The Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 23.703 stipulates "Federal agencies must implement cost-effective contracting preference programs promoting energy-efficiency, water conservation, and the acquisition of environmentally preferable products and services."
DOE sites must review new contract actions (including purchasing agreements, blanket ordering agreements, long-term purchase orders, contractual agreements with P-Card vendors, modifications to contracts) in each fiscal year and report on the findings. This reporting requirement comes from the Department of Energy Acquisition Regulations (DEAR) 48 CFR 952.223-78 or 970.5223-6 and 7 (M&Os).
Additional Considerations: Corrective Action
A narrowing of the review to select contract types is intended to afford sites the opportunity for a thorough review and implementation of corrective actions. Corrective actions may involve developing new contract terms, additional training, and adjustments to software and contract writing systems, as determined by the site. Sites should feel free to request assistance from Department of Energy Headquarters to help overcome obstacles to the sustainable acquisition reporting and compliance requirements.
The Green Procurement Compilation is a centralized source for template clauses as is FedCenter (scroll down to "Contract/Procurement Language"). In addition, the Priority Product attributes can be used as specifications in contracts. Other available template clauses for contracts are:
- Cafeteria products and services
- Construction services
- Electronic Equipment
- Facility maintenance
- Grounds products or service
- Office product supplies
- Vehicle maintenance
For credit card purchases, establish purchasing agreements with suppliers from whom your staff are allowed to purchase. Such purchasing agreements not only give you best customer pricing but give you the opportunity to specify which environmental attributes certain products must contain if your staff are to purchase them.
Much U.S. Department of Energy work is done through sub-contracts. The Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR 970.2301-2) specifies: "insert the contract clause at 970.5223-6, Sustainable and Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Practices, ... in contracts for the management and operation of DOE facilities, or other contracts under which the contractor manages Government facilities or fleets, or conducts mission operations at Government facilities, or performs construction at DOE facilities."
Flowing down our requirements to purchase products with certain attributes means writing the requirements in our sub-contracts and requiring the sub-contractor to report on the results. Some DOE sites have notified their construction sub-contractors, for instance, of their intent to purchase the most sustainable materials available so the sub-contractors can prepare ahead of time to respond to a Request for Proposal specifying biobased carpet, recycled paint, and biobased and recycled insulation, for example.