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In December of 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order to improve procurement and acquisition through sustainability. Leadership Connect was proud to host two experts in the field of sustainable procurement, Michael Derrios and Jeffery Koses, to discuss this topic and inform our audience of best practices regarding the implementation and the future of this Executive Order. 

Our panelists were uniquely qualified to host this webinar, as Michael is a leader in the field of government acquisition with the U.S. Department of State and Jeffery currently sits as the Senior Procurement Executive at GSA.  

We were also lucky to have Leadership Connect’s very own Alan Thomas moderate this event, as he is the former Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. 

Our panelists addressed the EO and its implications regarding four subjects: People, Process, Technology, and Data. Here are the key takeaways from each of those categories: 


The workforce is adjusting to the EO by looking for new opportunities to educate themselves through webinars and adding sustainability to portfolios. Michael also stated that the State Department is participating in overseas conversations to establish standard operating procedures and best practices to implement both domestically and abroad. According to Jeffery, GSA has a history of prioritizing sustainability and already established an acquisition review board last fall to formally consider sustainability and how to execute it at all phases of acquisition lifecycle. 


The first steps in creating a process to implement the EO and incorporate it into proposal evaluations are developing, brainstorming, and planning new acquisition strategies. State is working to bake environmental outcomes into their best value determination processes, so that proposal evaluations will automatically consider things like greenhouse gas emissions, solar energy, and the reduction of single-use plastics. The overall goal is to develop new language that expresses how sustainability can sometimes outweigh cost so that evaluating contracts in line with EPA recommendations becomes second nature. The rollout of these new processes won’t happen all at once, but the goal is to slowly but surely establish environmental evaluations into every step of the procurement process. 


Technology as a service has an environmental factor in that data centers consume a great deal of energy. Our panelists agreed that moving forward in technology purchases, they need to feel assured that their partners and purchases have sustainability priorities and have a plan to reduce emissions. For example, GSA factors things like electric car charging stations and single-use plastics policies into their facilities decisions. Both panelists stated that this is a major conversation throughout the government and agencies and that there is a unanimous push to move technology from government-owned data centers to cloud computing whenever possible. 


With any EO, there comes a need for the proper data to carry out the order in an efficient and effective way. Our panelists recommended that industry and organizations should develop and maintain a relationship with the Clean Energy Buyers Association, a community committed to buying electricity from carbon-free energy sources. They both agreed that it is best to remain on the lookout for options where sustainable data can be acquired. Specifically, Michael recommended looking at internal data sources, meaning that State makes an effort to employ tools to help determine what they are buying and the data points regarding sustainability so they can develop better procurement strategies.  Jeff emphasized the ongoing work of GSA’s Acquisition Advisory Committee to Address Climate Crisis and Increase Sustainability which will hold another public meeting in the first week of May.  

General Takeaways

Overall, Michael and Jeffery wanted our audience to know that this is an important topic that requires communication beteween industry and government participants to establish best practices.

Missed the discussion? View the panel here.

Annie Farrell

Digital Content Writer