Atlanta Fed Advances Its Sustainability Goals

September 06, 2022

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta continues to advance its efforts to support the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which are designed to advance quality of life and promote environmental protection, according to a new report.

The UN's SDG program aligns with the Atlanta Fed's interests in promoting equity, equality, and economic opportunity. All member nations of the UN adopted 17 SDGs in 2015. The goals represent a global agreement on a universal agenda to "prioritize progress for those who are furthest behind" and aspire to "end poverty, hunger, AIDS and discrimination against women and girls" by 2030, according to a program description by the UN's lead agency on international development, the UN Development Programme.

The Atlanta Fed's participation fits with Atlanta's global recognition as a Center for Sustainable Development. The Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development of Greater Atlanta is one of more than 174 RCEs recognized worldwide, with the local organization serving as a platform for promoting the SDG agenda among universities, businesses, nonprofits, and local governments.

The Bank's efforts are relevant to many of the 17 SDGs and align with five of them, achieving highlights that include:

  • Decent work and economic growth: Partnered with stakeholders to increase procurement opportunities with diverse business enterprises, with 16.5 percent of procurement appropriations now spent with minority/female vendors.
  • Reduced inequalities: Established in 2008 the Partnership for Progress program to formalize relations with minority-owned depository institutions and helped host the Racism and the Economy webinar series.
  • Sustainable cities and communities: Reduced use of energy, water, and waste stream; funded transit subsidies for Bank employees; and celebrated employees' effort to address food insecurity.
  • Responsible consumption and production: Focused procurement on goods with recycled content and cleaning agents that are less harmful to the environment and employees, and hosted five educational events for employees on sustainable practices.
  • Peace, justice, and strong institutions: Conducted 354 bank examinations to ensure equal access to credit, including potential effects on climate change in assessing financial risks, and continued hiring and promotions policies that have resulted in a greater proportion of women and minorities working at the Atlanta Fed than in the civilian population.

In addition, Brett Taysom, a senior analyst in the Atlanta Fed's Facilities Management, provided a list of District-wide accomplishments that includes:

  • Since 2009, District offices have collectively reduced water consumption by 46 percent and electricity consumption by 52 percent.
  • In 2021, 71 percent of waste was diverted from landfills. All District offices divert 100 percent of their currency shreds—more than 1,000 tons annually—from the landfill by reusing them as a component in fuel at waste-to-energy facilities. The New Orleans Branch repurposes shreds by mixing them with food waste at a compost facility.
  • All District offices have earned BOMA 360 certification, conferred by the Building Owners and Managers Association International, since 2012.
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David Pendered

Staff writer for Economy Matters


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