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Food for Thought

I attended the Coalition for Government Procurement 'Green' Committee meeting yesterday. This committee is made up of both large and small Product and Service vendors that have GSA MAS contracts. The main topic of discussion was the new Icons on GSA Advantage which are Product oriented. GSA's overall effort was applauded. However, the discussion was eye opening for me and stressed the importance of a point we brought out when we were developing the Professional Services IGC White Paper on Green Services, namely the importance of collaborating with industry partners during the decision process prior to making sustainability requirements and guidlines public.

Why do I say this - well, one of the added Icons seems to give a competitive advantage to certain MAS contract holders even though the intent was not to. The discussion brought out the fact that if more discussion was held (with industry), the result could have been an Icon for the ANSI Standard verses an Icon for a specific vendor's process or testing method. Many of the MAS contract holders selling similar products may use other vendors' processes/testing methods that meet the ANSI standard but these vendors' Icons are not listed on GSA Advantage. In this scenario, the important sustainability point is that the requirements of the Standard is of primary importance, not the Icon of one of a few vendors that process/test in accordance with the Standard's requirements.

If, in the future, an Icon or Icons are developed to be put on GSA Advantage for Services, collaboration between government and both large and small MAS contract holders definately should be considered.

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Maggie Glynn (not verified)
<p>&nbsp;</p><p>I think Skip makes a great point.&nbsp;&nbsp;The&nbsp;testing process can vary for many reasons, but still meet Standard requirements.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p>
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