SPF Projects-Cohort 4
Reduction of Printing and Paper Use in a Veterans Administration Medical Center
While the Veterans Administration (VA) has made great strides in moving toward electronic medical records, the administrative end of the VA Medical Centers still remain firmly rooted in paper based systems. Recycled toner cartridges and paper with recycled content are being purchased, however, these expenses can be reduced significantly with little or no reduction in efficiency and operations. This project would analyze and document current use, prepare and execute a plan to reduce the printing and paper use at the medical facility.
United States Postal Service (USPS) Review of Green Procurement
The USPS is undertaking a system-wide review of its green procurement program. This review is taking place to improve USPS capabilities in identifying green products, tracking purchases, and determining the costs and benefits of a green procurement program. The project will focus on procurement decisions involving the purchase of products costing $500,000 or more. Specific tasks include identifying the universe of major vendors subject to green product reviews, determining data reporting requirements and objectives and, recommending strategies to track and promote “green” purchasing.
United States Postal Service (USPS) Redeployments for E85 Efficiencies
The USPS relies on the local commercial infrastructure to supply convenient and competitively priced fuel for its delivery fleet. The utilization of E85 is limited by this commercial availability. This project requires the review of locations of all E85 vehicles in the fleet that are not currently operating on E85. This is followed by determining the closest Post Office redeployment location with commercial, competitively priced E85. The final report would include the original location of the vehicles, identification of the lowest cost opportunities to relocate the vehicles, and justifications for the change.
United States Postal Service (USPS) and Save the Rain Initiative
The USPS recently announced a partnership with Onondaga County, New York, on its unique Save the Rain Initiative. An 11,300 square foot green roof will be built atop the Colvin-Elmwood Post office at no cost to USPS. USPS has more than 30,000 buildings in nearly every town in the USA and would like to examine the possibilities of similar partnerships with state, local, and city governments and universities to increase its portfolio of green roofs. The goal of the partnerships would be to increase the longevity of facility roof structures, decrease the environmental impact of facilities, and do it at no cost to the USPS. The Project deliverables include a report of potential key geographic locations for green roofs, potential partnerships, contact information, and a potential USPS Green Roof site list.
Sustainable Communities Partnership
The Sustainable Communities Partnership established a five year partnership to develop and implement sustainability through voluntary programs in Central Texas (Fort Hood and neighboring cities). The goal is to achieve measurable benefits by agreeing upon common goals and implementing partnership-guided projects that contribute to the vitality of the Central Texas (CENTEX) economy. This project will assist Fort Hood in engaging with the broader community to increase sustainability and highlight how local businesses, especially small businesses, can meet the community's sustainability needs. The requirements include the development of activities that would get local businesses to support the efficient use of materials and resources, and education on sustainability.
Commit to Efficiency Campaign
Every year, inefficient products in the federal government waste almost half a billion dollars’ worth of energy. The Commit to Efficiency campaign is a way for individuals involved in federal purchases to make a difference. The goal of this campaign is to save $130 million worth of energy (7 trillion BTUs) by December 31, 2013, and in doing so, establish a network of committed practitioners. The Fellow will assist in assuring that the program offerings help meet federal procurement staff needs. Some functions include producing and commenting on the content of training courses, and ensuring that resources to identify compliant products/contracts are clear, effective, and useful for a procurement audience.
Many buyers do not consider the "use phase" of a product when making a procurement decision. Buyers procure the product with the lowest initial cost, expending unnecessary funds and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) that would have been saved if a lifecycle based procurement decision were used. This project requires working with Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) staff to correctly identify products sold through GSA that should carry an energy-efficiency designation and quantify potential cost savings from procuring energy efficient products based on a "true cost" or lifecycle analysis.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Substances Of Concern (SOC) Initiative
In collaboration with GSA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the NIH is implementing the SOC Reduction Initiative. This initiative is to develop and deploy the processes needed to promote the agency’s procurement of healthier, less hazardous and polluting products. This includes publication of an Interim List of SOCs as well as guidance on SOCs and reduction strategies. The integration of SOC identification, reduction and tracking processes in NIH’s Purchasing Online Tracking System (POTS) will also be included. The early results from the implementation of NIH’s SOC initiative will be evaluated and developed into a case study. Lessons learned will be used to develop and deploy applications that can be used by other federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations involved in the development of standards and ecolables.
In budget constrained times, GSA is sought after by agency customers to provide solutions that reduce costs through the minimization of environmental impacts. Mobility is a solution that can provide significant energy related cost savings to customers. This project will look at developing the materials and a marketing plan for providing mobility services to GSA customer agencies. The Fellows will work closely with GSA Customer Account Representatives (CAR) to explain the costs and benefits of mobility solutions to customers.
Technical Specifications for ultra low temperature (ULT) freezers
Since there is no standard for evaluating the performance of lab grade freezers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began a case study to evaluate the energy consumption and performance of ULT freezers. A ULT is a freezer that can reach temperatures from -50°C to -86°C. The NIH evaluated the best performing units and developed the business rules to replace inefficient units with more efficient models. This project requires assistance in the development of technical specifications for evaluating the procurement of lab grade freezers.
The examination of protocols to develop a uniform standard for reporting green attributes is required. Other evaluations include those for the performance and energy consumption for various configurations, the lifecycle, and maintenance contracts. A case study on the sustainability of managing ULT freezers in owned space versus a leased space will also be done.
GSA’s Region 9 Sustainability Document
GSA’s Pacific Rim Region (Arizona, California, and Hawaii) is working on a tactical sustainability document. This document will provide a holistic, enterprise-wide framework, replete with strategies to meet and exceed the goals as enunciated in Executive Order 13514 and other statutes. Through various discussions held with the stakeholders and Regional leadership, there is a need for a case for change, description of the "as is" status quo with establishing a benchmark using data from the 2003 timeframe, strategies for increasing the market share, and the identification of barriers. The Fellow will work on the collection of this data, which will lead to the creation of a Regional Sustainability Plan, and ultimately procurement strategies that will serve GSA and its customers.
In the Fall of 2013, GSA will be moving an entire regional operational from one federal building to another. There have been tactical efforts to assist in making the transition, but there is a need for a more integrated approach, focused on sustainability efforts. This project requires Fellows to understand how to help acclimate employees to a new environment, particularly in the move from a corporate culture of individual offices/workstations to an open/collaborative and "hoteling" space concept. Measures will be created with regard to sustainability and open/collaborative spaces. The deliverable is a draft communications strategy.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)- Development of Data Resources and Protocols
Laws, regulations, and Executive Orders are mandating that products and services purchased by federal agencies meet an increasing array of requirements relating to sustainability. Currently, most Environmentally Preferable Procurement (EPP) guidance consists of narrowly defined single attributes applicable to a limited array of specific “designated products” as they are delivered. This ongoing project at the NIH consists of various activities relating to the development of data resources and protocols for evaluating and selecting products/services.
The basis of which is a concurrent assessment of conformance with multiple sustainability attributes, other procurement requirements and cost. NIH’s current initiatives for development of sustainable acquisition tools, and strategies for reducing procurement of Substances of Concern (SOC), will be used as background for designing the resources and protocols. Final deliverables may consist of case study reports, protocols for product selection based on multiple attributes, and recommendations and business plans for establishing and operating the proposed interagency database.