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Executive Order (EO) 13693, released by President Obama in March 2015, strengthened requirements for sustainable purchasing by all Federal agencies. To meet these sustainable procurement mandates in the short term, while also working to meet long-term objectives, Federal agencies looked outward for solutions. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment (OASD(EI&E)) led a joint Federal agency initiative with the General Services Administration (GSA), Department of Energy (DOE), and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to implement a multi-attribute label that would provide third-party validated sustainability information. OASD(EI&E) felt third-party validation would aid procurement decisions and help meet EO mandates. Receiving positive survey feedback from representatives of Federal government agencies and military procurement personnel, OASD(EI&E) determined that the Department needed a pilot program to further assess a Multi-Attribute Sustainability label’s widespread effectiveness and use.
DoD’s Multi-Attribute Label Pilot Program uses Certified Environmental Facts label developed by GreenCircle Certified, LLC. Much like a nutrition label, these labels detail necessary environmental information in a straightforward, easy-to-read manner. Third-party certification serves to audit and authenticate a manufacturer’s sustainability claims, providing total transparency and verification. The response to the pilot program has been overwhelmingly positive, with policy makers and procurement agents at various DoD installations finding that the label will help them make better purchasing decisions and meet established procurement mandates. The Multi-Attribute label specifically highlights the various sustainability attributes of a product to provide consumers with comprehensive information of the product’s overall sustainable attributes. See more information on the GreenCircle Multi-Attribute label here.
In addition to third-party certification of sustainability claims, OASD(EI&E) established a DoD sustainable product pilot program, to validate product performance and increase outreach activities across military installations. The demonstration program is executed by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE) and supports the Department’s goals by testing and evaluating sustainable alternatives in DoD operations and at DoD installations.
The labeling program, coupled with the Department’s Sustainable Product Demonstration initiative, will help installation personnel and other consumers procure and use products that are safer for the user and the environment, save money over the products’ life cycles, and do so without sacrificing product performance and quality.
Other Federal agencies also continue to provide guidance to Federal purchasers including GSA and DOE, who have recently released a Verification Guide for Federal Purchases of Sustainable Products This guide is intended for all Federal agencies (particularly procurment officials, requirement officials/specifiers, and other staff who affect acquisition decisions) to help government and contractor personnel verify compliance with sustianability requirements specified in contracts. Both pre-award procurement actions and post-award procurement actions for verifying compliance are outlined in this guide, but the document is not designed to provide guidance on determining which sustainable requirements must be included in contracts.
For more information on determining what sustaiable requirements are applicable for your procurement, visit the Green Procurement Compilation on the Sustainable Facilities Tool website
Note: Participating manufacturers in these programs can be found by name and product type here . These products have been third-party validated for their multi-attribute sustainability claims and/or have demonstrated their products’ effectiveness at various DOD installations.