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Biden administration set to utilise procurement as an instrument of policy to advance green agenda

White House

The Biden-Harris administration has announced plans to maximise purchases of sustainable products and services, utilising procurement as part of the President’s march towards the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The proposed Sustainable Products and Services procurement rule strengthens existing sustainable products requirements by directing Federal buyers to purchase sustainable products and services to “the maximum extent possible”, as stated in a press release from The White House late last week.

It directs agencies to follow EPA’s Recommendations of Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing, which provides recommendations across 34 purchase categories for use of 40 standards and labels, including labels such as EPA’s ENERGY STAR, Safer Choice and WaterSense programs.

“President Biden believes that when we spend American taxpayers’ dollars, we should be investing in America, reducing costs and building a more sustainable future,” said Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“Through today’s action, we are doing just that. Combined with President Biden’s Buy American directive, our proposed rule will boost Federal agency purchases of EPA-recommended green products and services while creating well-paying jobs and investing in American manufacturing.”

Robin Carnahan, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, added: “As the world’s largest buyer, we have a responsibility to lead by example and accelerate the move toward buying clean.”

The new procurement rule is part of President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan, which aims to achieve net-zero emissions from Federal procurement by 2050.

The US Federal Government currently spends more than $630 billion on products and services annually, with over one third of existing Federal contracts containing a sustainable purchasing requirement.

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