President Biden’s December 8 executive order on steps the Federal government will take to reduce carbon emissions across the government features provisions that direct Federal agencies to evaluate supply chain sustainability and supplier emissions as part of that larger effort.

The executive order grabbed headlines for its intention to use the scale and procurement power of the government to advance a broad range of goals including:

  • 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030;
  • 100 percent zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035;
  • Net-zero emissions from Federal procurement by 2050;
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045;
  • 65 percent emissions reduction from overall Federal operations by 2030, and a net-zero emissions goal of 2050.

“The executive order will reduce emissions across federal operations, invest in American clean energy industries and manufacturing, and create clean, healthy, and resilient communities,” the White House said. “The President is building on his whole-of-government effort to tackle the climate crisis in a way that creates well-paying jobs, grows industries, and makes the country more economically competitive.”

The text of the executive order shows that under the hearing of Federal supply chain sustainability, “Federal supply chains should support a Government and economy that serves all Americans by creating and sustaining well-paying union jobs, protecting public health, advancing environmental justice, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and building resilience to climate change.”

“Consistent with applicable law, agencies shall pursue procurement strategies to reduce contractor emissions and embodied emissions in products acquired or used in Federal projects,” the order says.

Regarding supplier emissions tracking, the order says that the General Services Administration (GSA) “shall track disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions, emissions reduction targets, climate risk, and other sustainability-related actions by major Federal suppliers, based on information and data collected through supplier disclosure pursuant to the requirements of section 5(b)(i) of Executive Order 14030 of May 20, 2021 (Climate-Related Financial Risk), and shall assist the Chair of CEQ in assessing the results of efforts to reduce Federal supply chain emissions.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.