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Use of Vendor and Contractor Sustainability Considerations in Procurements

In Section 13 of Executive Order 13514, GSA was asked to consider the feasibility of working with vendors to track and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  In 2011, GSA began an internal pilot, working with procurement teams to include vendor completion in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories, as a consideration in procurements. This pilot has continued and now includes the consideration of additional vendor and contractor sustainable management practices.

Industry partners have highlighted that engaging in sustainable management practices results in increased operational efficiencies, cost savings and risk reductions. Assuring that the American taxpayer benefits from these increased efficiencies and savings is a goal of the pilot, making vendor sustainable management practices an important component of best-value solutions provided to the federal government.

Procurement teams participate in this internal pilot based on anticipated cost savings and environmental impact reduction opportunities, unique to each procurement and market sector. GSA believes that a market sector approach is best, since it acknowledges that opportunities to reduce lifecycle environmental impacts and associated costs differ between market sectors, depending on the relevant environmental impacts and state of sustainability best practices within each sector.

To assist vendors in identifying relevant sustainable management practices, the following tables provide links to resources and information. Some of these links lead to nongovernmental websites.

Federal Agency Tools and Resources, Including Small Business Tools

  Website   Description
GHG / Carbon Footprint Tools for Small Business Developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this tutorial and Simplified Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions calculator are for use by small businesses wanting to develop a voluntary GHG inventory and management plan.
Green Suppliers Network The Green Suppliers Network offers voluntary, on-site, in-person reviews to help small and medium manufacturing companies assess and reduce GHG emissions, energy use, water use and other drivers of excess costs and environmental impacts. A collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), the Green Suppliers Network was established to help small and medium-sized manufacturers stay competitive and profitable, while reducing their impact on the environment.
Guidelines for Energy Management EPA offers a proven strategy for superior energy management with tools, and resources to help each step of the way. Based on the successful practices of ENERGY STAR partners, these guidelines for energy management can assist your organization in improving its energy, and its financial performance while distinguishing your organization as an environmental leader.
Green Power Locator In many areas, green power options are available directly through your local utility. This Department of Energy (DOE) tool helps locate providers of renewable electricity by state.
Climate Change Adaptation Climate change adaptation means adjusting to a changing climate to minimize risks and take advantage of opportunities. This page at provides a framework and guidance to understanding and planning for climate-related risks and opportunities.


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Information on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories and Corporate Sustainability Reporting (CSR)

These links lead to nongovernmental websites.

  Website   Description
Carbon Disclosure Project The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an independent not-for-profit organization providing a global system for companies to measure, disclose, manage, and share environmental information. With thousands of companies reporting annually, CDP is the world's largest registry of corporate GHG emissions information.
B Impact Assessment The B Impact Assessment is a free tool for small and medium businesses to baseline their social and environmental impacts, helping them build a better business, attract talented employees, earn press, and gain competitive advantage.
The Climate Registry The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry.
GHG Protocol The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. It provides the accounting framework for nearly every GHG standard and program in the world.
Global Reporting Initiative The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a non-profit organization that provides sustainability reporting guidance and maintains a database of sustainability reports. GRI has pioneered and developed a comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Framework that is widely used around the world. The Framework enables all organizations to measure and report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance – the four key areas of sustainability.


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Greening the Supply Chain



Sustainability, contractor emissions, vendor emissions, supply chain, sustainability in procurement