The Benefits of Greening Your Business
The Department of the Interior, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is committed to helping small businesses GO GREEN. What does it mean to "GO GREEN" The Federal Government has a variety of resources, information and ideas to assist your small business in becoming more environmentally conscious and achieving a competitive advantage in the world market that is striving to GO GREEN. The benefits of environmentally-friendly business practices can yield enormous rewards, both for the environment and the business.
The Greening Executive Order (E.O.13514 and E.O.13423) requires agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets. It describes a process by which agency goals will be set and reported to the President by the Chair of Council on Environmental Quality. The Executive Order also requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets.
The focus of the Federal government is to address: Energy Conservation; Green Power; Green Buildings; Water Conservation; Green Fleet; Waste Diversion; Green Printing and Copying; Green Office Supplies; Green Meetings, Green Electronics; Green Landscaping; and, Green Janitorial Services.
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization has developed some Steps to Sustainability and basic education is a KEY!
Is it easy being Green? It can be, if you know the steps to take to get there!
Energy and Water Conservation
Being Green can:
- Save money from reduced waste and increased efficiency
- Bring peace of mind from reduced concerns about health and safety liability
- Improve public relations
- Improve employee pride and morale
- Attract Green consumers
- Differentiate your business from competitors
- Provide flexibility in uncertain times
- Minimize risk, financial and otherwise, from the impacts of climate change
- Demonstrate leadership and commitment. A number of prominent corporations, driven by consumer awareness and environmental realities are embracing the business value of going green
Acquisition and Greening
Included in this program area are links to, and highlights from programs which enable agencies to meet these goals include: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, ENERGY STAR®, the Green Procurement Program, and the Federal Energy Management Program.
Both Executive Order (EO) 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, dated 24 January 2007 and EO 13514,Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, dated 5 October 2009 include goals and objectives applicable to the transportation sector. Note that EO 13514 builds upon and, in some cases, adds to or amends EO 13423. The goals, objectives, and sustainable practices outlined in both EOs must be met.
Both EO 13423, Section 2(d) and EO 13514, Section 2(h) support the agency acquisition of goods and services through the use of sustainable environmental practices, including acquisition of biobased, environmentally preferable, energy-efficient, water-efficient, and recycled-content products. EO 13514 further mandates that 95 percent of new contract actions, including task and delivery orders, for products and services with the exception of acquisition of weapon systems, meet the requirement for use of sustainable environmental practices. EO 13514 also includes products which are non-ozone depleting or are non-toxic or less toxic alternatives where such products and services meet agency performance requirements.
Both EOs also specifically require that agencies acquire paper of at least 30 percent post-consumer fiber content. EO 13514 further stipulates that un-coated printing and writing paper be used. EO 13514 also specifically requires that there be procurement preference for EPEAT-registered electronic products and that, for electronic equipment, Energy Star and FEMP designated electronic equipment be procured. Jointly the EOs mandate a reduction or elimination of acquisition and use of toxic chemical and an increase of the use of acceptable alternative chemicals and processes in keeping with the agency's procurement policies.
EO 13423 Section 9 and EO 13514, Section 19 provide the following definitions applicable to this Program Area.
- Agency - an executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, excluding the Government Accountability Office (EO 13514, Section 19(b)).
- Life-Cycle Cost-Effective - the life-cycle costs of a product, project, or measure are estimated to be equal to or less than the base case (i.e., current or standard practice or product)/ (EO 13423, Section 9).
- Sustainability and Sustainable - to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans (EO 13423, Section 9 and EO 13514, Section 19(l)).