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Energy Policy Executive Order Includes Contractor Provisions

President Obama has issued Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. The order, dated October 5, 2009, seeks to create a clean energy economy by ordering federal agencies to increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and stormwater management; and eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution. With respect to government contracting, the order directs agencies to leverage acquisitions "to foster markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable materials, products, and services," and to "design, construct, maintain, and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations."

Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Among the provisions impacting contractors is a requirement for agencies to establish a percentage reduction target for reducing agency-wide greenhouse gas emissions. In establishing this target, agencies are to consider "pursuing opportunities with vendors and contractors to address and incorporate incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (such as changes to manufacturing, utility or delivery services, modes of transportation used, or other changes in supply chain activities)." Agencies are to establish and report their targets by June 2, 2010.

Sustainable Buildings

The order assigns agencies the goal of implementing "high performance sustainable [f]ederal building design, construction, operation and management, maintenance, and deconstruction." Agencies are to achieve this goal by:

l beginning in 2020 and thereafter, ensuring that all new federal buildings that enter the planning process are designed to achieve zero-net-energy by 2030;

l ensuring that all new construction, major renovation, or repair and alteration of federal buildings complies with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings;

l ensuring at least 15 percent of an agency's existing buildings above 5,000 gross square feet, including leased buildings, meet the Guiding Principles by fiscal year 2015, and making annual progress toward 100-percent conformance with the Guiding Principles;

l pursuing cost-effective, innovative strategies, such as highly reflective and vegetated roofs, to minimize consumption of energy, water, and materials;

l managing existing building systems to reduce the consumption of energy, water, and materials; and identifying alternatives to renovation that reduce existing assets' deferred maintenance costs;

l when adding assets to a real property inventory, identifying opportunities to consolidate and dispose of existing assets, optimize the performance of real-property portfolios, and reduce associated environmental impacts; and

l ensuring rehabilitations of federally-owned historic buildings utilize best practices and technologies in retrofitting to promote long-term viability of the buildings.

Sustainable Acquisitions

Under another goal, agencies are instructed to ensure that 95 percent of new contract actions for products and services are energy-efficient, water-efficient, biobased, environmentally preferable, non-ozone depleting, contain recycled content, or are non-toxic or less toxic alternatives, if these types of products and services meet agency performance requirements. "Energy-efficient" refers to Energy Star and Federal Energy Management Program-designated products and services, while "environmentally preferable" refers to Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool-certified products and services. Acquisitions of weapon systems are excepted from the requirement.

Contractor Emissions

Another provision directs the General Services Administration to review and provide recommendations regarding the feasibility of working with the contractor community to provide information to assist agencies in tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to the supply of products and services to the government. The recommendations are to consider the potential impact on the procurement process and the contractor community. Also, the recommendations should explore the feasibility of requiring contractors to register with a voluntary registry or organization for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, and with a government tracking system, to develop and make available greenhouse gas inventories and descriptions of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, the recommendations should also address the use of purchasing preferences or other incentives for products manufactured using processes that minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and other options for encouraging sustainable practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.




(The news featured above is a selection from the news covered in the Government Contracts Report Letter, which is published weekly and distributed to subscribers of the Government Contracts Reporter. )


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