GSA's Kevin Funk Joins United Nations Sustainable Public Procurement Program
It has been nearly five years since President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13514 – Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance – which expanded previous energy reduction and environmental performance requirements for federal agencies.
In those five years GSA has served as a federal leader in pursuing these performance requirements, meeting annual sustainability goals that aim to reduce energy and water usage in our facilities, improve waste diversion, and promote green purchasing for projects and building operations that ultimately reduce our environmental impact.
Now GSA is looking to share our expertise in green purchasing and practices on a global scale. GSA Sustainability Program Specialist Kevin Funk was recently invited to represent the U.S. Government as a member of the newly formed United Nations Sustainable Public Procurement (UN SPP) program, part of the UN’s Environment Program.
The UN Environment Program (UNEP) was established in 1972 as the environmental branch of the UN, serving as an advocate and educator to promote sustainable practices for the global environment. Within UNEP, the Sustainable Public Procurement program aims to help governments around the world maximize environmental, social, and economic benefits through procuring and using sustainable goods and services.
The UN SPP officially launched in April 2014. Their objectives include:
- Review existing sustainable procurement programs around the world and educate governments on the benefits of these practices
- Provide the expertise and tools necessary for global governments to implement appropriate sustainable procurement programs
- Establish a monitoring system to communicate global progress on SPP implementation
Funk attended his first UN SPP program meeting in May, at which the group selected six countries to serve as case studies for existing sustainable public procurement programs. The group’s upcoming activities include reviewing these studies, and ultimately developing official recommendations to guide central governments in monitoring sustainable public procurement.