An interim rule published by the U.S. Department of Defense, General Services Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration requires federal contractors to “support the goals of an agency’s environmental management system (EMS).” 76 Fed. Reg. 31,395 (5/31/11).

The interim rule implements two executive orders, issued in 2007 and 2009, and calls on agencies to ensure that “95 percent of new contract actions, including task and delivery orders, for products and services, with the exception of acquisition of weapon systems, are energy-efficient (Energy Star or Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated), water efficient, biobased, environmentally preferable (e.g., Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered), non-ozone depleting, contain recycled content, or are non-toxic or less toxic alternatives, where such products and services meet agency performance requirements.”

The rule also revises the Federal Acquisition Regulation to ensure agencies are including or considering sustainable acquisition requirements in their synopses, acquisition planning documents, and functions and descriptions of agency needs. It states that agencies “shall implement environmental management systems at all appropriate organizational levels and that, when contractor activities affect aspects of environmental management, EMS requirements shall be included in their contracts.” The interim rule was effective when published.