President Obama’s October 5 Executive Order titled “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” signals substantial changes in how the federal government purchases construction services, buildings and just about everything else. The Order establishes an integrated strategy for sustainability in federal government activities and identifies as a priority for federal agencies a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The Order targets federal procurement, stating that the policy of the U.S. government in this area shall be to “leverage agency acquisitions to foster markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable materials, products and services” and “design, construct, maintain and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations.”
To these ends, the Order defines standards for the location, construction and operation of federal buildings, as well as emissions reductions from government contractors and vendors. Without doubt, and very quickly, the Order’s mandates will significantly affect how the government buys from the private sector.