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What's In It For Your Company

Revenue Earning Potential and How To Increase Market Share

Sustainable acquisition is a priority for the federal government. The federal government is the largest buyer of products and services, with an annual estimated spend that exceeds $450 billion. It is difficult to definitively identify how much federal agencies spend on sustainable products and services. However, Executive Order 13693 and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 23.103 call for the federal acquisition workforce to ensure that products and services purchased under new contract actions must meet sustainable acquisition requirements. This means agencies must purchase items that contain one or more of these positive environmental attributes:
  • Recycled content
  • Energy-efficient
  • Biobased
  • Water-efficient
  • Environmentally preferable
  • Alternatives to ozone depleting substances
  • Low or no toxic or hazardous constituents

This policy applies to the acquisition of products and services of all dollar values, provided the applicable product(s) meets agency performance requirements. Federal ordering activities are actively looking to acquire sustainable products and services that will reduce or eliminate pollution, energy, waste, and harmful materials.

Ordering activities look toward GSA contract vehicles to assist their efforts to meet sustainable acquisition requirements outlined in relevant legislation, the FAR, agency procurement policies, E.O. 13693, and the E.O. Implementing Instructions.

Here are a few valuable tips that can help your company better differentiate itself from other companies that market their sustainable products and services to federal agencies. Your GSA contract may contain requirements in the Scope of Work (Section C) or Special Contract Requirements (Section H) that you supply or use products meeting specific environmental programs. Your contract might also require you to report your sales of sustainable products. Your company must develop an understanding of sustainable purchasing requirements and the relevant environmental programs that define either mandatory or preference purchasing decisions that a federal ordering activity must consider. For a complete list of product requirements, visit the Green Procurement Compilation.

Your company should accurately identify sustainable products and services offered. This should be accomplished at all phases of the procurement process. If your company holds a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract, it is highly likely that the General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) 552.239-72 clause appears in your contract for items covered by sustainable acquisition requirements. When this contract clause exists, your company is required to identify sustainable products and services included in your offering. This must be accomplished in each of the following mediums:

  • the offer itself
  • printed commercial marketing materials (catalogs, brochures, and pricelists)
  • online product websites
  • electronic data submission of the pricelist for upload into GSA Advantage!.

It is very important that you accurately identify the sustainable attribute associated with each specific product or service regardless of the medium. Also, when electronically uploading your pricelist into GSA Advantage!, you should effectively utilize the product description field to specify the sustainable attribute that is associated with each item, and you should select the appropriate sustainable attribute designation available to you. Companies that do not have GSAR 552.238-72 in their contract would benefit by accurately presenting sustainable products and services to federal ordering activities as well. Your pricelists and electronic catalogs are excellent opportunities to market sustainable products and services.

Do your homework to understand your federal market base and their sustainable product and service needs. Your GSA contract officer or contract specialist is an excellent resource for starting this process. USAspending.gov is another good source. Build your marketing campaign with these activities in mind. Research FedBizOpps and GSA e-Buy to identify open procurements where ordering activities that are seeking to acquire products and services that are covered by sustainable acquisition requirements.

For more information about how sustainable acquisition requirements apply to products and services you sell click on the following links: