Environmental Management System

GSFC's Environmental Commitment

The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) missions expand knowledge of the Earth and its environment, the solar system, and the universe. To maintain our nation's leadership in this endeavor, GSFC commits to conducting missions in a manner that promotes environmental stewardship. As an integral part of all mission planning and implementation, GSFC’s environmental policy is to: 

  • Comply with environmental laws;
  • Prevent pollution and conserve natural resources;
  • Explore advances in environmental technology;
  • Communicate with the Goddard family, our partners, and the public;
  • Integrate environmentally sustainable practices into our daily work activities; and
  • Continually improve our environmental performance.
  • Comply with all applicable Federal, state, and local laws and regulations, Executive Orders, NASA policies, and other requirements;
  • Prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and consider the environmental impacts of Center actions during planning;
  • Implement pragmatic and cost effective solutions to environmental challenges;
  • Communicate with the GSFC community, our partners, and the public;
  • Continue to improve our environmental performance by:
    • Promoting awareness through education and training;
    • Integrating environmentally sustainable best management practices into our daily work activities;
    • Exploring advances in environmental technology; and
    • Providing a framework for setting goals, objectives and targets through our Environmental Management System (EMS).

These commitments demonstrate GSFC’s environmental stewardship in our community.


GSFC's Environmental Management System 

GSFC's environmental policy GPD 8500.1 is to consider environmental factors in the planning, decision-making, and performance of all Center activities. Sound environmental management enables us to maximize use of our resources to carry out Goddard's mission and reduce potential environmental impacts. The EMS facilitates environmental stewardship and sustainable operations through compliance with environmental regulations, employee involvement, and best management practices. It uses a systematic process to identify and prioritize the Center's environmental impacts, and incorporate environmental considerations into daily operations. 


Sustainability at GSFC

GSFC is committed to operating its mission without compromising our planet's resources so that future generations can meet their needs. The GSFC sustainability program consists of numerous goals ranging from greenhouse gas emissions reductions to purchasing products with lower life-cycle impacts on the environment. To achieve more sustainable operations, Goddard has implemented energy and water conservation measures, improved recycling and waste minimization, and is constructing more efficient facilities.  Click this link for more information on LEED certified sustainable buildings at Goddard.

Many of Goddard's sustainability goals are addressed through facilities management, acquisition policies, and operations programs. However, some, such as recycling, can only be addressed through collective action by all GSFC employees and contractors. From conserving energy, water, and paper to recycling and properly handling hazardous waste, everyone has a role in protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and sustaining GSFC's mission. Some of the actions you can take include:  

  • Turn off lights and equipment when not in use.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle, and purchase supplies made with recycled materials.
  • Recirculate office supplies via the Freecycle@NASA website or send unneeded supplies to the Excess warehouse for redistribution.
  • Report leaks and other facilities problems promptly to the Facilities Help Desk at 6-5555 or submit a repair ticket online through MOSI.
  • Do not purchase greater quantities of a chemical than you need or can reasonably use.  

For more information on Goddard's sustainability program, visit the Sustainability Management page.


What are Goddard's high-priority environmental concerns?

GSFC identified several mission-focused significant environmental aspects and has developed objectives and targets to reduce their environmental impacts. Environmental aspects are elements of Goddard's activities, products or services that can interact with the environment. Each aspect has a corresponding environmental impact, a change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, resulting from NASA's activities, products, or services.

GSFC's environmental aspects were determined in accordance with the risk assessment procedure defined in NASA Procedural Requirement (NPR) 8553.1, Environmental Management Systems to determine which aspects posed the greatest risk or benefit to the environment and Goddard's mission.

The current high-priorities for GSFC-Wallops are:

The current high-priorities for GSFC-Greenbelt are as follows: 

What are your environmental responsibilities? 

Goddard's EMS involves all employees and contractors to actively manage and minimize the environmental impacts of their jobs. Talk to your supervisor to determine what steps you can take to minimize the environmental impacts of your work. The best way to assess the environmental impacts of new projects, facilities modifications, or new equipment installations is to submit a request to the GSFC Environmental and Safety Project Review System. This gets the Environmental staff involved early in the planning process to:

  • Ensure the appropriate NEPA documentation/analysis is prepared in a timely manner;
  • Identify the potential environmental impacts of a project so that they can be addressed and mitigated;
  • Identify environmental legal and regulatory requirements, such as permits; and
  • Avoid potential schedule delays and cost impacts later. 

Employee and contractor environmental roles and responsibilities are defined in Goddard's environmental policy.  Requirements to review proposed actions are detailed in GPR 8500.1D, Environmental Planning and Impact Assessment.  Other requirements are available on the Goddard Directives Management System (GDMS):


Program Contacts

Ken Yargus 301-286-0518