Pacific Rim hosts round table highlighting sustainability and small business opportunities
Linking GSA’s priorities of expanding small business opportunities and making a more sustainable government, the Pacific Rim Region recently hosted a sustainability round table in Los Angeles in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. Regional Administrator Ruth Cox addressed an audience of more than thirty focusing on the importance of sustainability within GSA and the need for a comprehensive roadmap to ensure the agency achieves its 2020 goals.
“We’re taking a very methodical approach to sustainability,” said Cox. “When we say we’re going to meet our 2020 goals, we know exactly how we’re going to do it.”
She discussed the region’s three-pronged approach to its sustainability plan:
Phase 1 – Current state: Understand “where we are” and establish a baseline.
Phase 2 – Future state: Set the targets for the future through national metrics.
Phase 3 – Develop business cases and the roadmap or action plan: Prioritize R9’s projects and programs to achieve sustainability goals.
Cox also discussed the region’s five focus areas: buildings, transportation, supply chain, workplace transformation and the sustainable community, addressing the inherent opportunities that lie within for industry leaders and small businesses that focus on sustainability.
“We can’t do this by ourselves,” said Cox. “We need to collaborate with our customer agencies and private industry to achieve our sustainability goals. At GSA, we’re communicating to small businesses that there’s a competitive advantage to offering more sustainable products and services."
Several of the region’s sustainable projects in the Los Angeles area were highlighted to attendees as both examples of GSA’s commitment to sustainability and/or possible opportunities for small businesses, including the green cafeteria project at the 300 North Los Angeles Federal Building and the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse.
“The LA Courthouse is a great example of how we’re working together to achieve our sustainability goals” Cox said. “We formed a multidisciplinary team to ensure sustainable design concepts and energy efficient performance requirements were incorporated throughout.” The new facility, targeted for LEED® Platinum, is currently in design. The design-build contractor, Clark Construction, has set aggressive small business goals that include specific targets for women-owned and veteran-owned small businesses.
Cox concluded the round table by saying GSA is committed to supporting small businesses and has a record of including them in procurement efforts. There are a great many opportunities for small businesses to work with the federal government especially in areas unique to the region: high technology, clean power, and green products and services.