GREEN PROCUREMENT REQUIREMENTS OVERVIEW
Green procurement is the purchase of environmentally preferable products and services in accordance with one or more of the established Federal “green” procurement preference programs. To prevent waste and pollution, these programs require Executive agencies to consider environmental impacts, along with price, performance, and other traditional factors, when making purchasing decisions. The following categories are addressed in Federal green procurement preference programs:
The Department of Defense (DoD) is developing a Green Procurement Strategy that will be formalized in DoD policy. The Green Procurement requirements and preference programs described below currently apply to the operations of federal facilities.
All federal procurement officials are required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Executive Order (EO) 13101, Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling and Federal Acquisition, to assess and give preference to those products and services that are environmentally preferable. Environmentally preferable products and services are defined as those that "have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to other products and services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance or disposal of the product or service “(Section 201). Environmentally preferable products may include less or non-toxic products, products manufactured with recycled content, biobased products, products and services that reduce waste, energy efficient products and products that reduce water consumption.
The FAR Part 23 addresses government policy on acquisition of recycled content, environmentally preferable and energy efficient products and services; Part 7 of the FAR emphasizes consideration of the environmental and energy impacts of acquisition.
EO 13101 requires agencies to consider the following factors in acquisition planning for all procurements and in the evaluation and award of contracts: “elimination of virgin material requirements; use of biobased products; use of recovered materials; reuse of product; life cycle cost; recyclability; use of environmentally preferable products; waste prevention (including toxicity reduction or elimination); and ultimate disposal” (Section 401).
Section 6002 of the 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires federal agencies to purchase EPA-designated products with recycled content and, beginning in FY 2004, Agencies are required to report to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) and the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE) on their purchases of products that meet the recycled content standards in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines.
EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) Program is a reliable source of information on buying products manufactured with recycled content. RCRA requires EPA to consider a variety of criteria to determine which items it will designate in the CPG: availability, the potential impact on the solid waste stream, economic and technological feasibility of producing the item, and other uses of the recovered material. EPA also considers comments from end users, manufacturers and other interested parties. In its Recycled Material Advisory Notices (RMANs), EPA provides a recommended range of recycled content for more than 50 products in eight categories:
New products are added to the list frequently. To comply with RCRA Section 6002, 100 percent of an agency’s purchases of the designated products should meet or exceed the recycled content guidelines. Additional information is available from the CPG website at: http://www.epa.gov/cpg/products.htm
EO 13123, Greening the Government through Efficient Energy Management, specifies that Agencies shall select, where life-cycle cost-effective, ENERGY STAR® and other energy-efficient products. For product groups where ENERGY STAR® labels are not yet available, agencies shall select products that are in the upper 25 percent of energy efficiency, as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). Agencies shall incorporate energy-efficient criteria consistent with ENERGY STAR® and other FEMP-designated energy efficiency levels into product specification language developed for Basic Ordering Agreements, Blanket Purchasing Agreements, Government Wide Acquisition Contracts and all other purchasing procedures. Under EO 13221, Energy Efficient Standby Power Devices, Agencies that purchase products that use external standby power devices or products that contain an internal standby power function should select those that use no more than one watt in their standby power consuming mode. If compliant products are not available, agencies should purchase products with the lowest standby power wattage.
Reliable information on energy efficient products is available through the ENERGY STAR® program, a voluntary partnership between EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE). More than 35 product categories qualify for the ENERGY STAR® label, indicating that they use less energy and reduce both energy costs and environmental impacts. The ENERGY STAR® website can be found at: http://www.energystar.gov. Additional information is available at General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Service Energy Star Compliant Products and Other Energy Efficient Products website at: http://apps.fss.gsa.gov/environ/h2o-energy-prod.cfm.
Section 9002 of the 2002 Farm Security and Rural Investment Act directs federal agencies to purchase United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-designated biobased products and to report on those purchases, as well. USDA will designate biobased products and provide guidance for purchasing products with biobased content in a variety of categories including adhesives, construction materials and composites, fibers, paper, and packaging, fuels and fuel additives, inks, landscaping materials and composted livestock and crop residue, lubricants and functional fluids, paints and coatings, plastics (monomers and polymers), solvents and cleaners and sorbents. EO 13134, Developing and Promoting Biobased Products and Bioenergy, requires USDA, DOE and other agencies to support environmentally sound research and development of biobased products and energy. Many Federal agencies already purchase and use biobased products including food service items, biodiesel, ethanol, and cleaning products.
Section 303 of The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) generally requires that 75% of the general use vehicles acquired by each Agency for its fleet should be Alternate Fuel Vehicles (AFVs). Executive Order 13149, Greening the Government through Federal Fleet and Transportation Efficiency, requires that each agency operating 20 or more motor vehicles within the United States shall reduce its entire vehicle fleet’s annual petroleum consumption by at least 20 percent by the end of FY 2005, compared with FY 1999 petroleum consumption levels. This may be accomplished through the use of alternative fuels in light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles; the acquisition of vehicles with higher fuel economy, including hybrid vehicles; the substitution of cars for light trucks; an increase in vehicle load factors; a decrease in vehicle miles traveled; and/or a decrease in fleet size. Agencies are required to submit strategies for meeting the targets of the EO, and also must report compliance annually with both EPAct and EO requirements.
Section 613 of the Clean Air Act requires federal organizations to ensure that procurement regulations conform to the policies and requirements of Title VI of the Clean Air Act and to maximize the substitution of safe alternatives for ozone-depleting substances. Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, EPA has published Lists of Substitutes for Ozone-Depleting Substances in multiple categories including refrigeration and air conditioning, solvents cleaning, foam blowing, fire suppression and explosion protection, and aerosols. In addition, each federal entity must certify to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that procurement regulations have been modified appropriately.
To provide additional direction for purchasing decisions, EPA has developed five guiding principles for Green Procurement. Section 503 (c) of EO 13101 directs Executive agencies to "use the principles and concepts in the EPA Guidance on Acquisition of Environmentally Preferable Products and Services . . . in identifying and purchasing environmentally preferable products and services" and to "modify their procurement programs as appropriate." In addition, Section 23.704 of the FAR requires agencies to "affirmatively implement" the objective of "obtaining products and services considered to be environmentally preferable (based on EPA-issued guidance)." EPA’s five guiding principles are:
|Compliance Benefit:||A comprehensive Green Procurement program will facilitate meeting the requirements of all of the federal green procurement preference programs described above.
The compliance benefits listed here are only meant to be used as general guidelines and are not meant to be strictly interpreted. Actual compliance benefits will vary depending on the factors involved, e.g., the amount of workload involved.
|Materials Compatibility:||No materials compatibility issues were identified.
|Safety and Health:||
No major safety or health issues are associated with incorporating Green Procurement into an organization’s acquisition and purchasing programs.
Products that are reusable, more durable, or repairable may have a higher initial purchase price, yet the cost of these products over their useful life may be significantly less than disposable or single-use alternatives. The purchase and use of less toxic products may reduce costs by minimizing potential health impacts and lost worker productivity.
In addition, the EPA EPP Case Studies website (http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/epp/documents/doccase.htm) provides documents (in pfd formats) that discuss a number of successful EPP projects. These projects include:
Key topics for consideration with respect to the economics of Green Procurement may include:
Appropriate authority for making process changes should always be sought prior to procuring or implementing any of the technologies identified herein.
|Points of Contact:||For more information
|Resources:||This is not meant to be a complete list, as there may be other resources for this type of information.
Products manufactured from recovered materials:
Environmentally preferable products:
Energy efficient products:
Alternative fuels and fuel-efficient vehicles:
Non-ozone depleting substances:
Additional important websites include:
Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, http://www.ofee.gov
EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program http://www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/