Green is the name of the game here at the GSA Expo in Orlando. The training session schedule is rife with the words “green” and “sustainable” and it’s all that any of the GSA folks here can talk about. It seems clear that new administrator Martha Johnson is taking President Obama’s green-government agenda to heart, and that Johnson’s commitment is trickling down to all levels. We’ll see whether government agencies and vendors are willing to get on board.
The exhibition floor had its share of environmentally friendly stuff — many booths had green products prominently displayed — according to Federal Acquisition Services chief Steve Kempf, 32 percent of exhibitors were peddling green goods. (That’s still a far cry from the 95 percent of federal contracts that are supposed to be sustainable as per Obama’s October executive order, but it’s a start, I suppose.) The green stuff ranged from furniture to storage devices to hand sanitizer. The expo has a dizzying array of products — walking around one sees booths hawking pocket knives, athletic playing field surfaces, mattresses, forklifts, Christmas lights … the list goes on. It’s a big government we have indeed, folks.
After the jump, a few photos from the floor: Read the rest of this entry »
With pressure mounting to purchase environmentally friendly products, sorting through the various federal programs to determine whether there are specific products identified that meet environmental standards can be daunting.
After all, federal agencies are rating scores of products — everything from awards and bed linens to vending machines and water coolers — for recycled and biobased content, energy and water savings and absence of environmentally harmful chemicals or gases.
Agencies are required toÂ buy environmentally preferable products, but finding out whether green alternatives exist for products being purchased is often a time- consuming and frustrating exercise.
Now there is a tool to make it a little easier. An intern at the White House Office of the Federal Environmental Executive has compiled environmental ratings from nine federal programs on products cutting across 18 broad categories into an Excel spreadsheet.
It’s the first time all of the designated products have been compiled into an easy to use tool for facility and fleet managers, information technology personnel, contracting officials and those who are certifying the products and services, said Dana Arnold, the acting federal environmental executive.