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Ready, Set, STED: Speeding Up Sustainable Acquisition

| Erv Koehler, Assistant Commissioner, General Supplies and Services
Post filed in: Sustainability  |  Technology

Imagine if a federal agency could more easily find and buy products that are cheaper and better for the environment. That’s exactly what’s happening through a collaboration between GSA and the Department of Defense’s Sustainable Technology Evaluation and Demonstration program, called STED.

For example, the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama was looking for a less-expensive, environmentally superior absorbent material to use for a common task: soaking up oil, mechanical fluids, paint, and other spills.

Because GSA now offers federal agencies next-generation sustainable absorbent material through our Multiple Award Schedule program and via requisition through GSA Global Supply, the depot was able to buy a product that was cheaper, lighter, biobased, USDA-approved, and made in the USA with renewable and recyclable materials. 

The STED program, led by Director David Asiello of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy Installations and Environment, helps to streamline the GSA acquisition process. STED connects innovative manufacturers and their products with potential users at military installations. There, users can test products and estimate their likely demand.

STED then shares relevant demand and pricing data with GSA’s acquisition teams, who can eventually award a Schedule contract. And, in some cases, GSA’s acquisition teams can assign a National Stock Number for even faster ordering.

Our work with the STED program has helped us bring needed products to market faster. Without the demonstrations and backing from the STED program, we would not have been able  to evaluate these environmental innovations.

We look forward to working with the STED program to offer more innovative products to the federal marketplace. Stay tuned for more news on this in the months ahead.