Assess Potential Agency Size Changes that Impact Greenhouse Gases from Employee Commuting
For employee commuting, it is important to account for any planned or expected changes in a Federal agency's size when estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction potential for different operating units or worksites. Considerations include:
- Are employment levels expected to change in the next decade at specific facilities or agency-wide?
- Are there any planned facility moves at major worksites?
Employee commute coordinators may want to engage human resources and strategic planners in this effort to establish likely changes in employment numbers. Facility planners may be engaged to understand changes in commutes from planned facility relocations or additions.
Worksites expecting net growth in employees would likely see a growth in commute GHG emissions above their baseline without any change in commute behavior, whereas worksites with a net reduction in employees would likely see commute GHG emissions fall below their baseline. This increase or decrease in employment levels will influence how far below its baseline the operating unit or site may reach, and as a result, the reduction targets that may be appropriate for those worksites. A site with expected employment growth to support a new agency mission area, for example, may end up with a lower percent reduction target compared to a site that is not expected to grow.
To project the impact of employment level changes on commute emissions, agencies should:
- Estimate the change in the number of employees at the agency-, program-, and worksite-levels by 2020
- Establish the rate of change by dividing the estimated number of net new employee positions by the total number of current employees
- Apply the rate of change in commute emissions to the current emissions estimates employees at the agency-, program-, and worksite-levels.
When sites are expecting such increases or decreases in employment levels, it will be important to consider normalized measures of performance, such as commute GHGs per employee, to help the agency track the effectiveness of their commute trip reduction efforts. Analysis of commute performance is discussed further in the next section.
Moving facilities can also affect worksite emissions, by changing employee commute distances and available commute options. For example, moving a facility in an urban location to a suburban location could increase commute distances and decrease available public transit options.
To project the impact of changes in commute distances from a facility move, the agency should:
- Determine a new average commute distance to the new location(s). This can be estimated based on zip code data from the most recent commute survey or through an analysis of employee addresses if such data are available.
- Determine a new commute method distribution (i.e. percent of employees traveling by bus, carpool, SOV) based on analysis of available options at the new worksite (see Step 2: Evaluate Emissions Profile).
- Estimate the change in emissions by applying the new average commute distance by method to the new commute method distribution.
Through this analysis the agency, program and/or worksite will be able to estimate the total emission reductions needed to reach agency targets without changes in current commute behavior. While the intent of this step is to establish a more accurate starting point for commute emission reductions, the agency may also use this type of analysis to support proactive analysis of potential relocation efforts.
After assessing potential agency size changes, the next is to evaluate an emissions profile.
- Step 1
Assess Agency Size Changes
- Step 2
Evaluate Emissions Profile
- Step 3
Evaluate Reduction Strategies
- Step 4
Estimate Implementation Costs
- Step 5
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