The Department of Defense has a new coding system for all federal supplies that will make it easier for government workers to find and purchase environment-friendly products.
Thanks to an initiative undertaken by military supply managers and the Defense Logistics Agency, federal supply listings will now show which stock items meet or exceed environmental guidelines such as the Environmental Protection Agency's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines and the Department of Energy's Standards for Energy Products. New environment-friendly product codes will be added to the list as these "green" products are developed and identified.
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman announced the initiative at this week's National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America, taking place May 2-5, 1999, in Detroit. The goal of the conference, which is sponsored by the President's Council on Sustainable Development and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation, is to bring together a cross-section of America--including private citizens, industry and government--to discuss and act on ideas for promoting sustainable economic development within a balance of defense, economic and environmental goals.
"This initiative will save the American taxpayers millions of dollars by encouraging DoD purchasers to buy products that are more energy-efficient and environmentally-sound," said Goodman. "It will encourage our people to make better use of environmentally-oriented products, including recycled items and items able to be recycled."
Within the new coding system, supply managers will update the Federal Logistics Information System (FLIS)--a computerized list of more than seven million supply items covering everything from office supplies to military hardware--with information that designates which items are the most environment-friendly.
All federal agencies, as well as manufacturers, commercial producers and a number of foreign governments use the FLIS as a reference source. In addition to tracking national stock numbers for federal supply purchases, the FLIS offers guidance on acquiring, storing, distributing, transporting, using and disposing items used by the government.
Goodman explained that the Defense Department has a strong commitment to purchasing "green" products. She said, "With our large purchasing power, we can play an important role in helping create a bigger market for environmentally-oriented products."
More information on this effort can be found at the website for the Joint Group on Environmental Attributes at http://www.dlis.dla.mil/epp/aboutjgenvatt/group.asp, or from the Defense Logistics Information Service website at http://www.dlis.dla.mil. The DLIS public affairs office number is (616) 961-7015. For more information on the National Town Meeting, visit the event's website at http://www.sustainableamerica.com.