Green Toolkit (MSC)
This webpage contains information about buying "green." It compiles definitions, links and presentations for your use. It will be continually updated as we work together in our sustainability efforts. Note: Some of the links below lead to nongovernment websites.
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," as noted in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) - Declaration of National Environmental Policy.
Green: "Green" practices are any choices that tread lightly on the earth, or have a lower impact than conventional options. These choices may or may not be “sustainable."
Applicable Standards and Certifications
EPA Endorsed Third Party Recycling Programs for eWaste (computers, peripherals, televisions, cell phones): EPA’s Position on Recycling Certification Programs: “EPA supports, and will continue to push for, further safe and protective recycling efforts, and encourage improvements in best management practices for recyclers. There are existing recycling certification programs, such as R2 and E-Steward, that EPA believes advance environmentally safe practices and include standards for use in third party certification of such efforts.“ Source: Memo from the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response to Regional Administrators, July 6, 2010.
- R2 Certification Information (PDF, 97.2KB)
- R2 Practices Documents
- e-Stewards Certification
- Energy Star certification: ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.
- SmartWay: In its simplest form, the SmartWay brand identifies products and services that reduce transportation-related emissions. The SmartWay brand signifies a partnership among government, business and consumers to protect our environment, reduce fuel consumption, and improve our air quality for future generations.
- Forest Stewardship Council: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) offers the most widely recognized certification in America. Founded in 1993 as an international non-profit organization, the FSC offers a voluntary labeling program that supports healthy forests, and social and economic benefits for the communities that rely on them.
- Carbon Neutral: Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference. It is used in the context of carbon dioxide releasing processes, associated with transportation, energy production and industrial processes. For more information, go to The CarbonNeutral Company.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has an online tutorial to learn more regarding ISO 14001 – Standards for Environmental Management Systems.
Independent voluntary sustainability/GHG inventory disclosure or supporting organizations include:
- Global Reporting Initiative
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- International Energy Agency
- Sustainable Forest Products Industry
FAS Migration to Green
Effective Winter 2011, all Environmental Schedule Contractors (899) who perform eWaste recycling services, will be required to have a certification. See Additional Terms & Conditions Required for SIN 899-5 (PDF, 39.1KB) - Materials and Waste Recycling and Disposal Services.
- Green Success Stories for Professional Services (PDF, 402.6KB): Read more about how contractors on various professional service schedules are operating in a green way and some of the innovative ways they are providing green and sustainable solutions to the federal government.
- What is Green Remediation? (PDF, 70.8KB): This document outlines information from an EPA study.
See Getting Buy-In and Making Change Happen (PDF, 86KB).
Relevant Links and Miscellaneous Information
- GSA Helping Gov Go Green conference - March 31, 2010 (PPT, 2.495KB)
- GSA How to Write Green Requirements (PPT, 1.737KB)
- GSA Environmental Program aisle on GSA Advantage!®
- GSA Strategically Sustainable
- How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint – Developing a Company-Wide GHG Inventory for a Small Business.
Useful RFI tool for evaluating contractors contributions to “green:" Evaluating Indirect Green Services (PDF, 472.3KB).