Obama orders environmental measures for agencies

New executive order directs agencies to take steps to recycle, save energy

Agencies must choose technology hardware and other goods based in part on their energy efficiency and environmental impact, according to an executive order issued by President Barack Obama.

Excluding weapons systems, 95 percent of new products and services acquired by the federal government must meet a range of requirements that address a variety of environmental factors, such as making efficient use of water or being made partly of recycled materials, according to the order signed Oct. 5.

The order also mandates measures for federal data center management to ensure they're run in an energy efficient manner, and requires agencies to use environmentally sound practices when disposing of excess or surplus electronic products. The document also tells agencies to choose environmentally preferable products, such as those certified by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool.

Obama wrote in the order that its goal is “to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the federal government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority for federal agencies."

White House officials hope to create a clean energy economy and promote energy security with the new rules, the order said.

“Federal agencies shall increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and storm water management; eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution,” the order states.

Also, agencies were told must to design, build, maintain, and operate high-performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations and .agency leaders are to strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities where federal facilities are located.

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About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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