IT, supply chain is included in the climate resilience plans of the agencies
Federal agencies officially unveiled their climate change adaptation and resilience plans this week following a White House decree, as part of a government effort to improve climate change preparedness in missions and critical programs.
The plans aim to address some of the most significant risks associated with climate change, including vulnerabilities found in information and communications technology supply chains, physical infrastructure and unprotected public services.
The plans Define specific action plans to address current and future risks caused by climate change, leveraging procurement methods and reimagining supply chain operations to create more resilient systems and processes.
Below are some of the key ways that several agencies are planning to scale their IT operations, protect critical data centers and more, as the threat of climate change becomes a growing and ever-present concern.
Although the General Services Administration (GSA) does not have a tiered data center, its plans included a transition to energy efficient shared service centers with interagency partners in geographically distributed locations, as well as cloud computing solutions. secure.
The agency also noted that it is using energy-efficient power settings to achieve its green label designations for computing and mobile devices, including Energy Star and EPEAT, which allow buyers to examine the environmental impact. of a product.
The GSA said it had already implemented the climate risk management requirements in 2015 in the Request for Proposals for Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS), and added, âManaging this risk is achievable. with the agency’s existing resources and budgets. “
However, the GSA plan said “significant system upgrades” were needed to better assess changing climatic conditions and their impact on capital investments and asset management.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan included an effort to make the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure more resilient within its facilities, while examining vulnerabilities across the broad spectrum of critical infrastructure nationwide.
The agency plans to assess its own critical ICT assets to ensure that their power supply is secure and resilient. while identifying the locations of distributed energy resources. The agency also said it would create new development standards “for cyber-secure energy management control systems and identify targeted locations for distributed energy resources.”
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also included a statement in his agency’s plans to tackle the negative impact climate change has already had on the health of the workforce, and said he had created a climate change action group made up of senior department officials to “ensure DHS identifies and mitigates climate change related to our homeland.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would establish a new central repository of climate adaptation tools while working with interagency partners to ensure access to relevant data and resources.
This repository will include a section on ‘lessons learned’, which the APE plan said could be applicable to federal, state, tribal, territorial and other government partners and offices.
The EPA noted its shared responsibilities with other federal agencies and state and local governments in improving resilience and implementing climate adaptation initiatives. The agency said it would continue to support its partners “by producing and providing the training, tools, technical support, data and information they need to adapt and increase resilience to climate change” .
The Department of Defense (DOD) said it is using climate change assessment tools it has created in recent years to assess climate change threats such as sea level rise and extreme water level conditions at specific locations where its facilities are based. For example, the department launched its DOD Regional Sea Level (DRSL) tool in October last year so that department planners can better understand and manage climate-related risks.
To create a more data-driven operating environment around current and future climate risks, the DOD plan said the department will implement new detection and data analytics in its enterprise analytics platform, Advana.
The plan notes: “Climate data sources need to be continuously monitored and updated – taking into account the operational impact – to account for the rapid pace of climate change and its impacts.”
Ministry of Energy
The Department of Energy (DOE) also noted the continued impact of climate change on its facilities and infrastructure, saying it was implementing “major renovations” and upgrading HVAC control systems in the lab’s labs. National Idaho National Assembly to deal with increased drought and rising temperatures in recent years.
The DOE map also said that the National Energy Technology Laboratory would conduct an assessment to determine which climate technologies could be deployed at their facilities.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) said it has started improving operational efficiency on climate change and resilience at its data center in Georgia, as well as its headquarters in Washington, DC and its training center in Virginia. The office noted that an important part of this initiative was to reduce its overall carbon footprint while reducing energy and water consumption at its national facilities.
The OPM plan highlighted the increase in teleworking throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as a unique opportunity to help agencies create new flexibilities for workers in climate change adaptation and resilience.
The plan noted how the increase in telework has helped reduce the carbon emissions associated with commuting federal employees, adding: so their operations can continue even during severe weather events or other future disruptions that prevent access to the site. “
Chris Riotta is a writer at FCW and covers government procurement policy and technology. Chris joined FCW after covering American politics for three years at The Independent. He received his Masters degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as Class 2021 President.