When state contracts are awarded each year in Vermont, preference will now be given to companies that are fighting climate change – thanks to a newly signed executive order from Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt.
The order directs the secretary of administration, working in consultation with the governor’s climate cabinet, “to include processes in the state’s acquisition policies that ensure the favorable consideration of vendor business practices that promote clean energy and take action to address climate change.”
These business practices include as follows:
- The use of thermal and electric efficiency and conservation measures;
- The use of renewable energy sources for operations;
- Efforts to reduce and track carbon emissions;
- The use of and encouragement of employee use of electric and zero-emissions vehicles, including providing workplace charging stations;
- An option for employees to have a fossil fuel divested retirement account;
- The promotion of waste, energy and water efficiency through supplies or services offered.
“Climate change is the most urgent environmental issue of our time,” Shumlin states. “Vermont has been a leader in America when it comes to combating global warming, but we can and must do more. By using our significant purchasing power as a state to reward climate-conscious businesses, we will help promote those efforts and encourage other businesses to adopt similar practices. It is my hope that whoever is elected as the next governor will keep this executive order in place.”
The executive order, which remains in effect unless a future governor chooses to repeal it, does not supersede other contracting considerations, such as cost or rewarding businesses that are based in Vermont or that manufacture products in Vermont. Under the order, if all considerations are similar for a given contract, a business that has strong climate change and renewable energy policies will be given favorable treatment over one that does not.