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“Buying Clean” and Sustainable Public Procurement: New Opportunities for Federal Contractors
August 17, 2022
Global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions is the number one threat to the environment and the economy for everyone, everywhere. To increase resilience to a changing climate, nearly every human activity must embrace more sustainable practices to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. Beyond that figure, the World Meteorological Organization warns climate impacts will become increasingly harmful for people and the planet. The Biden Administration recognizes that today’s climate crisis requires a proactive “whole-of-government” effort to create jobs, expand industries, and create a more economically competitive country. In one of his first acts as President of the United States, Joseph Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) in January 2020 to reduce federal operations’ greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Because the U.S. Federal Government has a non-personnel budget of about $650 billion a year and owns 300,000 buildings and about 600,000 vehicles, any change in its procurement practices can have a significant impact. The Biden Administration released a set of actions to support the EO on February 15, 2022, explaining why “Buy Clean” procurement is so important. The Buy Clean effort will help in reducing emissions across the federal government’s operations and tackle climate change issues through new procurement standards. Buying clean procurement is an investment in American clean energy manufacturing and industries to create communities that are healthy and more resilient to a changing climate. It also has many implications for contractors supporting the U.S. Federal Government, including new guidelines and regulations, new opportunities, and commitment to transparency.
Author: Noa Farkash, Junior Consultant at WBD