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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

308.73 – USGS Sustainability Council


OPR:  Office of Administration and Enterprise Information

Instruction:  New SM chapter.  Supersedes both Survey Manual, Chapter 308.63 – Environmental Management Council, and Appendix A, Charter Environmental Management Council

1.  Establishment.  This chapter establishes the USGS Sustainability Council, hereafter referred to as the Council, and serves as its charter.

2.  Purpose.  The purpose of the Council is to promote the integration of sustainability practices into Bureau science and administrative programs, operations, and processes to meet the objectives of Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.  As sustainability principles and objectives parallel many of those underlying the USGS study of the landscape, natural resources, and natural hazards, it is fitting and necessary for the Bureau to examine and conduct its own activities in a manner that embraces these principles and objectives.  The Council will serve as an advocate for sustainability and provide Bureau leadership by fostering Bureau policies, processes, practices, and budget and other initiatives that contribute to the achievement of sustainability objectives. 

3.  Scope.  Executive Order 13514 cites this definition: “ ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable’ mean 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 term is cast in such a universal context that the Bureau’s efforts to achieve sustainability objectives must also be all-inclusive.  Therefore, the scope of the Bureau’s sustainability efforts and of this Council’s mandate extends to all Bureau activities, including those under all mission areas and administrative programs.  Sustainability targets action in seven areas:  electronic stewardship; environmental management systems and compliance; energy conservation; greenhouse gases; green procurement and waste management; sustainable buildings; and fleet management. 

4.  Membership.  The Council consists of the Associate Director for Administration and Enterprise Information (AEI); the Senior Advisor for Science Applications; the Director, Office of Budget, Planning, and Integration; the Chief, Office of Acquisition and Grants; the Chief, Office of Management Services; and five rotating members who shall serve 2-year terms:  an Associate Director for one of the mission areas; two Regional Executives; and two Science Center Directors.

Associate Director and Regional Executive nominations will be provided by the Deputy Director.  Science Center Director nominations will come from Regional Executives and Associate Directors for National Capabilities centers.  The Council will select positions from the nominees and will strive to ensure that all Areas and National Capabilities are ultimately represented over time.  No salary or travel is expected to be funded by the Sustainability Council, except where a specific and significant task has been assigned and agreed to by members of the Council.

The Associate Director for AEI and one Regional Executive will co-chair the Council.  The co-chairs may extend the terms of any rotating member by no more than 1 year to stagger initial term expirations, thereby providing membership continuity. 

5.  Meetings.  The Council will meet at least quarterly.  The co-chairs may call meetings more frequently.

6.  Subcommittees.  The co-chairs are authorized to establish permanent and ad hoc subcommittees with the concurrence of Council members.

7.  Procedures.  A designated alternate may represent an absent member and vote on the member’s behalf.   The Council makes decisions on process changes, investments, and related sustainability issues by voting.  In order for a vote to occur, a quorum must be present.  

8.  Records and Staff Support.  The Chief, Environmental Management Branch, Office of Management Services, will maintain and distribute minutes of proceedings and records of decisions, issue required reports, and otherwise provide staff support for the Council.

9.  Sunset Review.  The need for continuation of this Council will be reviewed every 3 years.    


/s/ Karen D. Baker                                                                              October 21, 2011

_____________________________                                                  ________________

Karen D. Baker                                                                                               Date

Associate Director of Administration and Enterprise Information

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