General Services Administration to Spend $2B from IRA on Low-Carbon Materials

150 clean construction projects announced across the country
Contact

Ginny Cleaveland, Deputy Press Secretary, Federal Communications, ginny.cleaveland@sierraclub.org, 415-508-8498 (Pacific Time)

WASHINGTON, DC — Today the General Services Administration announced plans to spend $2 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to purchase construction materials with substantially lower embodied carbon emissions  — specifically steel, asphalt, glass, and cement — to build and retrofit hundreds of government facilities across the U.S. The announcement includes 150 projects across 39 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. This commitment to advance over 150 domestic construction projects builds on early successes and lessons from the 11 pilot projects announced in May 2023.

The GSA estimates that these investments will both reduce 41,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and support over 6,000 jobs annually. This public procurement plan, called Buy Clean, looks to reward manufacturers that are investing in decarbonization and encourages industry to apply for Department of Energy grants for adopting emerging technologies and more fastidiously labeling emissions from their facilities. 

In response to the announcement, Harry Manin, Deputy Legislative Director for Industrial Policy and Trade, issue the following statement:

“As the European Union and private companies demand cleaner materials, it is essential for American heavy industry to become more competitive globally. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act and this new plan from GSA, American manufacturers have access to billions of dollars in incentives to decarbonize. By tapping into these sources of funding, manufacturers of heavy industrial goods like steel and cement can make money through government procurement, invest in green capital upgrades, capture a growing share of the domestic market, and go on to export clean industrial goods globally. 

We look forward to GSA purchasing materials from the best performers to encourage U.S. manufacturers to innovate and become as competitive as possible. We call on lawmakers to defend GSA’s plan to outfit American projects with clean American materials, and on domestic industry to embrace investments toward a clean competitive advantage that is key to their bottom line and to keeping good manufacturing jobs in the U.S.”

BACKGROUND

A recent report, database, and interactive map commissioned by the Sierra Club reveals for the first time the greenhouse gas emissions intensity at every domestic facility in the US for four heavy industries: steel, cement, aluminum, and metallurgical coke, underscoring the importance of federal investments in these critical sectors to the US economy that will both grow employment and reduce pollution.

The report, “Coming Clean on Industrial Emissions”, also profiles the fenceline communities living near these facilities, examines the public health impact of these sectors, and details employment figures at each facility. 

With the US industrial sector responsible for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, alongside significant toxic air pollution harmful to public health, the goal of the study is to help inform areas where increased pollution monitoring is needed, spotlight best practices within these heavy industries, and support public engagement efforts around policies to transform American manufacturing — including informing purchasing decisions through federal initiatives like Buy Clean and federal investments through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Learn more at sierraclub.org/trade/climate-jobs-american-industries. 

###

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.