BlueGreen Alliance Responds to Federal Buy Clean Request for Information on Construction Materials with Substantially Lower Embodied Carbon
A federal Buy Clean policy that prioritizes transparency, invests in innovation, and ties public dollars to low-carbon emissions materials holds the promise of transforming some of the most pollution-intensive and economically vital sectors in our economy—allowing us to confront climate change while rebuilding the middle class and advancing environmental justice.
The billions of dollars of federal funds spent on public infrastructure each year could hold the keys to reforming the misaligned incentives that have prevented strong action to reduce industrial pollution and to creating markets for firms that innovate to reduce carbon emissions, other air, land, and water pollution and toxics, and create good jobs.
Establishing standards for construction materials should be considered a floor for the more transformational changes that a Buy Clean initiative can incentivize. BGA also recommends establishing a high-achievers’ market, through which the government would procure a certain percentage from the highest performing bidders. While standards coupled with investment would help raise the floor of domestic performers, a high-achievers’ market would help raise the ceiling on performance, further pushing for innovation and improved technologies and processes.