Some updates about the greening of government…
Feds to add to electric car fleet – GSA has a solicitation out for 100 electric cars (e.g., Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf) and has added electric-vehicle charging equipment to the GSA Schedule. GSA Also issued a Sources Sought notice (Request for Information) regarding Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment.
Other agencies are exploring electric vehicle usage as they seek to achieve the Presidents goal of having 1 million electric vehicles in use by 2015.
The US Army is also going green with a new initiative to phase out all incandescent lighting within five years. The Army’s Memorandum for Sustainable Design and Development Policy Update (Environmental and Energy Performance), changes the way the Army will approach efficient design of Army facilities. Requirements throughout the planning, programming, budgeting, design and building stages will strengthen the Army's sustainability, energy security and energy independence through more responsible consumption and planning. Overall, DoD has plans to reduce energy consumption at Federal facilities by 37.5% by 2020.
GSA is also raising the bar to increase the energy efficiency of all new federal building construction projects, requiring LEED Gold certification (the second highest rating by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. A LEED Gold rating building would need to incorporate more features such as water-efficient bathrooms, green roofs and recycled construction material.
An important element of increasing energy efficiency and sustainability lies in the work habits of federal employees. The president has been encouraging tele-work as a means of decreasing energy waste. But manager resistance, fearing loss of control, has greatly limited fully implementing tele-work. But tele-work pilot programs have begun minimizing resistance to change and the results have been stellar. Other traditional but environmentally unfriendly habits, such as simple matters like printing out emails, must also be identified and remedied through training and technology.
These are but a few of the areas that government is investing in order to reduce waste, and improve energy efficiency. Significant opportunities exist for businesses to provide services and products to minimize waste and expedite the greening of government and getting on a GSA schedule contract is a good first step.