GW Case Studies

These case studies have been developed by the George Washington University, in consultation with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The cases are provided as open access training materials to help accelerate understanding of sustainability needs and opportunities. Initially the case studies developed for this site were conceived as training materials for managers in the U.S. federal government seeking to achieve the goals set forth by President Obama in Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade. As our work progressed, we realized that these training materials would be valuable to a broad range of leaders in state and city government, and the private and non-profit sectors. Our goal is to create and share materials on cutting edge sustainability efforts and by doing so, provide an educational platform to advance the field. 

Contributors: Kathleen Merrigan, Jenna Riemenschneider, Amit Ronen, Robert Orttung, Christopher Yukins, Ariel Kagan, Sarah Pagan, and Aaron Patron. 

© The George Washington University. All Rights Reserved. Use of copyrighted materials is subject to the terms of the Licensing Agreement.

hand holding grains

Biobased Case Study

Biobased products are commercial or industrial products that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials.

recycling cardboard in bulk

Waste Management Case Study

Americans produce more than 200 million tons of waste annually. This study explores innovative ways in which manage some of that waste.

wind turbines in field

Power Purchase Agreement Case Study

A Power Purchase Agreement is a financial model which requires a third party, taxable entity to procure, own, and operate a renewable energy system on the customer’s property. The customer agrees to a long-term contract with the third-party developer to purchase electricity at or below retail utility rates and, if applied appropriately, both parties benefit from the renewable energy project.

electric vehicles of different colors

Fleet Electrification Case Study

In 2015, the federal government had a fleet of 640,304 vehicles total, traveling 4.8 million miles, and consuming nearly 400 million gallons of gasoline equivalent annually. Of these, fewer than 1 percent were battery or plug in electric vehicles. Meeting White House goals to increase the use of this new technology to save money and reduce green-house gas emissions will be a steep challenge.


cargo ship

Supply Chain Case Study

Supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are often far greater than an agency's or company's operational emissions. This case features several supply chain management pioneers.