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Smart Ways To Partner On Environmental Causes

ImageGovernment entities are entering into several types of partnerships with the private sector. Many of these partnerships are set up to conserve resources and sustain the environment. The job is simply too big for these two groups to accomplish on their own. The challenge for a government agency, however, is to manage the request for proposal process. Using technology, an agency can get competitive bids for more projects in less time.

The management challenge

Government entities are asked to meet a variety of goals set by elected officials. To meet those goals, many agencies contract with experts in the private sector. Agency managers must find private sector firms that can perform the work at a competitive price.

Assume, for example, that an agency wants to use geothermal power for a group of public buildings. Here's how an agency may find a private company to perform the work:

·  Scope of the work:  The agency needs to write a specific request for proposal (RFP). This document may be dozens or even hundreds of pages, depending on the complexity of the work. The RFP must provide enough information for vendors to understand the project and submit a bid.

·  Finding vendors: The RFP will be posted to various websites available to the public. The request may also be sent directly to firms that are experts in the field.

·  Evaluation and selection: Management at the agency must evaluate each RFP. They have to decide if each RFP meets the requirements for the project. Generally, the agency will select lowest bid price from the group of proposals that meets all requirements.

This process may require dozens of people in the agency to communicate with each other. BidSync explains that cloud computing can help an agency manage an RFP process in less time and at a lower cost.

The RFP can be sent and proposals received over the cloud. People can share and update documents without the need for email. Different people can review and sign off on a particular proposal using the cloud. Cloud computing also sharply reduces the need for paper files and increases data security.

Sustainability and public works

Government entities are partnering with private companies on public works projects. Public works include roads, sewer systems, parks and public buildings.

The goal is to reduce energy use required from traditional sources, such as gas and electric utilities. Many of these projects focus on renewable power sources that create a smaller impact on the environment. If agencies can conserve their use of energy, land and water, they can have a positive impact on public health. The evolution of the Internet of things will also play a role in environmentalism in the near future. Many communities are turning to the IoT for water management and other necessities.  This technology will allow municipalities to operate with greater energy efficiency, which will reduce their CO2 emissions. They will also improve the effectiveness of programs to clean up their communities.  

Sustainability programs can also have a cost-savings affect. If a building is more energy efficient, the annual maintenance costs may be lower. A building that is partially powered by solar energy, for example, will require less maintenance on a traditional heating and cooling system.

Innovations in farming

Government agencies are also helping farmers with sustainability issues. Agencies help farmers with crop and livestock rotation, for example. These programs help the farmer maintain the quality of their farmland and grassland.

Government programs also provide private landowners with conservation easements. These easements are issued to encourage landowners to preserve both grassland and wetlands.

In a world of diminishing resources, it's important to conserve resources. These programs help to sustain the environment for future generations.