Renewable Choice Energy

Are You Ready for EO 13514?

sustainable-business icon by on 02/10/2012

Suppliers to government agencies will soon be required to provide GHG emissions data. In this blog, we'll share helpful insights into Executive Order 13514 , how it may affect your business, and link you to additional resources.

EO 13514On October 5, 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13514, which calls on Federal agencies to make improvements in their environmental, energy, and economic performance by meeting a series of reduction targets over the next decade.  EO 13514 specifically seeks to establish an integrated sustainability strategy within the Federal sector.  The President called on Federal agencies, the nation’s largest consumer of energy, to “lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies.”

With more than 500,000 buildings, 600,000 vehicles, and $5B in annual purchasing of goods and services, the Federal government is a behemoth when it comes to the potential impact it could have on sustainability, particularly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Inherent to EO 13514’s mission is the examination of waste and emissions within Federal agencies’ supply chains – including Scope 3 emissions.

Whether you are a Federal agency yourself or a vendor or contractor to a Federal agency, you will no doubt begin to experience the impact of EO 13514 (if you haven’t already).  The Order’s aggressive targets for measuring, managing, and reducing GHG emissions and energy, water, and waste reduction by 2020 include:

  • 95% of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements;
  • Implementation of the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement; and
  • 30% reduction in fleet vehicle petroleum use

How Will EO 13514 Affect My Business?

If you are a supplier to a government agency, you will soon be required to provide information regarding your GHG emissions.  Initiatives outlined in the Recommendations for Vendor and Contractor Emissions General Services Administration document include requiring governmental suppliers to conduct (and make available) a GHG inventory. 

Suppliers will also be required to provide a description of efforts to mitigate GHG emissions and to register their GHG inventory with an organization for publicly reporting GHG emissions.  Last week, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced that the Order is already influencing sustainability reporting among Federal agencies including the US Postal Service and the US Army.

Federal agencies are also urged to use purchasing preferences that favor products manufactured using processes that minimize GHG emissions and to encourage sustainable practices throughout their supply chain. 

Keep in mind that conducting an energy and emissions inventory can also expose inefficiencies in your building systems, leading to opportunities to cut costs and improve performance.  Compliance with EO 13514 has the potential to benefit your business by reducing risks and improving your bottom line while simultaneously saving taxpayer money.

How Can I Proactively Comply with EO 13514?

EO 13514 has the potential to radically affect governmental suppliers.  In order to be ready to engage your Federal agency buyers, it is important to begin crafting your strategy now.
There are four areas of GHG compliance that you must consider as you move forward:

  1. Measurement: Conducting a GHG inventory is a crucial first step to knowing where you are now.
  2. Implementation: Following your GHG inventory, what steps will you need to take to actually reduce your emissions?
  3. Monitoring: How will you track your efforts on an ongoing basis?  Most likely, investment in a carbon accounting system will be an effective and efficient tool for you to track your reduction goals and targets.
  4. Reporting: How will you register your emissions outcomes?  Will you choose to report to an agency such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)?

Fortunately, you’re not alone in this effort.  According to our recent white paper on Supply Chain Sustainability, increasing numbers of companies across all industries and sectors are expected to implement sustainability initiatives to improve supply chain efficiencies. 

Renewable Choice can help.  As experts in GHG emissions measuring and reporting and supply chain sustainability, we invite you to download the resources we have available to provide you with more information on EO 13514.  We’d also love to introduce you to Mosaic™, our web-based energy and carbon accounting system that is simple, scalable, and effective.  Contact us today to learn more about how we’ve helped thousands of companies reduce risks and improve their bottom line by implementing a sustainability strategy.

Renewable Choice's Amy Haddon

Amy Haddon is Director of Business Operations for Renewable Choice.