It’s an understatement to say environmentalists were disheartened by Senator Reid’s announcement last week that a comprehensive cap-and-trade bill would be tabled for the year.  But, fear not, environmentalists – and, be fearful, unprepared federal contractors – because the federal government will be regulating greenhouse gas emissions in other ways.  

Back in October 2009, we talked about the groundbreaking Executive Order 13514, which set advanced sustainability requirements for the federal government.  One of the most important parts of the Order is Section 13, which asks the General Services Administration to look into the feasibility of requiring  vendors and contractors to report greenhouse gas emissions. 

The GSA recently released its report, which concludes that it is feasible to implement a "phased approach, for the Federal Government to track and reduce its scope 3 supply chain emissions through coordination with suppliers and other stakeholders."  In short, a greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirement will be phased in, and eventually mandated for federal contracts.

For federal contractors – and eventually state and local contractors – tracking, reporting, and reducing emissions will become an important strategy for winning government contracts. 

While much of the focus of Green Building Law Update has been on green building certification, I plan to shift gears in the coming months and focus more on greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirements for federal contractors.  Why?  

My concern is that construction contractors are not prepared to report greenhouse gas emissions.  

Are you prepared to report your greenhouse gas emissions?    

Photo credit: melancholic optimist