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This article originally appeared at IW Financial.
President Obama first issued an order directing federal agencies to incorporate sustainability into their procurement operations in 2009. He laid out a series of ambitious goals, calling for direct U.S. government greenhouse gas emissions to fall 28 percent below 2008 levels by 2020.
Indirect emissions, including those generated by federal contractors and suppliers, were targeted for a 13 percent reduction. The following year, a working group recommended that GHG emissions form a key part of the criteria used in procurement decisions.
The General Services Administration is leading the effort to incorporate environmental factors into the federal procurement process. The agency is taking multiple steps to promote sustainability, including adding language to contracts issued under the OASIS program, requiring contractors to disclose pertinent information through the Global Reporting Initiative framework.