Site Sustainability Plan (SSP) Guidance

At the close of each federal fiscal year, the Department of Energy (DOE) Sustainability Performance Division (SPD) issues the guidance documents and resources necessary for DOE sites and national laboratories to complete sustainability reporting requirements. As required by DOE Order 436.1A, Departmental Sustainability, each site will develop and commit to an annual Site Sustainability Plan (SSP) that identifies its respective contribution toward meeting the Department's sustainability goals. The SPD collects and compiles information reported by each site to develop a DOE agency-wide sustainability report and implementation plan, which is used to report departmental sustainability progress to the federal government. All other major agencies are under the same requirement to submit a unique departmental sustainability progress report to the federal government.

DOE introduced the SSP process to all programs and operations in 2011. Each year Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provides the resources essential to fulfill its commitment to deliver a complete and accurate SSP report and quality performance data for entry into the DOE SPO Dashboard. The performance data entered by each DOE site are combined to reveal the progress of each program office and are further combined to show progress for the agency as a whole.

Per DOE, each SSP report should provide an overview of the site's planned actions as well as an overview of efforts and accomplishments during the reporting period. SPD collects and compiles information reported by each site to develop the Department's Annual Sustainability Report and Annual Energy Management Report to Congress. DOE sites are required to upload a simplified MS Word document to the Dashboard's SSP module. The agency goal has been to lower the reporting burden for sites and simultaneously increase and improve the consistency of information available to decision makers, allowing them to better identify projects and potential for increased efficiency as well as to reduce waste and lower emissions. Sites may elect to produce a more polished publication for their leadership and stakeholders, but this step is no longer required.

The ORNL SSP narrative report and the reporting of the DOE Dashboard performance data is a collaborative effort of approximately 30 subject matter experts from ORNL facility management and research divisions. Annually, these associated come together to provide a report that can be utilized by the DOE to demonstrated continued agency progress in energy efficiency and sustainable federal operations.