Purchasing practices are one of many contributors to the climate crisis. As the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services, the U.S. Federal Government is in a unique position to cut a significant portion of national emissions through the development of more responsible, sustainable, and—most importantly—climate-conscious supply chains. According to the Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, federal supply chain emissions associated with federal contracts are twice as high as Federal Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, combined. As such, reforming Federal procurement practices to limit direct emissions as well as emissions in supply chains can play a crucial role in reaching the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Biden Administration has taken a strong stance on climate change, initiating, reinstating, and further developing necessary policy adjustments such as transitioning the government fleet to electric vehicles, supporting energy efficiency in buildings, and the uptake in renewable energy generation, and drafting a new Federal Sustainability Plan. The RCRC Committee has prepared recommendations relevant to Federal procurement practices to help achieve maximum emissions reductions at both the government and national levels.
Jay C. Shambaugh et al., The Case for Climate Conscious, Low Carbon Federal Procurement (2021)