The concept of sustainability can take a number of forms when it comes to procurement processes, both for individual companies and the entire logistics industry. But for the world at large, sustainability often boils down to a different kind of trend: going green. That is certainly a concern for logistics and procurement as well, and in recent weeks, a number of household-name companies are urging the U.S. to do more on this front.
Several big businesses, including Google, Hewlett Packard, Adobe and FirstLight Power, got together with nonprofits like the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the U.S. Energy Storage Association to co-write a letter to President Joe Biden highlighting their concerns about sustainability in the supply chain. In it, the organizations highlighted a recent executive order that aims to get the entire federal supply chain to zero-emissions no later than 2035, and pushed for a more aggressive approach.
"We, as companies and organizations committed to the clean energy transition, believe that the federal government can accelerate the creation of a carbon-free electricity sector by adopting strong targets for federal facilities to procure around-the-clock clean energy," they wrote. In addition, they outlined a number of steps the federal government could take to get to that point, including interim targets for federal departments and phased-in implementation of green tech and processes.
Steps in the right direction?
Around the same time, the Biden administration unveiled some parts of its proposed federal budget for 2022, and many of the issues being pushed for by those organizations are involved, at least in part, in those plans, according to Government Executive. That includes investing $600 million to support development and ramping up American manufacturing capacity to produce more fully electric vehicles that would be purchased by 18 federal agencies.
Currently, there are no more specific guidelines related to the executive order about "greening" the American supply chain and procurement processes, the report said. However, it's possible these were left out of the initial outline for the budget proposal, but will be included when the complete document is released later this year.
A different approach
Meanwhile, some federal legislators are not content to wait for the slower rollout of these processes, and are pushing for more clean-energy initiatives via bills now being introduced to the U.S. Senate. Indeed, Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Andy Levin of Michigan recently introduced legislation that would "create a $1.5 trillion federal procurement commitment over the next 10 years to purchase American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export," according to a report from Warren's office.
This includes creating a grant program related to green procurement, funding large federal bulk purchases of green products that can then be sold to state and local governments at discounts, creating green infrastructure development jobs and more.
When companies can do more in-house to "go green," they are doing their part to improve the broader ecosystem of their unique supply chain. That, in turn, helps the entire industry reduce emissions one business at a time.