Environmental Preferable Purchasing

green gesture hand holding a planet

Client:  Municipality

Location:  Southeast USA

Issue:  Establish an Environmental Preferable Purchasing Process (EPP)

This work was completed within four months.  The major areas of work were:

  1. Policies and procedures review including the city’s guidelines, work done at the county level, and EPA guidelines which contain extensive information on EPP.  The purpose of this review was to assess areas for improvement in existing practices.
  2. Standards review including third party certification, ISO 14000,   and product specific reviews.  We did an exhaustive study of various certifications that normally accompany products and services.  The purpose of this review was to determine those certifications that had the most scientific validity and reliability that may be useful to the city.
  3. Benchmarking against five major municipalities considered best-in-class.  The purpose of this benchmarking was to determine if we could identify any practices or resources from these cities relevant to the city.  Also, we used this benchmarking as a means of stimulating out thinking about recommendations to the city.
  4. Review of information from the Responsible Purchasing Network, US Communities green purchasing initiative, and the League of Municipalities.  We did this work to determine what resources could be available to the city that would help improve its environmental preferable purchasing.  Also, we studied ESCOs as a model for the purchasing division.
  5. We established evaluation criteria for paper towels, carpet, desktop printer cartridges, and Life Cycle analysis software.  The purpose of these analyses was to demonstrate the efficacy of using a systematic approach to product selection that included cost, performance and environmental impact as core criteria.  Also, we used software criteria to select software packages for the city out of 30 software products that purported to do life cycle analysis.
  6. A legal review of potential covenants and possible means of purchasing environmentally preferable products.  The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the city could add covenants into their contracts that would help to achieve their goals for environmental preferable purchasing.

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