US government may require suppliers to disclose GHG emissions


In an effort to boost decarbonization in the United States, the Biden administration will soon propose a rule requiring major companies that supply goods and services to the federal government to report their greenhouse gas emissions, a White House source said on Wednesday.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission unveiled in March a proposal requiring publicly traded companies to report their carbon emissions in the registration statement and annual report. The federal government’s new rule will be distinct from SEC’s draft but will share some similarities, said Andrew Mayock, federal chief sustainability officer at the Council on Environmental Quality.

Mayock gave little details about the proposal, other than the fact that it will come in the near future and will require suppliers to report on greenhouse gases and climate risk, and to set science-based targets.

The new rule is part of the Biden administration’s broader attempt to overhaul “how we buy, manage, and operate pretty much everything we do in the federal government,” stated Mayock.

The US federal government is the largest power consumer in the country, consuming more than 54 TWh per year at a cost of US$4.5 billion per year, said Mayock.

According to Biden’s federal sustainability strategy, the whole federal government will transition to net-zero procurement by 2050 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030.

The Biden administration also plans to purchase only zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The government’s fleet of more than 600,000 cars is the world’s fourth largest, but only 1% of that total is zero-emissions now, according to Mayock.

Various agencies are now working to achieving these targets. The White House is working with its car suppliers to resolve supply chain challenges, said Mayock, adding that significantly more zero-emissions vehicles were delivered to the government this year than last.

To achieve the government’s goal, the Defense Department and the General Services Administration have both submitted requests for information on how the federal bureaucracy purchases electricity in retail markets.

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