Package-delivery companies competing for a federal contract will be required starting in 2014 to meet annual targets for fuel efficiency, greenhouse gas intensity, alternative fuel use, and delivery prices, an association announced.

This month, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) took new steps this month to implement the Obama Administration's energy security and environmental goals. A five-year, $1.5-billion contract is at stake.

The proposed GSA solicitation is for express and ground shipping of an estimated 15 million to 35 million packages annually from federal agencies between 2014 and 2018. FedEx won the first such Domestic Delivery Services contract, and UPS was awarded the current DDS2 contract in 2009, which expires in September of 2014. FedEx and UPS have both begun to integrate alternative fuel vehicles in their fleets.

The American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF), a Washington, D.C. nonprofit group, commended GSA's decision.

"It makes sense for the government to compare the environmental performance of its current and potential business partners," said Gregory C. Staple, the foundation's CEO. "Proposed contracts like this show the administration is serious about achieving greater reductions in air emissions and oil use."