Biden-Harris Administration honors GSA with five Presidential Federal Sustainability Awards

GSA is recognized for advancing the sustainability and climate resilience of the U.S. government in ways that cut energy costs, reduce emissions, and grow our economy

WASHINGTON — Today, the White House announced the recipients of the Presidential Federal Sustainability Awards, which included employees of the U.S. General Services Administration. GSA accepted the highest number of awards in the program’s inaugural year – from electrifying Washington, D.C.’s largest building and buying the first federal 100% 24/7 carbon-free electricity in Arkansas, to showing extraordinary nationwide leadership on the Federal Buy Clean Initiative and advancing net-zero innovation while strengthening local communities in Cambridge and Oklahoma City. 

The Presidential Federal Sustainability Awards recognize federal agencies and employees who have made transformational efforts to advance sustainability and climate resilience within their organization. These actions are supporting the growth of America’s clean manufacturing and clean energy industries and jobs, saving taxpayer dollars through reduced energy costs, and creating healthier communities.

“These projects reflect the depth of the federal government’s commitment to lead by example when it comes to tackling the climate crisis, investing in America, and moving our country toward a clean energy economy,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, who spoke at the ceremony. “The teams’ dedication and ingenuity are why GSA continues to lead the way toward achieving what I call the triple-win: creating good-paying American jobs, saving money for taxpayers, and building a healthier future for the planet.”

“Our Federal Government is the nation’s largest energy consumer, building and vehicle owner, and purchaser of goods and services, and the Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars while delivering on the most ambitious climate and clean energy agenda in history,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. “The Presidential Federal Sustainability Award winners represent the very best of our Federal workforce and agencies who have tackled complex challenges and delivered results for a cleaner, more efficient Federal Government.”

In his first year, President Biden issued an executive order and plan directing the federal government to lead by example by achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, including a 65 percent emissions reduction by 2030. To accomplish this, and with support from the President’s Investing in America agenda, Federal agencies are electrifying and increasing the efficiency of 300,000 federal buildings, transitioning the federal fleet of 600,000 vehicles to zero-emissions vehicles, and moving to power all federal operations with 100 percent carbon-free electricity.

GSA’s Presidential Federal Sustainability Award winners are:

Advancing Carbon-Free Electricity

First Federal 100% 24/7 Carbon-Free Electricity Buy: In 2023, GSA made history twice: first by executing the first-ever whole-of-government approach to procuring clean electricity in order to realize greater cost savings for taxpayers; second by executing the federal government’s first-ever contract for locally-supplied CFE delivered on a 24/7 basis. Through GSA’s contract with a utility in Arkansas, the government’s demand—spanning seven federal agencies—for 24/7 CFE will drive new clean energy projects and jobs in Arkansas while delivering cleaner air for Arkansans.

Buying Clean

Extraordinary Leadership on the Federal Buy Clean Initiative: GSA has supercharged the administration’s Federal Buy Clean Initiative to grow the market for American-made, lower-carbon construction materials. Through its robust engagement, GSA helped spur the publication of 17,000 additional Environmental Product Declarations for lower-carbon American-made glass, steel, cement, and concrete products. GSA also worked with stakeholders to pilot a set of Buy Clean specifications for use in its federal building and infrastructure modernization projects. These requirements have been incorporated into 150 GSA construction projects and serve as a model for other large purchasers.

Investing in Climate Smart Buildings

Advancing Innovation while Strengthening a Massachusetts Community (award shared with U.S. Department of Transportation): In September 2023, the re-imagined John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, opened its doors. The Center was the result of a property exchange between GSA, acting on behalf of DOT, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Through the agreement, MIT replaced the former center’s six aging buildings and sprawling parking lots with a new federal building which is highly energy efficient and climate-resilient. As part of the agreement, MIT is now collaborating with the local community and city of Cambridge to create a dynamic mixed-use center on 10 acres formerly owned by DOT, which will connect the surrounding neighborhood with new open spaces, pedestrian links, affordable housing, retail, and science and innovation spaces.

Decarbonizing Federal Buildings

Electrifying D.C.’s Largest Building: In June 2023, GSA announced its plan to electrify the largest building in Washington, D.C.: the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. By transitioning the 3 million-square-foot building from fossil fuel-based steam to all-electric heat pump technology and making other energy efficiency upgrades, GSA expects to cut the amount of energy the building uses by almost 50 percent, reduce emissions by over 50 percent, and save taxpayers $6.2 million annually in energy costs. This project is expected to finish construction by spring 2025.

The White House also recognized GSA for an honorable mention in this category for improvements to the Oklahoma City Federal Building, which demonstrate for the first time how federal buildings can be transformed into high-tech clean energy hubs that generate their own energy and dynamically interact with the power grid to make it stronger and more resilient for the surrounding community.

Awardees were selected from a pool of over 140 nominations and represent domestic and international facilities or projects spanning 10 federal agencies. GSA garnered four awards and one honorable mention in advancing carbon-free electricity, buying clean, decarbonizing federal buildings, and investing in climate smart buildings.

Read more about the Presidential Federal Sustainability Award Winners’ achievements.


About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing approximately $100 billion in annual contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit and follow @USGSA.