On Friday, we discussed Navy contracting requirements for tracking "energy efficiency" and "energy footprints."  When I first learned of these requirements, I was reminded of Executive Order 13514.  We have already discussed Executive Order 13514 in terms of the green building industry, but the Order also contains provisions relating to greenhouse gas emissions. I don’t usually include extended regulatory text, but in this case, the regulation emphasizes the Obama Administration’s focus on greenhouse gas emissions: 

Sec. 13. Recommendations for Vendor and Contractor   Emissions. Within 180 days of the date of this order, the General Services Administration, in coordination with the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies as appropriate, shall review and provide recommendations to the CEQ Chair and the Administrator of OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy regarding the feasibility of working with the Federal vendor and contractor community to provide information that will assist Federal agencies in tracking and reducing scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions related to the supply of products and services to the Government. These recommendations should consider the potential impacts on the procurement process, and the Federal vendor and contractor community including small businesses and other socioeconomic procurement programs. Recommendations should also explore the feasibility of:   (a) requiring vendors and contractors to register with a voluntary registry or organization for reporting greenhouse gas emissions;   (b) requiring contractors, as part of a new or revised registration under the Central Contractor Registration or other tracking system, to develop and make available its greenhouse gas inventory and description of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions;   (c) using Federal Government purchasing preferences or other incentives for products manufactured using processes that minimize greenhouse gas emissions; and   (d) other options for encouraging sustainable practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Eventually, the federal procurement process will include measurement of greenhouse gas emissions.  The first step, which is part of Executive Order 13514, is the creation of a voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reporting system for government contractors and vendors.    A contractor’s ability to measure and minimize greenhouse gas emissions will become an important factor in winning government contracts.  The creation of such a complicated, new contracting requirement is certain to lead to confusion and new risks for government contractors. 

Has your company considered measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

Related Links: 

President Obama signs an Executive Order (White House)

Energy Reductions in the Navy (GBLU)

Does Executive Order Signal Shift in Green Building Regulations (GBLU)