Sustainability Regulations and Mid-Tier Businesses
By Hollyn Walters, Mid-Tier Advocacy
Many facets of the United States government, such as the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration, are planning to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The FAR’s purpose is for use by executive agencies to acquire goods and services. Two amendments are being implemented in the following months: Executive Order 13693; Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, and the Agricultural Act of 2014. The purpose of the amendments is to put the government in a position to be able to lead the rest of the country by example when it comes to keeping the environment healthy.
The government would lead the way by acquiring sustainable products and services, by reducing pollutants and the waste of natural resources, and by working within the limitations given by the environment rather than beyond them. When questioned about the potential costs this move towards greater environmental responsibility would be, the Councils vaguely said that the expected benefits would outweigh the costs, but that no price tag is known yet. This leads one to wonder how businesses from big to small will respond to governmental pressure to be increasingly environmentally friendly. Would the government step in to assist in this transition or is its only goal to lead?
It is assumed, based on the Council’s further statements, that small companies will be assisted in the transition to sustainability while bigger companies will have guidance, but will ultimately make the transitions with no help needed. This leaves mid-tier businesses struggling behind. If these businesses are expected to become sustainable, then they need both guidance and assistance to reach the levels expected by them to be environmentally friendly. In order to properly compete in the market with big companies, these mid-tiers require recognition by the government concerning their place in the domestic market economy. Provided these orders are implemented, it cannot completely be predicted how businesses will function both under the new environmental amendments as well as within a Trump presidency. Going forward, regardless of any caveats Trump may implement, sustainability in American institutions will play pivotal roles in the environment and its influence on not only businesses from big to small, but also the economy.
Mid-Tier Advocacy Intern