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EPA Releases Updated Resources to Aid Federal Purchasers in Meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s Sustainability Goals

March 14, 2022

EPA Releases Updated Resources to Aid Federal Purchasers in Meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s Sustainability Goals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing a new and improved Framework for the Assessment of Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing under its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program, and a webpage highlighting ecolabel criteria that address perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These actions are a key step in implementing President Biden’s Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs through Federal Sustainability and the accompanying Federal Sustainability Plan.
The EPP program helps U.S. federal government purchasers utilize private sector standards and ecolabels to identify and procure environmentally preferable products and services via the Recommendations of Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing (Recommendations). The updated Framework released today provides a streamlined, transparent, and consistent approach to assessing marketplace standards and ecolabels for environmental sustainability and for inclusion into the Recommendations.
These updates to the Framework reflect lessons learned during the last five years of implementation and a desire to address a broader range of purchase categories with a more streamlined set of criteria. In addition, eligibility criteria for standards and ecolabels have been updated to further support their implementation across the federal government.
The Biden-Harris Federal Sustainability Plan outlines an ambitious path to achieve net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050, increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, and avoid the procurement of products containing PFAS, among other key strategies. Additionally, the Plan requires major federal contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adopt science-based emissions reduction targets, and mandates that federal purchasers maximize procurement of sustainable products and services, such as those that meet EPA’s Recommendations. EPA will use the Framework to update and expand the Recommendations to support the Administration’s priorities and Federal Sustainability Plan. The Recommendations currently include more than 40 private sector environmental performance standards and ecolabels in 25 purchase categories.
Additionally, the webpage released today highlighting how EPA’s Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels address PFAS is an important step toward providing federal purchasers with tools to avoid procurement of products containing PFAS. The release of the webpage is concurrent with work to identify products and purchase categories which are known to be associated with key PFAS uses as well as outreach to ecolabel and standard organizations regarding addressing PFAS. This action complements EPA’s ongoing efforts under the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, EPA’s whole-of-agency approach to safeguard communities from PFAS contamination.

Learn more about EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program at Here.

Learn more about webpage highlighting ecolabel criteria that address perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances at Here.

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