Executive Order Promoting Businesses that Fight Climate Change Finalized
Montpelier – An Executive Order signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin that gives businesses fighting climate change preference in the state contracting process has been finalized.
The new policy applies to any contract over $25,000, which captures at least 97 percent of state contracting dollars. The state of Vermont spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year in contracts.
Under the new policies developed in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order, Four Questions have been added to the solicitation process (shown below). These questions let companies set themselves apart by giving them an opportunity to explain any business practices that promote clean energy and combat climate change, including the use of thermal and electric efficiency and conservation measures; use of renewable energy sources for its operations; efforts to reduce and track carbon emissions; use of and encouragement of employee use of electric and zero emissions vehicles including providing workplace charging stations; offering employees an option for a fossil fuel divested retirement account; whether the supplies or services offered promote waste, energy and water efficiency. The questions are attached.
The new policies do not supersede other contracting considerations such as cost or rewarding businesses based in Vermont or that manufacture products in Vermont. However, when all considerations are similar for a given contract, the new policies require that a business that has strong climate change and renewable energy policies will be given preference over one that does not.
“Vermont has a strong legacy of recognizing climate change as a threat to our economy and way of life,” Gov. Shumlin said. “With the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of State, and the Energy Department all set to be occupied by climate change deniers and skeptics, it is now more important than ever that Vermont lead the way in combating this grave threat.”
“VBSR thanks Gov. Shumlin and his team for this action, which we see as effective use of state tax dollars,” said Daniel Barlow, public policy manager with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. “Climate change is a threat to our economy and our environment. “Today’s implementation of this executive order will create a system that supports companies that take seriously their responsibility to address climate change.”