Question: What is the contracts requirement?
Response: In accordance with the goals set in Executive Order (E.O.) 13693, related statutory requirements, and the Department of Energy's (DOE) annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP), DOE Federal employees and contractors must ensure "each of the following environmental performance and sustainability factors are included ... for all applicable procurements [such as contracts] in the planning, award, and executive phases": recycled content designated products, energy efficient products and services (ENERGY STAR certified and FEMP designated), biobased designated, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs (Safer Choice, SmartWay, SNAP, WaterSense), and EPA recommended specifications, standards, and labels [EO13693, Section 3(i)].
Question: What is the definition of "contracts"?
Response: The definition of contracts is new contracts and blanket ordering agreements issued, modifications to existing contracts task orders under existing multi-year contracts, multiple award contracts, multiple award schedules, and any other vehicles that are contractual agreements, such as purchasing agreements and long term purchase orders. Sites must ensure new contract actions and modifications to contracts or other such contractual agreements meet the EO13693 goal.
Question: What must be stipulated for a contract to meet the requirements?
Response: Sources for sustainable acquisition requirements to incorporate in
a contract are
Question: Do the FAR and DEAR sustainable acquisition
requirements have to be included in every contract whether applicable to
sustainable acquisition or not?
Response: No but they certainly could be should your site be trying to achieve cradle-to-cradle or some parallel sustainability
status. Typically contracts without sustainable acquisition opportunity would not include the FAR and DEAR sustainable acquisition requirements. Such contracts might be an inspection of an irrigation line where the work is to dig a hole, inspect the line, and cover the hole with no replacement of the irrigation line
Question: The DOE reporting requirement denotes for now we only report on some types of contracts. Does this mean the 95% requirement only
applies to those particular types of contracts?
Response: No. Executive Order 13514 refers to all eligible contracts. Contracts eligible for inclusion in the 95% target are only those
for which sustainable acquisition opportunities exist. This can take the form of a consultant's use of recycled content paper in submitting a deliverable under the contract to more obvious examples such as the direct purchase of cleaning supplies. It is only the reporting that is limited to specific types of contracts.
Question: Does reporting only cover contracts issued in the
applicable fiscal year?
Response: Yes. DOE sites should review new contracts awarded during the relevant fiscal year. This
would include existing multi-year contracts with options that are renewed during that fiscal year. This also applies to contract modifications, provided the modification itself involves new work and offers opportunities for sustainable acquisition.
Question: Do we report on the number of contracts or the number
of actions/purchases on each contract?
Response: Only report the contracts themselves, not the number of purchase actions on a contract. For example, if
you have 1 custodial contract for services and another contract for products,report that as 2 contracts.
Question: Do we have to report even if we have no new contracts
in the applicable fiscal year?
Response: Yes. If, in the year being reported on, your site has no contracts, modification to contracts, or other contractual implements, be sure to note that.
Question: Because the CRD (contractor requirements document) no longer references the sustainable acquisition requirements, does a site
still have to comply with those provisions?
Response: Yes. The sustainable acquisition compliance and reporting is a requirement of the DEAR (Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation) and is otherwise mandated by the SSPP (Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan), incorporated by reference in Order 436.1.
Question: How do we apply the contract reporting guidance if we opt to exempt ourselves from the CRD (contractor requirements document) because
we have developed a Strategic Sustainability Plan and our Environmental Management System is certified to ISO14001?
Response: There is no path for exemption from the CRD. Reporting on sustainable acquisition purchasing is a requirement of the Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation, which flows down from the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The SSP is a planning document. You report the status in the DOE Sustainability Dashboard and the planning and future actions in the SSP. They should reinforce each other and not be duplicative or exclusionary.
Question: What documents should be reviewed?
Response: Any transactional document that might prove compliance may be included in this review. For example, if a construction contract is compliant by specifying the right type of materials to be includedin a renovation in the agreement itself, the review could end there. But if
the necessary specificity can instead be found in the statement of work, the statement of work should be reviewed. In addition, if other information is available that proves compliance, such as product receipts, those materials can also be relied upon.
Question: What should be included in the contract for it to be counted as compliant?
Response: : All significant opportunities for sustainable acquisition must be captured. For example, if the construction contract includes replacement of light fixtures, partitions, and painting, the terms specified should include ENERGY STAR fixtures, recycled content partitions, and low VOC and/or remanufactured or biobased content paint.