Agency acquisition leaders are now required to leverage acquisitions that will foster markets for sustainable technologies, materials, products and services. Agencies are also required to implement high-performance sustainable building design, construction, renovation, repair, commissioning, operation and maintenance, management, and deconstruction practices in all applicable acquisitions.
A recent interim rule issued, updates the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement two Executive Orders (EO) that focus on the “Greening” of Agency acquisitions. The EO’s have been around for a number of years but haven’t been enforced. They are, (1) EO 13514 Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance and (2) EO 13423 Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management.
The nature of the EO’s is to stress the importance of the Federal Government Agencies as a whole to “lead by example” in demonstrating how to best handle our countries ever changing environmental issues and energy needs.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has been at the forefront of the EO initiatives (lead by example) for a number of years. They have taken a very aggressive role in the promotion of the “sustainability” concept and promote as much “green” procurement as possible. GSA realizes that there are sometimes hurdles related to costs in procuring “green” v. “non-green” items but is fully promoting a long term approach to this issue. GSA is taking an active role in training and providing “best practices” to other agencies that are just now starting to get involved.
This also creates some unique opportunities for contractors that have their products certified to certain environmental standards. We see that vendors that have a picture of the product as well as all of its applicable environmental attributes posted on GSA Advantage starting to close more business. Sales team members should be armed with the basic knowledge of the EO’s so that they can better assist Agency leaders in meeting their acquisition requirements.
As for services, if anyone finds personnel that drink less water and don’t need air conditioning in 100 degree temps, let me know!