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GSA initiatives will promote the manufacture and use of low-carbon building materials

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GSA on reduce emissions from building materials

As part of a government-wide effort to strengthen American leadership on clean manufacturing, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announces actions to reduce emissions from building materials. GSA released two requests for information (RFIs) to gather current marketplace insights from industry, including small businesses, on the national availability of concrete and asphalt materials with environmental product declarations, low embodied carbon or superior environmental attributes. GSA will also participate in the first ever Buy Clean Task Force established by The White House Council on Environmental Quality to find ways to harness the federal government’s massive purchasing power to support low-carbon materials.

GSA is committed to leveraging its purchasing power to support American workers and to promote cleaner U.S. industries that can produce the next generation of sustainable products and materials for a healthier, more prosperous economy. As we make historic investments in America’s critical infrastructure, we look forward to partnering with industry to reduce harmful emissions, create clean energy jobs, and seize this opportunity to build a better future for everyone.

Robin Carnahan, GSA Administrator

Low embodied carbon materials have less climate impact associated with mining, manufacturing and transportation. GSA plans to use the industry’s RFI responses to shape its deployment of new national low-carbon concrete and sustainable asphalt standards for land port of entry projects, including pavement upgrades, funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The industrial sector is central to tackling the climate crisis, with 23% of total global emissions being attributable to concrete, steel and aluminum alone.

GSA is proud to be contributing to the Biden-Harris Administration’s all-of-government approach to decarbonizing the U.S. economy and reinvigorating clean manufacturing. Building materials are a major contributor to global emissions, and we’re excited to hear from industry about innovative products and approaches that can reduce carbon pollution while strengthening our homegrown manufacturing base.

Sonal Larsen, GSA’s Senior Advisor on Climate

Over the last year, GSA has actively engaged stakeholders and experts in industry and government on best practices for reducing the embodied carbon footprint of buildings and related materials. Recommendations from GSA’s Green Building Advisory Committee were validated and expanded by an Embodied Carbon Roundtable GSA hosted last summer, and that input is now being put into action. GSA looks forward to learning more from RFI responses, and appreciates the concrete and asphalt industry’s insights.