GSA Details Plans to Help Re-energize ‘Green Government’

Green may be the General Services Administration new favorite color. And it’s not about money — this time.

GSA is re-energizing its commitment to green government across its entire portfolio of products and services. The agency further outlined its plans to do its part to battle climate change as required under President Joe Biden’s January executive order.

“One thing that is really important to us at GSA across the board is to be looking at how we can decarbonize our entire supply chain,” said Sonal Kemkar Larsen, the senior adviser to the GSA administrator on climate, during a press briefing on April 20. “We procure a lot of different things: Energy, buildings, government goods and vehicles. In all of those, we need to look at our supply chains, the manufacturers, the businesses we are working with all the way to the design and installation in all of this. There is carbon from the beginning to the end so decarbonization is going to be a big lift as we look across the supply chain. A new focus for us is to look across all aspects of procurement.”

The January order made climate change a national security issue and gave nearly every agency some sort of responsibility.

For example, GSA is one of several members of the National Climate Task Force.

There also is an entire section on using the federal buying power to address climate change, which is where a lot of GSA’s efforts will come into play.

GSA must deliver a plan around clean energy vehicles and green electricity. Its plan was due in April, but the White House extended the deadline to May 27. GSA said they are working on that plan and another one around sustainability that will be out later this summer.

Under the executive order, GSA has to address how it will help achieve:

-A carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035;
-Clean and zero-emission vehicles for federal, state, local, and tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the United States Postal Service;
-Any additional legislation needed to accomplish these objectives; and
-Ensuring that the U.S. retains the union jobs integral to and involved in running and maintaining clean and zero-emission fleets, while spurring the creation of union jobs in the manufacture of those new vehicles.

Two of the biggest focus areas will be around buildings and the fleet of vehicles.

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