The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council (FARC) has released an interim rule requiring all federal agencies to make purchases that are energy efficient, water efficient, bio-based, environmentally preferable or non-ozone depleting.
Under the interim rule on green procurement, federal agencies must ensure 95 percent of new projects will focus on products and services that are energy efficient, water efficient, bio-based, environmentally preferable or non-ozone depleting. The procurement must also adhere to criteria set out by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department.
Moreover, items procured by these federal agencies must have recycled content and are not toxic.
The green campaign is part of the Obama administration’s drive for sustainable purchasing and is spearheaded by the Defense Department, NASA and the General Services Administration.
Federal contractors are likewise encouraged to support the green purchasing campaign, which extends its coverage to include electronic or other documentation methods that spare the use of papers.
In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order preceding the interim rule on green procurement that sets sustainability goals for Federal agencies and aims to improve their environmental, energy and economic performance.
Specifically, Obama’s executive order requires federal agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, which include 30% reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020; 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020; 50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015; 95% of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements; implementation of the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement; enforcement of the stormwater provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 438; and development of guidance for sustainable Federal building locations in alignment with the Livability Principles put forward by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Meanwhile, the Department of Defense (DoD) has collaborated with the Energy department in 2010 to apply the knowledge of the Defense from the laboratory to the battlefield. The collaboration is designed to improve operations of the armed forces.
Nearly half of the construction projects under the Air Force use green-roof technologies like cool roofs, vegetative roofs and renewable-energy generation.
Currently, an A 1-megawatt solar array is under construction at Fort Hunter Liggett, CA, which will come into full operation later this year to provide one-third of the power for an Army Reserve training post.
The project is expected to save about $1 million in energy costs every year.
The Army is also making developments towards its Pilot Army Net Zero Installation initiative to reduce and reuse waste streams and produce as much it uses.
The project will begin with conservation and will go on with repurposing like the installation of grey water generated from showers and laundries for on-site use.
Likewise, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is set to provide strategy, integration, and implementation support for a sundry of portfolio of alternative energy and environmental projects focusing on fours areas such as Green Aviation, Global Prediction, Monitoring, & Response, Clean Energy, Sustainable Systems.