Ceres Applauds New Rule Prioritizing Sustainable Products in Federal Procurements

Ceres welcomes the recent announcement by the Biden administration of a new rule updating federal procurement practices to prioritize the purchase of sustainable products and services. The U.S. government is the world’s largest consumer of products and services, with roughly $750 billion in annual procurements. 

The Federal Sustainable Procurement rule put forward by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council requires agencies and contracting officers to purchase products and services recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies as sustainable. It is one of several rules that provide the U.S. an opportunity to make further progress in reducing financial risks in federal supply chains and ensuring the nation captures the enormous economic opportunities and taxpayer savings associated with the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable, and just economy. 

“This is an important step forward in making the federal government’s supply chains more resilient and sustainable,” said Steven Rothstein, Managing Director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets at Ceres. “When making purchasing decisions, the government has a responsibility to manage the financial risks of climate change and other sustainability threats. This new rule will help ensure that the government uses its purchasing power to reduce these risks and strengthen the market for long-term stability while supporting climate and sustainability innovations. 

Last year, Ceres, which filed public comments, published an analysis of all the public comments filed. It showed the overwhelming majority of public comments submitted to the FAR Council were in support of the rule. Ceres, along with its nonprofit partners and investor and company members, worked to highlight the benefits of the sustainable products procurement rule finalized today, along with the supplier climate risk disclosure rule that was proposed in November 2022, and awaits finalization. 

“Now that the sustainable products procurement rule is final, it is time to take the next steps to finalize the supplier climate risk disclosure rule which will boost the federal government’s broader efforts to reduce climate-related financial risks by requiring the largest contractors to disclose greenhouse gas emissions, perform climate risk assessments, and set validated science-based targets,” Rothstein added.  

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