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How GSA Worked to Build a More Sustainable, Prosperous, and Equitable Future in 2021

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The Biden-Harris Administration took office in January 2021 with a clear set of priorities aimed at addressing the urgent challenges of the global pandemic, climate change, and racial injustice – while building our economy back better than it was before.

As the agency responsible for much of the federal government’s physical and digital infrastructure and billions of dollars in federal contracts, GSA was uniquely positioned to lead by example and support the administration’s efforts to deliver on these critical priorities.

A year later, there is more work to do, but GSA has worked tirelessly alongside our federal partners to tackle the climate crisis, respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen the economy, and build a more equitable future – all while delivering exceptional value to our customers and taxpayers.

Here are just a few of highlights of our work in these areas over the past year.

Confronting the Climate Crisis

Throughout 2021, GSA supported the Biden-Harris Administration’s all-hands-on-deck efforts to combat the climate crisis.

We reaffirmed our commitment to achieving 100 percent clean energy in our building portfolio, accelerated our acquisition of zero-emission vehicles, updated our design standards to require new buildings and major renovations to be net zero ready, and intensified our focus on sustainability with projects that will improve energy efficiency and drive down greenhouse gas emissions.

These efforts build on progress GSA has already made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the federal building portfolio. Since 2008, we’ve reduced greenhouse gas emissions from GSA-owned buildings by more than a million metric tons annually -- the equivalent of taking 223,000 cars off the road every year.

In 2022, we’ll continue to find new ways to leverage the power of procurement and to maximize the federal real estate footprint to catalyze American innovation and improve the lives of all Americans.

To learn more about GSA's all-of-government approach to sustainability, climate and clean energy visit gsa.gov/sustainability-priorities.

Advancing Equity

Our economy - and our government - work better when everyone is included. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) needs a whole of government approach to address systemic barriers, reduce disparities, enhance opportunity, and improve overall well-being outcomes for all people.

That’s why GSA has developed a set of commitments that will help more small disadvantaged businesses contribute their ingenuity to the federal marketplace, design and deploy technology across government that works for more people, and support the vitality and livability of communities where federal buildings are located.

We want to build a government that looks like America, buys from all of America, and benefits all of America – and in 2021 we took meaningful steps toward achieving that goal.

For example, in June, GSA awarded the first phase of the 8(a) STARS III Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC), leveraging a long-standing partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide federal agencies a way to deliver mission-critical IT services working with small, disadvantaged businesses.

GSA also hosted 48 small business matchmaking events, connecting over 600 Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs) with nearly 250 prime contractors to establish subcontracting relationships.

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has demanded an unprecedented response.

One of the important roles GSA has played is to help our customers obtain personal protective equipment to protect their employees and the American people from the virus. So far, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service has helped federal, state, and local partners obtain 121 million gloves, 108 million cleaning wipes, 3 million face masks and shields, and more hand sanitizer (700,000 gallons) that can fit in an Olympic pool.

GSA is also working alongside the White House COVID-19 Response Team and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to lead the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, designed to give federal agencies ongoing guidance to keep their employees safe and their agencies operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And we’re already working to use science and evaluation to inform the federal government’s response to this pandemic, and the next one. GSA’s Office of Evaluation Sciences continues to work with agencies to provide rigorous, scientific evaluation support to assess the impact of COVID-19 policy responses, as well as to share relevant lessons learned from past evaluations on communicating about health behavior.

A Government that Delivers

We know that none of these goals are achievable unless government itself has the tools and technology to deliver these results in an efficient, effective, and people-focused way.

As the home of solutions and services that are shared government wide, GSA has a big role to play in making sure the government’s digital infrastructure is simple, streamlined, and secure. Americans expect government services to be responsive to their needs, without having to navigate a tangled web of government websites, offices, and phone numbers to access the services they depend on.

In 2021, GSA took major strides toward realizing that vision by transforming the way government buys, develops, and deploys technology.

GSA’s Federal Citizen Services Fund and Technology Modernization Fund made significant investments – enabled by the American Rescue Plan – in improving public-facing digital services governmentwide.

GSA is also one of the principal agencies responsible for implementing the President’s executive order Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government, which directs agencies to put people at the center of everything the Government does.

Login.gov - which allows people to use a single username and password for different government websites - added 8 new government agencies (now 28 total), helping drive an increase in registered users from 24 million in FY20 to 42 million in FY21.

And GSA launched the U.S. Digital Corps, the first full-time, paid fellowship for early-career technology talent to serve across the federal government.

GSA is looking forward to building on this progress in 2022, and delivering the effective, efficient government services the American people expect and deserve.

 

Last Reviewed: 2022-01-20