Use of Vendor and Contractor Sustainability Considerations in Procurements

Section 15(b) of Executive Order 13693 requires GSA, as one of the seven largest procuring Federal agencies, to  conduct at least five procurements annually which include contract requirements or evaluation criteria that encourage GSA vendors and contractors to actively manage and reduce their GHG emissions (aka carbon footprint). From 2011 through early 2015, GSA piloted similar contract provisions under Executive Order 13514 (now revoked).

In 2015, GSA supplemented its efforts by joining CDP Supply Chain, a third-party supply chain disclosure system. Contractor participation in GSA’s CDP Supply Chain pilot is by invitation only, and is voluntary for invited contractors, although it may be one means of satisfying current or future contract requirements under EO 13693 Sec. 15(b).

Industry partners have consistently found that active management of GHG emissions can increase operational efficiencies and reduce business risks related to climate change, often generating cost savings and other forms of financial value. In implementing EO 13693, GSA’s goal is to ensure that the American taxpayer benefits from these increased efficiencies and savings. Up-to-date carbon management practices and strategies are thus an important best-value component of solutions that vendors provide to the federal government.

GSA develops GHG-related contract requirements 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 aligns with other GSA strategic sourcing practices and recognizes that opportunities to reduce 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.
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 Buying renewable electricity is one of the easiest ways for many small businesses to reduce their GHG footprint. 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
CDP (Formerly 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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Last Reviewed 2016-07-05