DoD Issues Green Procurement Policy

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Sep 01, 2004 - The Department of Defense today announced an important step forward in its efforts to align mission and environmental stewardship by issuing a new "green procurement" policy. The policy affirms a goal of 100 percent compliance with federal laws and executive orders requiring purchase of environmentally friendly, or "green" products and services. The policy also outlines a strategy for meeting those requirements along with metrics for measuring progress.

In taking this step, DoD is reemphasizing its commitment to the environment and its position that simply complying with environmental laws and regulations is not enough. "Employing the department's purchasing power to conserve energy and natural resources can have a substantial positive impact on the long-term sustainability of the DoD mission and its facilities, as well as our nation as a whole," said Ray DuBois, deputy under secretary of defense for installations and environment.

Key to the policy's issuance and ultimate success is the close partnership between the environmental and procurement communities across DoD. Deidre Lee, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, said, "The green procurement program is designed to enhance and sustain mission readiness through cost effective acquisition that not only meets regulatory requirements, but also reduces resource consumption and waste generation. Our new policy calls for procurement and environmental organizations across the department to assist purchasers in making the right decisions that result in cost effective, mission-enabling and environmentally sound purchases."

The new policy also has been well received outside of DoD. Edwin Pinero, the administration's acting federal environmental executive, said, "We have been recommending that agencies take a holistic approach that addresses all components of federal green purchasing. DoD is the first to fully embrace this approach. As the new model for the federal government, it holds great potential for sustainable environmental stewardship in DoD and other federal agencies."

The department and the Environmental Protection Agency view the policy as an example of the increasing alignment of the national security and environmental stewardship missions. "We laud DoD's environmental stewardship, initiative and leadership in issuing a comprehensive green procurement policy," said Steve Johnson, EPA deputy administrator. "We look forward to continuing to work closely with DoD on our mutual efforts to improve our nation's environmental quality."