This week I am in Puerto Rico checking out the rain forest but wanted to wish everyone a Happy Earth Day! One thing I have come to appreciate in my short time at the Coalition is our members’ keen interest in sound, efficient and effective implementation of green initiatives across government. At the same time, I also have come to appreciate GSA’s willingness to communicate and engage with industry on green issues. Indeed, I believe a key to successful green contracting is the partnership between GSA and industry. I have been very gratified to watch the Coalition’s Green Committee discuss the issues and engage with GSA. The Committee’s discussions with GSA have been of high quality and thoughtful. I applaud GSA’s efforts in communicating with all the stakeholders on the implementation issues.
One more thought regarding green contracting and the GSA schedules. Much of the effort in “greening” schedules has centered on the adoption of environmental standards for products and services on the GSA schedule. For example, we have had many discussions on the selection and use of icons on GSA Advantage! However, that is just one aspect of green contracting. The GSA schedule program, as the leading commercial item contracting program across government, has the potential to do so much more. In order to increase access to new commercial technologies, including green technologies, GSA should consider focusing on and expanding the use of the “Introduction of New Products and Services” Special Item Numbers (SINs) on the various schedule solicitations. These SINs provide a wonderful opportunity for GSA to encourage the adoption of new, cutting edge commercially developed technologies. Who would have thought that one could “SIN” while going green?