United States
Environmental Protection
Pollution Prevention
and Toxics
EPA742-R-00-004
November 21
www.epa nrv
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program
State and Local Government
Pioneers
How State and Local Governments
Are Implementing Environmentally
Preferable Purchasing Practices
   ) Printed on 100 percent recycled-content paper with at least 50 percent postconsumer content.

-------
   Environmentally Preferable

        Purchasing Program

  Environmentally preferable purchasing ensures that
environmental considerations are included in purchasing
decisions, along with traditional factors such as product
price and performance. The EPP program provides guid-
ance for federal agencies to facilitate purchases of goods
and services that pose fewer burdens on the environment.
   For more information, visit www.epa.gov/oppt/epp

-------
Disclaimer
      This report provides an overview of recent state and local government envi-
      ronmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) initiatives and includes references
      to specific products and technologies. These references are included to pro-
vide additional details and do not constitute endorsement or recommendation for
use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This report is intended
to show representative state and local government EPP activities. It does not
attempt to include the efforts of every state or local government initiating such
activities or every activity initiated by the state and local governments highlighted
in this report.

   EPA's EPP Program is interested in collecting additional information about the
EPP activities and experiences of state and local governments. This information
might be included in future case studies, newsletters, or Web pages to further pro-
mote EPP. Please share any insights, comments, or recommendations with:

       Julie Shannon (7409)
       Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program
       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
       1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
       Washington, DC 20460

       E-mail: shannon.julie@epa.gov
       Fax: 202 260-0178
                                                                            Disclaimer

-------

-------
Foreword
      The federal government purchases more than $250 billion worth of goods
      and services annually."!" Recognizing that purchasing decisions can have
      environmental consequences, the federal government is incorporating
environmental considerations into its purchasing processes. As mandated in
Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government  Through Waste Prevention,
Recycling, and Federal Acquisition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) issued guidance to help federal agencies consider environmental  concerns
when making purchasing decisions. EPA's guidance establishes general principles
to help identify products and services that have a reduced impact on human
health and the  environment.

  EPA, through its guidance, recognizes environmentally preferable purchasing
(EPP) as a dynamic and flexible concept that government agencies will not neces-
sarily implement the same way depending on the product category or case-specific
criteria. To demonstrate how EPP principles are being applied, EPA is document-
ing pilot projects undertaken by federal agencies, state and local governments, and
the private sector.

  This report highlights a number of state and local governments' EPP activities.
It explores how state and local governments have incorporated environmental con-
cerns into a wide variety of purchasing efforts and product categories. We hope the
lessons and insights documented here will help you and your organization incorpo-
rate or expand environmental considerations as part of your purchasing decisions.
                          For additional information
                             To find out more about the EPP Program or to access existing resources to
                          help identify and purchase environmentally preferable products, please visit
                          the program's Web site atwww.epa.gov/oppt/epp.
 The Public Purchaser, September 1, 2000, www.governing.com/tppchart.htm.
                                                                             Foreword


-------

-------
Contents
               Disclaimer  	i
               Foreword	iii
               Introduction  	1
                     Selecting Report Participants 	1
                     Defining Environmentally Preferable Purchasing	2
               Beyond Buy-Recycled	5
                      EPP as a Pollution Prevention Activity	8
               EPP Strategies  	10
                     Cooperative Efforts	10
                     Price Preferences	12
                     Best Value Purchasing	14
                     Green Teams	15
                     Vendor Fairs  	16
                     Third-Party Certifiers	17
                     Incentive Programs	17
                     Employee Training 	19
                     Vendor Surveys  	19
               Product Evaluation	21
                     Chemicals and Chemical-"Free" Products  	21
                     Cleaning Products and Services	22
                     Computers	26
                     Green Buildings	28
                          Green Building Leases 	32
                     Green Power	32
                     Integrated Pest Management	34
                     Paint 	36
                     Paper and Paper Products	38
                     Vehicles	39
                          Biodiesel	39
                          Compressed Natural Gas 	40
                          Electric and Hybrid-Electric 	40
                          Ethanol	40
                          Propane	41
                          Miscellaneous  	41
                                                                          Contents   +   v

-------
                      Final Observations  	43
                             Several Successful EPP Approaches Exist	43
                             Strong EPP Advocates Increase Success	44
                             Purchasers Are More Likely to Buy Products With Environmental
                                    Attributes When They Are Available on State Contracts	44
                             Numerous EPP Resources Are Available  	44
                             Introducing and Implementing EPP Takes Time	44
                             EPP Requires Good Communication and Teamwork	45
                             EPP Is Expanding	45
                      Appendix One—Update On Early EPP Pioneers	47
                             King County, Washington  	47
                             Maine   	49
                             Minnesota 	49
                             San Diego County, California	50
                             Washington	50
                             Wisconsin 	51
                      Appendix Two—Index of State And Local Governments  	53


                      Appendix Three—EPP Resources 	55
vi    +   Contents

-------
Acronyms

        ABAG       Association of [San Francisco] Bay Area Governments



        BES         Bureau of Environmental Services



        CFC         Chlorofiuorocarbon



        CNG        Compressed natural gas



        CPG         Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines



        DAS         Department of Administrative Services



        DEH        Department of Environmental Health



        DO A        Department of Administration



        EPA         U.S. Environmental Protection Agency



        EPP         Environmentally Preferable Purchasing



        HCFC       Hydrochlorofluorocarbon



        HOPE       High-density polyethylene



        HVAC       Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning



        IAQ         Indoor air quality



        IPM         Integrated pest management



        MSDS       Material safety data sheet



        NACo       National Association of Counties



        NOx         Nitrogen oxide



        OEA         Office of Environmental Assistance



        P2          Pollution Prevention



        PVC         Polyvinyl chloride



        RFP         Request for proposal



        SOx         Sulphur oxide



        SWD        Solid Waste Division



        VOC        Volatile organic compound
Acronyms
                                                                                 vii

-------

-------

            ^
Introduction                                   X
     State and local governments will spend more than $385 billion on goods and
     services in 2000.1 Like the federal government, many of them are attempt-
     ing to reduce their environmental impacts by purchasing products and
services they consider environmentally preferable. These environmental purchas-
ing decisions range from relatively simple recycled-content paper purchases to
complex specifications for "green buildings" that incorporate a wide variety of
environmental attributes such as increased energy and water efficiency, pesticide-
free lawn maintenance, and numerous low-toxicity, biobased, and recycled-
content building materials.

  Based on conversations with more than 125 officials from more than 60 state and
local governments, this report highlights some of the activities state and local gov-
ernments are pursuing to reduce the environmental impacts of their purchasing
decisions. It describes how they are incorporating environmentally preferable pur-
chasing (EPP) principles, the types of activities under way, the types of products
being examined and purchased, and the lessons drawn from their experiences.

  An appendix to this report provides a brief update on the activities of the state
and local governments the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) featured
in a related 1996 publication, A Study of State and Local Government Procurement
Practices that Consider Environmental Performance of Goods and Services (EPA742-R-
96-007). The 1996 publication examined the early "green purchasing" efforts of
six state and county governments—King County, Washington; Maine;
Minnesota; San Diego County, California; Washington; and Wisconsin. As
the earlier report details, most of their early purchasing activities focused on buy-
ing recycled-content products. Since that report was published, several of the
programs have expanded their efforts beyond recycled-content purchases and are
now examining multiple  environmental attributes rather than focusing solely on
recycled content. Although some of the original six state and local governments
are discussed throughout this report, the appendix provides an update on all of
them. It places their recent activities in historical context and highlights the evo-
lution of their "green" purchasing activities.


Selecting Report Participants

  The research for this report began by investigating the ongoing efforts of the six
subjects featured in EPAk 1996 report. To broaden the scope of this report beyond
those initial subjects, additional participants were selected from news reports, press
releases, Web sites,  and other information on the EPP-related activities of numer-
ous state and local governments. Other participants were selected from the
subscriber  database for the EPP Update, a newsletter published by EPA's
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program. Announcements encouraging
 The Puttie Purchaser, September 1, 2000, www.governing.com/tppchart.htm.


                                                                           Introduction

-------
              potential subjects to contact EPA were included in an issue of the EPP Update and
              posted on EPPNet, a list server dedicated to EPP issues and maintained by the
              Northeast Recycling Council.2 In addition, the National Association of Counties
              (NACo) provided a list of governments that had requested its Local Government
              Environmental Purchasing Starter Kit, a collection of materials and resources for
              establishing or expanding an EPP program.3

                As a result of these efforts, an initial list of more than 80 state and local govern-
              ment contacts was compiled. Each was called and asked to discuss their EPP
              activities in an unscripted conversation. While EPA was unable to reach some con-
              tacts, many contacts provided additional names. Ultimately, EPA reached more
              than 125 officials from more than 60 state and local governments. EPA did not use
              a survey or ask a standard set of questions. Instead, each respondent was asked a
              series of unique questions relevant to the subjects detailed in this report.

                While almost everyone contacted had a buy-recycled program, EPA elected to
              focus on the 46 state and local governments examining a wider variety of environ-
              mental attributes. Because there are already numerous reports and case studies
              describing buy-recycled or energy efficiency efforts, this study focuses on jurisdic-
              tions examining other environmental attributes in their purchasing  decisions.


              Defining Environmentally  Preferable Purchasing

                According to Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government Through  Waste
              Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition  (September 14, 1998) and its predeces-
              sor, Executive Order 12873, Federal Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste  Prevention
              (October 20, 1993), EPP means selecting "products or services that have a lesser or
              reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with com-
              peting products or services that serve the same purpose." As mandated in these
              Executive Orders, EPA proposed and later finalized EPP guidance and provided
              additional clarification to help federal  agencies comply with the Executive Order
              mandates to buy environmentally preferable products and services.4

                EPA recommends that purchasers select products that maximize  beneficial envi-
              ronmental attributes and minimize adverse environmental effects without
              compromising the traditional price and performance considerations that influence
              every purchasing decision. EPA encourages purchasers to evaluate the multiple
              environmental impacts of every product throughout its life cycle—raw material
              acquisition, manufacture, packaging and distribution, use, and disposal—and to
              select products with environmental attributes that minimize those impacts. A
              product's environmental attributes can include:
              2 For information on joining EPPNet, visit www.nerc.org/eppnet.html.

              3 For information on obtaining NACo's EPP toolkit, visit www.naco.org/programs/environ/purchase.cfm.

              4 EPAs Final Guidance on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing was published in the Federal Register on
              August 20,1999. In addition to detailed descriptions of EPP's five guiding principles, the guidance includes
              specific recommendations, a list of resources, a glossary, and a list of environmental attributes to consider
              when making purchasing decisions. Links to the guidance and to the Executive Orders are available on the
              EPP Web site at www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/docback.htm. Copies also are available by calling EPAs Pollution
              Prevention Information Clearinghouse at 202 260-1023.
Introduction

-------
    •   Energy efficiency.

    •   Recycled content.                     Federal Government Definition of
             . ,  ,                            Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
    •   Readability.
                 .                           Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government
    •   Water efficiency.                      Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal
    •   Resource conservation.                 Acquisition, mandates federal agencies to identify and
                                            purchase environmentally preferable products and
    •   Greenhouse gas emissions.             services. It defines them as:

    •   Waste prevention.                     "...products or services that have a lesser or reduced
       „      1,1    <_  • i       <_            effect on human health and the environment when
    •   Renewable material percentages.                  ...
                                            compared with competing products or services that serve
    •   Adverse effects to workers, ani-         the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw
       mals, plants, air, water, and soil.         materials acquisition, production, manufacturing,
                                            packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance,
    •   Toxic material content.                 or ^po^ of ^&  product or service."
    •   Packaging.

    •   Transportation.

  Many state and local governments, including Cincinnati, Ohio; Jackson
County and Kansas City, Missouri; King County and Seattle, Washington; and
Washoe County, Nevada, use language almost identical to the federal Executive
Orders to define EPP in their executive orders, statutes, and written policies.
Others provide slightly different, but very similar definitions.

  Boulder, Colorado's environmental purchasing policy directive, for example,
defines environmentally preferable products as "a material or product [that] is
durable, repairable, reusable, or recyclable; has a minimum of packaging, toxic
content, or chemical hazard potential; is resource or energy efficient in any or all
phases of its manufacture, use, and disposal; or in its use or disposal minimizes  or
eliminates the [c]ity's potential environmental liability."

  Similarly, a March 25, 1998, Pennsylvania executive order  requires the "pro-
curement of environmentally friendly commodities and services [that] avoid the use
of toxics, minimize use of virgin materials and energy in their  production, have a
long useful life, and can be recycled afterwards."

  Seattle's EPP policy, like EPA's EPP guidance, provides a list of environmental
issues to consider when comparing the environmental preferability of potential pur-
chases. It states that the "environmental factors to be considered in selecting
products include [a] life cycle analysis of:

    •   pollutant releases;

    •   waste generation;

    •   recycled content;

    •   energy consumption;

    •   depletion of natural resources; and

    •   potential impact on human health and the environment."
                                                                            Introduction

-------
                As federal, state, and local government definitions suggest, EPP involves
             examining the multiple environmental impacts of products or services through-
             out their life cycles, from resource extraction to ultimate disposal. While
             examining a single environmental attribute such as recycled content or energy
             efficiency is important when making purchasing decisions, EPP promotes the
             examination of multiple environmental attributes such as recycled content and
             energy efficiency and toxicity. An increasing number of state and local govern-
             ments are adopting EPP definitions that embrace the multiple attribute concept.
             In practice, however, many of them continue to emphasize single environmental
             attributes, particularly recycled content.
 Why Emphasize Multiple Environmental Attributes?

   The importance of examining multiple environmental attributes when evaluating the envi-
 ronmental preferability of products and services is similar to the importance of examining
 multiple nutritional factors when selecting healthier foods. Comparing foods based on a sin-
 gle factor such as the number of calories they contain is better than no basis for comparison.
 It would be better, however, to consider additional information such as fat, sodium, and vita-
 min content, along with other relevant nutritional factors. Similarly, when comparing the
 environmental preferability of a product or service, a more accurate assessment can be made
 by examining a variety of relevant environmental attributes such as energy efficiency, recycled
 content, renewable resource use, toxicity, and others recommended in EPA's guidance.

   In some cases, people with specific dietary needs emphasize one nutritional factor above all
 others. For example, someone with high blood pressure might concern themselves more with
 sodium content than with any other nutritional factor. Similarly, some communities might
 emphasize a single environmental impact or attribute  in response to a particular environmen-
 tal concern. An arid community, for example, might concern itself most with protecting water
 quality, while a smog-prone area might be more concerned with air pollution. Although
 focusing on a single attribute in these cases makes sense, EPA still encourages purchasers to
 consider a broad variety of environmental attributes just as dieticians still encourage con-
 sumers to examine multiple nutritional factors.
Introduction

-------
Beyond  Buy-Recycled
     Buying recycled-content products is often an important part of many EPP pro-
     grams. Recycled-content purchases help conserve limited resources; reduce
     landfill capacity pressures or potentially hazardous incinerator emissions;
decrease water and air pollution, including some greenhouse gas emissions; and
save energy. These purchases also create jobs by establishing markets for the recy-
cled material collected by households and businesses.5 These benefits have led
countless state and local governments to purchase a wide variety of recycled-
content products. Some of the most commonly purchased recycled-content items,
as reported by the participants in this report, include the following:
    •   Carpet

    •   Concrete

    •   Engine coolants

    •   Office products

    •   Paper

    •   Parking stops

  EPA's Comprehensive Procurement
Guidelines (CPG) program—the federal
government's "buy-recycled" program—
promotes the purchase of these and other
recycled-content products by publishing a list
of available recycled-content products, rec-
ommending recycled-content percentages,
and providing lists of available product ven-
dors. Many state and local governments
contacted for this study built their buy-
recycled programs around the CPG recom-
mendations.6
•  Plastic lumber

•  Re-refined motor oil

•  Retread tires

•  Toner cartridges

•  Traffic cones

•  Trash bags
     Representative Fiscal Year 1999
     Recycled-Content Purchases

     •  Delaware—$5.7 million

     •  Fairfax County, Virginia—$1.3 million

     •  Kalamazoo County, Michigan—$77,000

     •  King County, Washington—$2.8 million

     •  Massachusetts—$43 million

     •  Ohio—$2.1 million
  Several state and local government officials
contacted for this report explained that a suc-
cessful buy-recycled program requires an
environmental commitment. Once the com-
mitment is made, it is relatively easy to see how the effort expands beyond
recycled-content purchasing to a broader environmental purchasing arena, includ-
ing the multiple attribute EPP approach. Incorporating energy efficiency, low
toxicity, and biobased concerns into product selections seems to many a natural
extension of existing buy-recycled programs.
5 For additional information on the benefits of recycled-content purchasing, visit the Office of the Federal
Environmental Executive's Web site at www.ofee.gov.

6 Federal government agencies and state and local governments using federal funds are required under the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to purchase recycled-content items identified by EPAjs CPG pro-
gram. For additional information on these requirements and the CPG program, visit www.epa.gov/cpg.
                                                                   Beyond Buy-Recycled

-------
                Many buy-recycled programs began with an initial emphasis on recycled-content
              paper purchases. Paper was one of the first widely available, high-quality recycled-
              content products. Recycled-content paper purchases still represent the largest
              volume of recycled-content purchases (in terms of dollars spent) among the state
              and local governments contacted for this report.

                Due to the success of many state and local governments' recycled-content paper
              purchases, those interested in including other environmental factors frequently
              examine their paper purchases. In addition to recycled-content paper, there are
              high-quality papers available that are chlorine free (either process chlorine free or
              totally chlorine free)7 and/or made from a variety of "tree-free" fibers such as
              denim, kenaf, industrial hemp, sugarcane,  seaweed, cotton residue, tobacco, or
              coffee bean shells.
 A Brief Buy-Recycled History

   Through the 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA was given
 authority to control hazardous waste at all levels (e.g., generation, transportation, treatment,
 storage, and disposal). RCRA also requires federal agencies to purchase products with the
 highest recovered material level practicable. EPA identifies these products, recommends
 recycled-content percentages, and recommends best practices for procuring recovered-
 content products through its Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) program.

   Recycling programs were also initiated throughout the  1970s and 1980s in response to the
 "garbage crisis"—the realization that landfill space in some parts of the country is limited.
 Recycling keeps valuable materials out of landfills, thereby reducing pressure on landfill
 capacity. Perhaps even more important, it also reduces pressure on natural resources because
 fewer raw materials and less energy are necessary to manufacture recycled-content products.
 It takes 95 percent less energy to recycle  aluminum, for example, than to make
 aluminum from bauxite ore. The domestic steel and paper industries also enjoy significant
 resource and energy savings through their use of recovered materials.

   To make recycling economically viable, federal, state, and local governments began encour-
 aging people to "buy recycled" in order to "close the recycling loop." Buying recycled-content
 products creates an incentive for manufacturers to use  materials that otherwise would have
 been disposed of in landfills or incinerators. The buy-recycled movement firmly established
 that purchasing decisions can have important environmental and economic impacts.

   As awareness of different environmental concerns has increased—rain forest destruction,
 species extinction, nonrenewable resource depletion, toxic chemical use, and chemical
 endocrine disrupters, among others—individuals and institutional purchasers are recognizing
 that purchasing decisions can affect each  of these issues. As a result, consumers and govern-
 ments are expanding their environmental purchasing decisions beyond recycled content
 and investigating a broader range of environmental  attributes such as low-toxicity and
 biobased products.
              7 "Totally chlorine free" is a term used for virgin papers (paper containing zero postconsumer recycled con-
              tent) and means no chlorine compounds are used to bleach the paper during the papermaking process.
              "Process chlorine free" is reserved for recycled-content papers and means that no chlorine compounds are
              used to rebleach the paper during the papermaking process. Recycled-content paper cannot be totally chlo-
              rine free unless all discarded paper used to manufacture the recycled paper was chlorine free, which is a
              highly unlikely occurrence. For additional information, visit the Chlorine Free Products Association Web
              site at www.chlorinefreeproducts.org.
Beyond Buy-Recycled

-------
   Portland, Oregon, for example, began its buy-recycled program years ago with
an initial emphasis on paper. As the city expands its environmental purchases to
include a wider variety of environmental attributes, it is once again beginning with
its paper purchases. Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is purchas-
ing a high recycled-content, process chlorine free paper manufactured by a local
paper mill without any recent compliance issues with federal or state environmental
regulators. Because of the paper's environmental features
(recycled content, process chlorine free, local supplier, and
environmentally conscious manufacturer), BES is willing
to pay $3 per ream instead of $2.50. BES officials believe
the price will drop, however, as additional purchasers
begin demanding paper with these and other environmen-
tal attributes. As evidence, BES cites the gradual erosion of
price premiums for recycled-content paper. Despite high
price disparities when it was first introduced, recycled-
content paper is now priced almost evenly with traditional
virgin-content paper in some parts of the country.

   Additional information on state and local government
efforts to purchase environmentally preferable papers is
included on page 38 of this report.

   Like Portland and many other state and local governments, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, and King County, Washington, are each building their multi-
attribute purchasing programs from highly successful buy-recycled programs.

    •   King County's recycled-content program has expanded to include:
       advanced energy  efficiency purchases; low-toxicity cleaning products;
       renewable energy projects using electricity generated from solar energy and
       fuel cells; highly resource-efficient "green" buildings, including one that
       relies on natural cooling instead of air-conditioners and one that collects
       rainwater to flush toilets; and integrated pest management techniques
       that drastically reduce the use  of chemicals to control rodents, insects,
       and weeds.

    •   Massachusetts publishes the Recycled and Environmentally Preferable Products
       and Services Guide for Commonwealth of Massachusetts  State Contracts,  a
       46-page publication that makes it easy for those using state contracts to
       identify and purchase products and services the Commonwealth considers
       environmentally preferable.8 In addition to numerous recycled-content
       products, it includes information about low-toxicity  cleaning products;
       biobased lubricants; energy-efficient lamps, ballasts,  and office equipment;
       electric vehicles; a swimming pool ionization process that reduces chlorine
       requirements by up to 80 percent; and integrated pest management services.

    •   Minnesota has a list of 97 state contracts for "Environmentally Responsible
       Products and Services," a majority of which are part of the state's successful
       effort to buy recycled-content and refurbished products. The list also
       includes alternatively fueled vehicles; low-toxicity cleaning supplies; energy-
       efficient computer equipment; mercury-free batteries; energy-efficient,
8 Visit Massachusetts' EPA Program Web site at www.state.rna.us/osd/enviro/enviro.htrn for a copy of this
and other EPP resources.
                                                                       Beyond Buy-Recycled

-------
                     low-mercury fluorescent lamps; solvent-free paint; soy ink; and process
                     chlorine free, recycled-content paper.

                Other state and local governments are launching efforts to expand their buy-
              recycled programs into broader EPP initiatives. Ohio, for example, recently
              adopted a more comprehensive EPP perspective to expand its environmentally
              preferable purchases beyond recycled-content products. The state intends to build
              on its buy-recycled success, which included purchasing more than $3.1 million in
              recycled-content products in 1997. At the time of this publication, Ohio EPA's
              Office of Pollution Prevention was awaiting the governor's signature on an execu-
              tive order emphasizing EPP's importance. Ohio EPA then plans to launch an
              educational campaign and broaden its research of products and services it can easily
              incorporate into its EPP efforts.

                Washington, DC, is considering launching an EPP initiative, but unlike Ohio,
              it does not currently have an established buy-recycled initiative upon which to base
              it. The mayor recently signed an executive order promoting EPP, and city officials
              are currently determining the best way to initiate the effort.  Based on the advice
              and experience of others, the city might begin by establishing a buy-recycled effort
              and then expand into the broader EPP perspective  after the  effort is firmly estab-
              lished. City officials are also considering immediately adopting some multi-attribute
              purchases for items such as cleaning products and construction and building reno-
              vation services because other federal, state, and local government agencies have
              completed so much groundwork in these arenas. (Additional information about
              cleaning products and green building purchases is included on pages 22 and 28,
              respectively.)

                During Connecticut's 1999 legislative session, the legislature considered an act
              establishing a comprehensive policy for the purchase of environmentally preferable
              products that defined EPP consistently with the federal Executive Order and
              EPA's EPP guidance. The act would have required  Connecticut's Department of
              Administrative Services to "designate environmentally preferable products and
              establish minimum standards and specifications for their procurement and use."
              According to a state official familiar with the legislative proceedings, there was
              widespread support for the act. It was not adopted, however, because politically
              unpopular riders were attached to the final bill.
              EPP As a Pollution Prevention Activity
                Like federal government agencies, state and local governments are recognizing
              that EPP can be an integral part of any pollution prevention effort. Although many
              state and local governments describe their EPP efforts as extensions of their buy-
              recycled programs, others portray EPP as part of a broader pollution prevention
              strategy. North Carolina's EPP executive order,  for example, is part of a broader
              "Sustainable North Carolina" initiative. Similarly, Vermont includes EPP as part
              of its "Clean State" initiative, and Seattle, Washington's EPP program is part of
              an environmental management system the city is implementing.
                Portland, Oregon, published its "Sustainable  City Principles" in 1994. With a
              broad goal to "promote a sustainable future that meets today's needs without com-
Beyond Buy-Recycled

-------
promising the ability of future generations to meet their needs," the principles
include a list of 10 activities for elected city officials and staff to implement.
Included on the list along with related directives to ensure environmental quality,
use resources efficiently, and prevent additional pollution, is a mandate to "purchase
products based  on long-term environmental and operating costs, and find ways to
include environmental and social costs in short-term prices. Purchase products that
are durable, reusable, made of recycled materials, and non-toxic."

   As part of a citywide pollution prevention effort, Phoenix, Arizona, adopted an
interim purchasing policy for hazardous materials in 1996. The policy specifically
cites purchasing as a critical pollution prevention strategy. While some purchasing
initiatives were  implemented immediately, because of competing priorities and lim-
ited funding, it  took a few years for program momentum to build. From December
1999 to May 2000, however, the city evaluated more than 1,000 chemical products
in 21 categories, and product evaluations are continuing. Numerous environmental
attributes that "may cause harm or injury to persons...or which may negatively
impact the environment" are considered during this evaluation of hazardous materi-
als (e.g., flammables, carcinogens, pesticides, mutagens, ignitables, volatile organic
compounds [VOCs], chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs]). City employees enter results
into a database  that records the color-coded product evaluation results. The colors
indicate whether the chemical is safe to use, whether to consider alternatives, or
whether to avoid the chemical completely if possible. The system makes it easier to
incorporate environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and helps the
city meet its pollution prevention objectives. It will soon be available online.

   Lee County, Florida, incorporated EPP into an effort to eliminate the genera-
tion of hazardous waste from its vehicle  fleet maintenance operations. The county
avoids purchasing products containing high VOC levels or those that result in the
generation of regulated wastes. Adopting these efforts led the county to substitute
chlorinated-solvent brake cleaner with a nonchlorinated solvent; to facilitate recy-
cling and recovery operations by segregating waste streams; and to replace aerosol
spray cans with refillable, air-pressurized dispensers. These and other EPP-related
efforts reduced  the county fleet's hazardous waste generation to zero and save the
county approximately $16,800 annually in avoided waste disposal costs.

   Although Ohio's pollution prevention program does not currently have a formal
EPP program, EPP considerations have been included as part of its Pollution
Prevention (P2) Loan Program, which lends money to small- and medium-sized
businesses to implement pollution prevention strategies. The program lends
$25,000 to $150,000 at an interest rate two-thirds of prime to finance pollution pre-
vention activities. The loans do not cover compliance activities, which are
activities businesses must complete to meet federal, state, or local environmental
regulations. Instead, the funded activities are used to move the businesses "beyond
compliance."

   The P2 Loan Program lends money to companies to help them practice EPP.
One company, for example, received a loan to purchase new painting equipment
that would significantly lower VOC emissions. Other loans have allowed dry clean-
ers to purchase  new equipment that significantly reduces or eliminates emissions of
perchlorethylene, a suspected human carcinogen.
                                                                      Beyond Buy-Recycled

-------
EPP Strategi
     State and local governments have adopted a variety of strategies to promote
     EPP. These activities include cooperative purchasing efforts, price prefer-
     ences, "best value" purchasing, "green teams," vendor fairs, third-party
certifiers, incentive programs, employee training, and vendor surveys. This sec-
tion includes a brief overview of these efforts and highlights a few examples of
each strategy.
Cooperative Efforts

  EPP practitioners at state and local levels have adopted cooperative efforts allow-
ing them to pool information and resources to evaluate environmental preferability
issues and to purchase selected products at discounted prices. One of the more
common strategies is allowing local governments within a state to purchase prod-
ucts through state contracts. Several states promote this practice, including
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.
Ohio's Cooperative Purchasing Program, for example, allows townships, municipal-
ities, school districts, public libraries, regional transit authorities, park districts, and
others to buy goods and services through state contracts.

  A state's larger purchasing power generally allows it to negotiate better prices for
goods and services than local governments could negotiate for themselves. The
benefits of this approach are even more advantageous if the state uses its pur-
chasing power to include environmental preferability requirements into its
contracts. Because Massachusetts and  Minnesota are proactive about incorpo-
rating environmental concerns into their state contracts, local governments
within these states have greater access to reasonably priced products and services
with environmental attributes than local governments within other states.

  Minnesota's Cooperative Purchasing
Venture allows a very wide variety of
participants to purchase goods and
services under contract terms negotiated
by the state. Any city, county, town, or
school district within the United States
can join the cooperative for an annual
$3 50 fee. Joining allows purchasers to
buy from the Minnesota  state contracts.

                                                  Any city, county, town, or school
                                                  district within the United States
                                                  joining Minnesota's
                                                  Cooperative Purchasing Venture
                                                  can purchase goods and services
                                                  from Minnesota state contracts.
                                                  For additional information, visit
                                                  www.ninid.adniin.state.nin.us/cpv2.htni
  NACo has a series of national con-
tracts allowing county governments to
buy goods and services at prices that are
usually better than individual counties could negotiate for themselves. NACo is cur-
rently examining opportunities to incorporate EPP concerns into future contracts.
10
   EPP Strategies

-------
  The Western States Contracting Alliance, composed of 10 Western states,
recently combined their purchasing power for a large computer and computer
peripherals (e.g., printers and scanners) package. While the primary motivation for
this cooperative venture was saving money, the participating states now recognize
the strength of their combined purchasing power. As a result, some of them are
beginning to investigate ways of incorporating environmental concerns into future
Alliance purchases. Washington, for example, is working with one of the computer
suppliers to improve the environmental preferability of their packaging materials.

  While local governments are allowed to purchase off of state contracts, some
are unaware of the possibility, and others  prefer to buy from local vendors rather
than from those offered under state  contracts. As a result, Massachusetts has
been actively incorporating local vendors  from different regions within the
Commonwealth into its contracts. Massachusetts is also actively promoting the
Commonwealth contracts' advantages through vendor fairs, workshops, and a
local outreach unit. Commonwealth purchasing officials frequently emphasize
the cost savings when talking with local purchasing officials. They might com-
pare, for example, the cost of recycled-content paper at a local office supply store
with the price available on the Commonwealth contracts. When possible,
Massachusetts also includes local government representatives on the state pur-
chasing teams to ensure their interests are properly considered.

  State and local governments are also engaged in other cooperative, EPP-related
efforts. The  Southwest Ohio Local Government Pollution Prevention Collaborative,
for example, held an EPP training session in September 1999 that described oppor-
tunities to integrate pollution prevention practices and purchasing strategies. Some
of the session participants believe it might  lead to a regional focus on EPP.

  Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri, are working together to imple-
ment EPP policies they developed concurrently. Their efforts included developing
a common "green purchasing" policy, researching environmentally preferable prod-
ucts, and developing purchasing agreements that both governments  can use. Most
of their efforts currently focus on recycled-content products, although they also are
exploring increased energy efficiency, green building standards, and  low-toxicity
cleaning products.

  After the  city of Oakland, California, adopted an antidioxin resolution in
February 1999, the Association of [San Francisco]  Bay Area Governments (ABAC),
of which Oakland is a member, adopted a similar resolution the following
September. Concerned about the human health and environmental effects  of diox-
in, a known  human carcinogen, the resolution encourages the purchase and use of
"less-toxic, non-chlorinated, sustainable  alternative products and processes, such as
chlorine-free paper and PVC-free plastics to the extent possible." ABAG is cur-
rently working on a strategy to implement the resolution.

  In July 2000, Chicago, Illinois, and 47 other nearby government bodies
announced they would begin purchasing about 400 megawatts of electricity as a
group. Twenty percent of the power must come from clean, renewable sources such
as solar or wind. (For  additional information on green power purchases, see page 32.)
                                                                           EPP Strategies    +   11

-------
                        Price Preferences

                          When new products are introduced in the marketplace, they are typically more
                        expensive than comparative products that are already well-established, due in part
                        to limited production capabilities and product availability. As product demand and
                        production capabilities increase, the price of the product tends to decrease. This
                        was true for a wide variety of consumer products such as color televisions, VCRs,
                        CD players, computers, and DVD players. It was also true for recycled-content
                        products such as paper, which is now priced almost the same as its traditional coun-
                        terpart in some parts of the country.

                          To encourage the purchase of recycled-content and environmentally preferable
                        products that are sometimes more  expensive than their traditional counterparts,
                        many state and local communities have established price preferences. A price pref-
                        erence acknowledges a buyer's willingness to pay extra for products with specific
                        environmental features such as recycled content. A  10 percent price preference,
                        for example,  allows a buyer to reduce the cost of a recycled-content product by 10
                        percent when comparing it with the cost of its virgin-content counterpart. As a
                        result, a  buyer instructed to purchase the lowest priced product could consider a
                        recycled-content product priced at $100 to be equivalent, for cost comparison pur-
                        poses, to a virgin product priced at $90. Under this scenario, the buyer could elect
                        to buy the recycled-content product for $100, even though it was more expensive,
                        because  the price fell within the 10 percent price preference established for
                        recycled-content products.

                          Price  preferences are an important EPP strategy because many state and local
                        governments employ a "low bid wins" purchasing strategy. Under the traditional
                        low bid wins approach, purchasers buy the products and services available for the
                        lowest initial cost. If two competing products meet minimum performance require-
                        ments, the lower priced product is purchased even if one performs significantly
                        better than the other.

                          To retain the low bid wins strategy and still maintain a preference for environ-
                        mentally preferable products, which are sometimes  more expensive, numerous state
                        and local governments have adopted price preferences. A few examples are listed
                        below:

                            •  Washington has a 10 percent price preference for any recycled-content
                              product designated by EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines
                              Program.9

                            •  Cincinnati, Ohio, includes a 3 percent price preference for products it
                              considers environmentally preferable.

                            •  San Diego County, California, includes a 5 percent price preference for
                              environmentally preferable products.

                            •  Vermont has a 5 percent price preference for recycled-content products.
                        9 For a current list of EPAjs designated products, visit www.epa.gov/cpg/products.htm.


12   +   EPP Strategies

-------
    •   Santa Barbara, California, recently increased its 5 percent price prefer-
        ence for recycled-content paper to 12 percent. The price difference was
        increased because the price difference between recycled-content and virgin
        paper in that part of California is greater than the original 5 percent prefer-
        ence.

    •   King County, Washington, has a 10 percent price preference for re-refined
        motor oil and a 15 percent price preference for recycled-content paper.

    •   Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri, whose policies were devel-
        oped collaboratively include price preferences of up to 15 percent for
        products they consider environmentally preferable. The product categories
        include paper and paper products, alternative fuels, cleaning products, and
        a full range of recycled-content and refurbished products.

   Although price preferences are fairly widely incorporated into EPP purchasing
policies, many officials suggest price preferences are not always a very effective
means for encouraging purchases of environmentally preferable products. Price
preferences assume environmentally preferable products are not price competitive,
which is not always true. Several commenters noted that the  willingness to pay
more for an environmental product could be contributing to price increases. Sellers
of environmentally preferable products could be very price competitive, theoreti-
cally, but might lack any incentive because they can charge and earn more as long
as price preferences exist. If this is the case, price preferences could actually limit
the market penetration of green products.

   Other officials explained that purchasers are reluctant to use price preference
formulas, often because they are not sanctioned by relevant statutes. More than one
official reported reactions similar  to that of a purchaser who  stated her reluctance
to use the price preferences by explaining, "It is just a policy  and not a mandate."
As a result, many purchasers continue to buy the lowest priced products rather than
competitively priced products with beneficial environmental  attributes. A few offi-
cials explained that purchasers only use the price preferences if they are personally
committed to promoting EPP. Otherwise, the preferences are not implemented.

   An official from King County, Washington's EPP Program suggested that
price preferences can be problematic for recycled or environmentally preferable
products. Price preferences can be effective when their purpose is to increase
participation of a preferred class of vendors selling the same product with the same
specifications as other vendors, such as price preferences to buy from  local, small,
or woman-  or minority-owned suppliers. When the intention is to purchase
an environmentally preferable product, however, it is likely this product will be dif-
ferent in its manufacture, feedstock, or other attributes, therefore requiring different
specifications. Once an agency has decided to buy a different product, it can simply
specify that product. "If the price and performance of low-toxicity cleaning prod-
ucts meet your needs, then the price of the traditional cleaning product is
irrelevant,"  the official explained.  "You're not trying to buy a traditional cleaning
product. You're trying to buy low toxicity. If you want to buy oranges, it doesn't
matter how expensive apples are."
                                                                             EPP Strategies    +   13

-------
                          Other purchasing officials suggested that while environmentally preferable prod-
                        ucts are unique compared with their traditional counterparts, it is still important to
                        compare costs. Even when an organization is willing to pay extra for improved
                        environmental performance, officials suggested, it is still important to know how
                        much additional it is paying. As one commenter proposed, "The marginal benefits
                        of improved environmental performance might not always be worth the additional
                        cost, given competing financial priorities." Of course, others argue that it is impos-
                        sible "to put a price on public health or a sustainable environment."
                        Best Value Purchasing

                          As an alternative to price preferences, several state and local governments are
                        switching from the "low bid wins" purchasing approach to a "best value" approach
                        for more and more purchases. With best value purchasing, purchasers can identify
                        and consider a wider variety of factors without developing the detailed specifica-
                        tions required under the traditional low bid wins approach. These additional
                        considerations can include how well the product or service provider performs, life-
                        cycle costs (what it will cost to operate or maintain the product for 5, 10, 15, or 20
                        years), and environmental impacts. Instead of relying on detailed product specifica-
                        tions, purchasers develop product preferences that might also include specific
                        product requirements.

                          The product preferences can include environmental attributes such as recycled
                        content percentages, energy efficiency ratings, the absence of selected chemicals or
                        chemical byproducts, toxicity ratings, and use of renewable resources. Point values
                        can be assigned for every possible attribute. More desirable attributes receive high-
                        er point values, and less desirable attributes receive lower (or even negative) point
                        values. When comparing competing products and services, purchasers review them
                        against the possible point values and assign a score.

                          Naturally, price and performance remain important criteria. A purchasing evalu-
                        ation score sheet, for example, might base 40 percent of the total score on price, 40
                        percent on performance, and  the remaining 20 percent on environmental or other
                        preferential purchasing considerations (e.g., local  supplier, or small or woman- or
                        minority-owned businesses).

                          One of the best value approach's advantages is that buyers can assign point values
                        for desirable environmental or other attributes even if they are unsure of their
                        availability. Low-toxicity, recycled-content widgets, for example, might not be avail-
                        able, but by assigning point values to both low toxicity and recycled content, buyers
                        can make their preference for both attributes well known. Ideally, this would
                        encourage a manufacturer to  begin making them because it would have a competi-
                        tive advantage. Until widgets  containing both attributes are available, buyers can
                        emphasize one of the attributes over the other by assigning it a higher point value.

                          Many state and local governments are adopting best value purchasing approach-
                        es, including Massachusetts; Minnesota; Santa Monica, California; and King
                        County, Washington. Connecticut used to be a low bid state, but recent laws
                        passed by the state legislature allow purchasers to switch to a best value approach.
14   +   EPP Strategies

-------
Before passing the law, there was ample anecdotal evidence that the low bid
approach was not in the state's best interest. One purchaser, for example, recalled
the routine purchase of a brand of self-adhesive poster paper that did not work.
Instead of sticking to the wall as designed, the paper had to be secured with mask-
ing tape or thumbtacks.

   Several best value purchasing examples are described briefly in this report,
including green cleaner purchases by Santa Monica, California; Massachusetts; and
Minnesota (see page 22), and Massachusetts' computer purchase  (page 26).


Green Teams

   Because EPP requires some level of environmental knowledge that does not
typically reside within most purchasing departments, several state and local govern-
ments are exploring the advantages of "green teams."  Green teams are typically
composed of members with specific environmental, purchasing, and product exper-
tise. They provide a forum for individuals with different expertise and
institutional perspectives to collectively address EPP opportunities.

   •   Massachusetts established the first of several Commonwealth
       green teams in 1995. The meetings began as a series of weekly
       gatherings for purchasing and environmental officials to share
       information on upcoming purchases and to develop working
       relationships between the two groups. Once the groups began
       working together successfully, the regular meetings evolved
       from weekly meetings to biweekly, monthly, and—currently—
       bimonthly meetings. In addition to general  environmental
       purchasing meetings, Massachusetts has several Procurement
       Management Teams focusing on specific purchasing categories
       such as office, vehicular, computer, and facility management products and
       services. These teams meet as needed to discuss upcoming contracts and
       incorporate environmental criteria wherever possible.

   •   Portland, Oregon's Green Team was also established in  1995. It was
       originally convened to raise awareness about the importance of buying
       recycled-content products. It is currently working with the city's  Bureau of
       Purchases to develop a more detailed EPP policy that expands beyond the
       original buy-recycled emphasis.

   •   Several interdepartmental "commodities teams" currently review the envi-
       ronmental impacts of various purchases in Seattle, Washington. The
       teams look at office supplies, road materials, building  and construction,
       printing, landscaping and grounds maintenance, desktop  computers and
       printers, office equipment (e.g., copiers, fax machines), janitorial  services
       and products, dry and wet cell batteries, hazardous material contracting,
       and lifecycle costing.

   •   North Carolina's Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental
       Assistance pays for an intern located in the Division of Purchases and
       Contracts. The intern serves as a conduit for the two  divisions to exchange
       information. As a result, North Carolina's purchasing community has
       learned about the environmental impacts of its work,  and the state's envi-
       ronmental division has learned about pressures faced by the purchasing
                                                                           EPP Strategies    +   15

-------
                              division. Both divisions have expressed hope that the new understanding
                              will result in fresh opportunities to incorporate environmental considera-
                              tions into  the state's purchasing process.

                           •  Similarly,  Vermont's Purchasing Division and Department of
                              Environmental Conservation have shared a summer intern for the
                              past 2 years through the New England Board of Higher Education
                              Environmental Intern program. Coordinating the intern's activities has
                              led to a closer working relationship between the two agencies.

                           •  Minnesota has an informal teaming arrangement between the
                              Department of Administration and the Office of Environmental Assistance.
                              When a state contract is within 7 months of expiring, the Department of
                              Administration notifies the Office of Environmental Assistance, which then
                              reviews the available information to see if it can offer any recommendations
                              for improving the contract's environmental performance.

                         The Minnesota Department of Administration also established an advisory
                       committee known as the Environmentally Responsible Work Group. The group
                       focuses on promoting environmental purchasing throughout the state government
                       and includes representatives from state  government and interested nonprofits.
                       Current members include the Office  of Environmental Assistance, the Recycling
                       Association of Minnesota, the Pollution Control Agency, the Housing Finance
                       Agency, the Veterans Home Board, and the Departments of Administration,
                       Transportation, Natural Resources, Labor and Industry, and Economic Security.


                       Vendor Fairs

                         Several purchasing officials interviewed for this report emphasized the impor-
                       tance of vendor fairs for raising awareness about environmentally preferable
                       products. Too many purchasers, officials contend, dismiss environmentally prefer-
                       able products because they have never been exposed to them. Vendor fairs provide
                       opportunities for purchasers to examine products up  close and to ask specific
                       questions about price, performance, and availability.

                           •  Portland, Oregon's Green Team organized the city's first "Green Buying
                              Fair" in 1996. It was attended by nearly 500 city and county  employees and
                              focused primarily on buy-recycled opportunities. Following the fair, the city
                              held an in-depth training session for 23 city employees from  12 city
                              bureaus.

                           •  Massachusetts will hold its sixth annual vendor fair in October 2000. It is
                              expecting  more than 100 vendors and more than 600 purchasers from local
                              governments, school districts, nonprofit organizations, and the private sec-
                              tor. The Commonwealth also holds several training sessions  and an EPP
                              awards ceremony in conjunction with the fairs.

                           •  On May 10, 2000, Kansas City, Missouri, held its first vendor fair, which
                              attracted 56 vendors and 152  visitors. While attendance was not as high as
                              planners had hoped, they are  considering turning the vendor fair into an
                              annual event. The planners believe future fairs will be better  attended as
                              word spreads about the city's  emphasis on environmental purchasing.
16   +   EPP Strategies

-------
Third-Party Certifiers
  Recognizing that it sometimes lacks the environmental expertise necessary
to evaluate the wide range of products it purchases, Pennsylvania has turned to
outside experts. After the governor signed a 1998 executive order establishing a
governmentwide goal of zero emissions, the Commonwealth embarked upon a
number of pollution prevention activities, including an EPP initiative. While most
of Pennsylvania's efforts to date have focused on increasing recycled-content pur-
chases, some Commonwealth agencies are exploring multiple environmental
attributes.

  While Pennsylvania purchasers acknowledge the importance of making purchas-
ing decisions based on multiple environmental attributes (e.g., recycled-content,
low-VOC, chlorine-free, energy-efficient, or pollution-free production processes),
they also recognize those evaluations can be challenging given limited budgets, lim-
ited time, and limited access to incomplete environmental information. To address
these challenges, Pennsylvania uses environmental specifications developed by
Green Seal, an independent, nonprofit environmental standards organization.
The Commonwealth currently uses Green Seal's standards when purchasing paint,
degreasers, and cleaning products.10
Incentive Programs

  Many organizations are considering or implementing award programs or other
incentives to encourage environmental purchasing. Rewarding purchasers helps
highlight the importance of their environmental purchasing efforts, recognizes
their accomplishments, and provides incentives for others to follow their example.

    •   NACo established an annual environmental purchasing award program in
       1998. King County, Washington, was the first winner; Cape May
       County, New Jersey, won in 1999; and Kalaniazoo County, Michigan,
       won in 2000. The award recognizes these counties' efforts to incorporate
       environmental concerns into their purchasing decisions.

    •   King County was also one of the first to win the National Recycling
       Coalition's procurement award, which it received in 1991. In 2000, the
       county was awarded the "Buy Recycled—Recycling at Work" award from
       the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The King County Environmental
       Purchasing Program is quick to share the credit for these awards with all
       the county's  agencies. As one county official explained, "Public recognition,
       especially in  an audience of peers, is a good motivator."

    •   EPA's Waste Wise program has recognized the outstanding efforts of its fed-
       eral, state, and local government, and private sector members since 1995.
       Although primarily focused on waste  reduction and recycling efforts, the
       program also considers environmental purchasing efforts when evaluating
       potential award winners. Washoe County, Nevada, received the 1999
       local government Waste Wise Partner of the Year award for its source
       reduction, recycling, and purchasing activities.
10 For additional information on Green Seal, including copies of its standards for more than 35 product cate-
gories, visit www.greenseal.org. EPAs recommendations for working with nongovernmental environmental
organizations are available on its EPP Web site at www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/docback.htrn.
                                                                          EPP Strategies   +   17

-------
                              Phoenix, Arizona, instituted its own incentive programs to promote envi-
                              ronmental purchasing throughout the city government. One incentive,
                              which is in its pilot year, includes environmental performance as part of
                              the annual reviews for city department directors and management staff.
                              Departments can choose to be evaluated on one of several environmental
                              criteria, including compliance assessments, training, and purchasing. The
                              following year, the department staff must choose a different environmental
                              criteria upon which to be evaluated. This ensures that environmental pur-
                              chasing is an environmental evaluation criteria for every city department at
                              some point.

                              Phoenix also instituted an "On-the-Spot" award program. After leaving the
                              city's EPP training, employees are eligible for "environmental hero" recog-
                              nition in  the city's environmental newsletter, and they can also earn small
                              prizes. Participation requires  employees to recommend a way to improve
                              environmental performance, including identifying environmentally prefer-
                              able products. According to one city official, several employees have
                              enjoyed the attention their suggestions received, and the program has
                              encouraged an environmental focus in the city's purchasing decisions.

                              Vermont's Clean State Council has an "Environmental Champion" pro-
                              gram to recognize individuals and groups within the state government that
                              are actively promoting Vermont's clean state initiative, which includes an
                              EPP focus.

                              The purchasing manager in Kalamazoo County,  Michigan, compiles a
                              quarterly report of county departments' EPP and recycled-content
                              purchases. The report clearly identifies which departments are making
                              environmental purchasing a priority and which are not. Because no
                              manager  wants to see his or her department at the bottom of the list, coun-
                              ty managers have steadily increased their environmental purchases.
                              Recycled-content paper purchases, for example, have climbed from 50 to
                              97 percent since the purchasing manager began reporting the numbers in
                              1993. "This suggests that you can harness peer pressure in a  positive
                              direction," explained one county official. "It can be a great incentive."

                              Massachusetts provides grant money to local communities within the
                              Commonwealth to establish recycling programs. To be eligible for the
                              money, however, the local communities must also agree to establish pro-
                              grams to  buy recycled-content and environmentally preferable products,
                              to track purchases, and to attend the Commonwealth's vendor fairs.
                              Massachusetts also recognizes local municipalities with buy-recycled and
                              environmentally preferable purchasing awards at its annual vendor fair.

                              When Lee County, Florida's vehicle fleet management department began
                              reducing its hazardous waste emissions to zero, the county implemented a
                              few incentives to encourage employee involvement, including an  "employee
                              of the month" program. The fleet management department also instituted
                              staff bonuses for EPP and waste reduction activities. During the 2-year
                              period from 1995 to 1997 when the program was implemented, the depart-
                              ment awarded $7,500 in bonuses. As a result of the county's effort, it
                              currently saves almost $17,000 annually in avoided waste disposal costs.
18   +   EPP Strategies

-------
Employee Training

  Every state and local government identified in this report that considers EPP
principles as part of its official purchasing strategy provides EPP training for its
purchasers. While some state and local governments, such as Portland, Oregon,
and Cincinnati, Ohio, have held training sessions devoted solely to EPP, most gov-
ernments emphasizing EPP include it as part of routine training for purchasing
officials. Minnesota, for example, requires all state purchasers to be certified by the
state's Department of Administration. One way of obtaining this certification is to
attend an all-day training course, which includes an EPP session. More than 600
purchasers have completed this training. Other state and local government employ-
ee training activities include the following:

    •   Massachusetts holds five to seven workshops annually for local govern-
       ments within the Commonwealth. The workshops address the "who, what,
       and why" of environmental purchasing. They also encourage local govern-
       ments to examine the environmentally preferable products available
       through existing Commonwealth contracts.

    •   Connecticut focuses much of its training activities on educating end-users
       rather than  purchasing officials. In an attempt to create  demand for envi-
       ronmental products, the state recently presented workshops on motor
       vehicular products (retread tires, re-refined oil, aqueous parts cleaners);
                                      heating, ventilation, and air condition-
                                      ing systems; and carpeting. Additional
                                  ^  workshops are being planned.

                                   h
                                    -
In May 2000, Kansas City,
Missouri, held several EPP train-
ing sessions in conjunction with its
first EPP vendor fair. The sessions
addressed green building materials,
energy efficiency measures, paper
and office products, fleet mainte-
nance, and local EPP resources
available from Missouri state and
local governments and EPA
Region 7.
Vendor Surveys

  To facilitate the purchase of environmentally preferable products and services,
Pennsylvania is circulating a letter to each of its suppliers. The letter is part of a
review of the environmental impacts of the products and services the Commonwealth
purchases. Pennsylvania circulated the letter in March 2000 and asked its suppliers
to respond to the following inquiries:

    1.  Describe how your manufacturing process is environmentally responsible.

    2.  Describe how your product or service is environmentally responsible.
       Include any information about what can be done to reuse some or [all the]
       product instead of sending it to a landfill.

    3.  Describe how your packaging material is environmentally responsible.
                                EPP Strategies
                                                                                               19

-------
                           4.  Describe how your shipping, processing, distribution systems, etc. [are]
                              environmentally responsible.

                           5.  List any awards or recognition your company has received for being
                              environmentally responsible.

                          In addition to collecting potentially useful information for evaluating the envi-
                       ronmental preferability of future purchases, the letter was designed to raise
                       awareness among suppliers that the Commonwealth emphasizes environmental
                       performance in procurement decisions. At the time this report was published, the
                       Commonwealth was not ready to discuss the effort's results.
20   +   EPP Strategies

-------
Product Evaluation
riuuui;i  EiVcuuctuuii
     State and local governments are evaluating the environmental impacts of a
     wide variety of products and services. This section provides a brief overview
     of some of those evaluations, including chemicals and chemical-free products,
cleaning products and services, computers, "green" buildings and leases, "green"
power, integrated pest management, paint, paper and paper products, and alterna-
tive fuel vehicles.
Chemicals and  Chemical-"Free"  Products

  State and local governments use a wide variety of chemicals as part of their
everyday activities. Some of these chemicals are purchased directly, and others are
purchased indirectly as a result of the products and services governments buy.
Several state and local governments closely track their chemical purchases in an
attempt to minimize their environmental impacts. Others are attempting to buy
products that do not produce or involve the use of particular chemical compounds.
In particular, several avoid dioxin, a known human carcinogen produced as a
byproduct of the chlorine bleaching process used in the paper and textile industries
and in some plastic manufacturing. Dioxin is a particular concern because it can
accumulate in the food chain, meaning humans never directly exposed to manufac-
turing processes can still be exposed to dioxin by consuming it in the food they eat.
This section briefly describes some efforts to reduce chemical purchases or to avoid
purchasing products associated with selected chemical emissions.

    •   Phoenix, Arizona, adopted an interim hazardous materials purchasing
       policy in 1996. Because of limited budgets and  competing priorities, the
       policy gained momentum slowly, but the city made significant progress in
       the first 6 months of 2000. The city began by surveying its chemical pur-
       chases and discovered it purchased more than 5,800 different chemicals.
       Realizing the enormous challenge of organizing and coordinating the envi-
       ronmental, health, and safety impacts of such a large number of chemicals,
       the city sought ways to automate the process. It began by building an
       online database containing copies of the material safety data sheets
       (MSDSs) for the chemical products it purchases. City employees obtained
       MSDSs from a variety of sources and entered them into the database. The
       database is available at www.cityofphoenix.org/ENVPGM/envidx.htnil,
       where it can be used by purchasers seeking to reduce the environmental
       impacts of their purchasing decisions.

       During the first 6 months of 2000, the city also evaluated more than 1,000
       of its chemical purchases in 21 different categories. These evaluations were
       entered into a database that will soon be accessible to all city purchasers
       online. Based on the Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS)
       approach, the city assigns a score from 0 (safe) to 4 (hazardous). The system
       generally reports scores up to 2 as "green," meaning they are safe to
                                                                    Product Evaluation    +  21

-------
          purchase; 3 as "yellow," meaning alternatives should be considered; and 4
          as "red," meaning the chemical should be avoided if possible. City officials
          surveyed departmental purchasing practices and determined the system is
          reducing hazardous chemical purchases.

          Concerned about potentially hazardous, routine purchases, Washtenaw
          County, Michigan, is compiling a list of products to avoid. The county is
          examining products such as bleach, liquid correction fluid, and some pesti-
          cides and herbicides. No final decisions have been made yet, but the county
          understands its purchasing decisions have important environmental impacts
          and is seeking to minimize these impacts.

          Oakland, California, passed an antidioxin resolution in February 1999. As
          mandated in the resolution, the city began seeking "less-toxic, non-chlori-
          nated, sustainable alternative products and processes." Shortly after passing
          the resolution, the city added chlorine-free and "non-dioxin producing"
          specifications into its paper contracts. Oakland also reviewed its purchases
          of products containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC),  a plastic resin that pro-
          duces dioxin as part of the manufacturing process. The city identified two
          significant PVC purchases—traffic cones and plastic water and electrical
          pipes. The city has been unable to locate cost-effective traffic cone replace-
          ments, but has replaced its PVC piping purchases with a plastic piping
          made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), an alternative plastic not
          associated with dioxin emissions.

          As part of Vermont's "Clean State Initiative," the state tries to purchase
          chlorine-free products. As directed by the governor in 1996, the state only
          uses process chlorine-free copy paper for state business.
   Cleaning Products  and Services
     Traditional cleaning products present several human health and environmental
   concerns. They can contain chemicals associated with cancer, reproductive disor-
   ders, respiratory ailments, eye or skin irritation, and other human health issues.
   They also can include ozone-depleting substances, toxic materials that adversely
   affect plant and animal life, and chemicals that can accumulate in the environ-
   ment with potentially harmful consequences. Green Seal, a nonprofit
   environmental standards organization, estimates that cleaning products con-
   tribute approximately 8 percent of total nonvehicular VOC emissions. These
   emissions contribute  to smog formation, degrade plant growth, and can cause
   respiratory distress in some individuals.
 I
iluatior

-------
                   Additional Cleaning Product Information

                   The following information is accessible via the EPP Web site at
                   www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/cleaners/resource.htm:

                   •   An extensive list of EPP cleaning product resources, including information pre-
                      pared by Massachusetts; Minnesota; Santa Monica, California; King County,
                      Washington; and a variety of other governmental and nongovernmental sources.

    •  A list of environmental attributes some state and local governments consider when selecting
       cleaning products.

    •  Yellowstone National Park's list of cleaning product chemicals and ingredients to avoid.

    The EPP Web site contains a searchable database of environmental information for products and
    services. It outlines product-specific information (e.g., environmental standards and guidelines or
    contract language) developed by government programs, both domestic and international, as well as
    third parties at www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/database.htm.
   Several purchasers have noted that green cleaning products' lower VOC content
and reduced toxicity help improve overall indoor air quality. This affects all
employees, not just janitorial staff. It could also have considerable impacts on
employee productivity, absenteeism, and the general well-being of building occu-
pants. Some studies have suggested that improving indoor air quality can increase
overall productivity by more than 8 percent. Because labor costs are typically the
largest expense for most state and local governments, small productivity increases
can result in substantial savings.

   •   Santa Monica, California, was one of the first governments in the United
       States to apply EPP criteria to its cleaning product purchases. In 1993, the
       city developed environmental criteria for janitorial products as the first
       phase of its Toxic Use Reduction Program. The results of a pilot project
       contributed to the development of bid specifications, which included envi-
       ronmental and public health criteria, as well as performance and cost
       criteria. Recognizing that EPP  is an ongoing process, Santa Monica updat-
       ed its bid specifications in 1998. This allowed the city to better measure the
       overall worker health and environmental impacts associated with cleaning
       product use. The city now analyzes 18 product attributes based on pass/fail
       and relative ranking criteria. Under the mandatory criteria, the city pro-
       hibits carcinogens, aerosols, ozone-depleting chemicals, and Toxic Release
       Inventory chemicals. It also established strict standards for VOCs and
       biodegradability. Other considerations such as dyes,  fragrances, product
       packaging, and aquatic toxicity  are evaluated on a relative point scale.

   •   In 1996, King County, Washington, established a contract for cleaning
       products it considers environmentally preferable. The contract prohibits
       cleaning products containing known or suspected carcinogens and other
       specific chemicals (e.g., ethylene chloride, chlorinated solvents, and butyl
                                                                       Product Evaluation    +   23

-------
                                cleaners). The contract also includes aquatic toxicity limitations and
                                requires nonirritating and biodegradable products. Despite this effort's suc-
                                cess, the county considers it only a first step toward finding and evaluating
                                                               less toxic cleaners. It continues to identi-
                                                               fy and test potential environmentally
    Green Cleaning Product Successes                preferable cleaners  as they are intro-
                                                               duced.
    •   Santa Monica, California, estimates that its green             ,.  .     ,         .     . ,,    .
         ,   .       ,        ,      ,     1-   •    j T-IAA         *    Massachusetts selected rive clean-
        cleaning product purchases nave eliminated 3,200         .        11-         -          n
             j   r i     j          -i                  j         inR product lines as environmentally
        pounds of hazardous materials annually and saved           Drr  .. .   ,„„„  _  .. ..         :
        fu                .. i  c                 11-          preferable in 1998.  Building upon the
        the aty approximately 5 percent on annual cleaning            i   /- r.     ^,        11     1
                                                               work of Santa Monica and others, the
        product expenses.                                                    .,,   .    .111     ,
                                                               contract specifications included manda-
    •   Richmond, California, anticipates that its green          tory requirements banning carcinogens
        cleaning purchases will eliminate 3,000 pounds of         and ozone-depleting chemicals and
        hazardous materials a year, reduce janitorial worker        established strict VOC and phosphate
        compensation claims, and improve city employee          limits. Products not meeting the manda-
        productivity.                                            tory criteria were disqualified from
                                                               further consideration. In addition, com-
                                                               panies were awarded additional
                                                               consideration for voluntary environmen-
                                tal performance criteria using a point system similar to the  one described in
                                the Best Value Purchasing section beginning on page  14. Additional points
                                were awarded for environmental benefits such as reduced skin and eye irri-
                                tability, biodegradability, further reductions in VOC levels, neutral pH
                                levels, and reduced packaging. Products failing to earn at least 50 of the 75
                                possible environmental attribute points were disqualified from further con-
                                sideration.

                            •   Like Massachusetts, Minnesota began searching for environmentally
                                preferable cleaning products by reviewing Santa Monica's efforts. It devel-
                                oped criteria for evaluating products based on its own priorities, including
                                protecting human health and safety, avoiding ecological stressors, reducing
                                product packaging, and avoiding fragrances and dyes.  Products that avoided
                                toxic,  carcinogenic, flammable, or irritating chemicals; phosphates; and
                                ozone-depleting substances  scored higher in the state's evaluations. In addi-
                                tion, Minnesota evaluated product ingredients using the Minnesota Air
                                Toxics Index System, which assigns hazard ratings  based on toxicity data
                                and exposure scenarios.11 After reviewing nearly 400 products from 23 ven-
                                dors, the state  decided to purchase 33 categories of cleaning products,
                                including all-purpose cleaners, deodorizers, disinfectants, furniture and
                                glass cleaners,  and soaps.

                            •   Vermont is also buying cleaning products based on an extensive evalua-
                                tion of their environmental attributes. The state evaluates the presence  of
                                carcinogens, acute and aquatic toxicity, likelihood of exposure, biodegrad-
                                ability, VOC content, petroleum versus  biobased  content, recycled
                                content and recyclable packaging, and bulk packaging, among other envi-
                                ronmental considerations.
                        11 For additional information on Minnesota's Air Toxics Index System, including a link to the spreadsheet con-
                        tainting the hazard rating system, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/air/airtoxics.htnil.
24   +    Product Evaluation

-------
Janitorial contractors in Richmond, California, expect the switch to green
cleaners to reduce worker compensation claims. According to a study con-
ducted by a consultant to the city, it costs an average of $615, excluding
long-term disability costs, for each cleaning chemical accident requiring
medical treatment. The study revealed that 1 out of every  100 janitors had
reported work-related injuries attributable to the cleaning  products used.
The project team thinks the actual number is 6 injuries per 100 janitors,
reasoning that many people are reluctant to report injuries because of a fear
of disciplinary measures.

By switching to less toxic cleaning products, Richmond contractors expect
to reduce the number, severity, and cost of accidents. Contractors anticipate
worker compensation insurance costs might decrease because insurance
premiums are based on the number and severity of claims. In addition, if
contractors make all potential product changes available to them, their use
of hazardous  materials will decrease by 3,000 pounds per year.

In October 1999, Multnomah County, Oregon, issued a request for pro-
posal (RFP) seeking custodial services for eight county health facilities. The
RFP included requests for nonsolvent-based, unscented floor wax; nonsol-
vent-based degreasers; nonacidic and nonalkaline toilet bowl cleaners;
water-based stainless steel polish; nonalcohol-based and ammonia-free win-
dow cleaners; and nonsolvent-based, nonacidic, and nonalkaline liquid
cleansers. It also included a  generic statement encouraging use of recyclable
products to the maximum extent feasible economically.

As mentioned previously, Pennsylvania purchases  cleaning products based
on specifications developed  by Green Seal (see page 17).

Washington  recently awarded a cleaning contract containing nine mandato-
ry EPP criteria. It was based on criteria used by Minnesota; Massachusetts;
Santa Monica, California;  and King County, Washington.

In March 1999, Chatham County, North Carolina, passed an
Environmental Leadership Policy that included specific language on the
use of green cleaning products  and integrated pest management by the
county's Buildings and Grounds Department. The policy requires  the
department to purchase products that are "less or non-toxic and [to] take
into account the following:

a.  Have the fewest adverse health effects such as skin, eye, nose, throat,
    and lung  irritation from toxic compounds.

b.  Contain the fewest chemicals that can enter the food chain when con-
    sumed by aquatic plants and animals.

c.  Contain the fewest volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can escape
    during product use.

d.  Avoid unnecessary additives such as fragrances and dyes.

e.  Reduce product packaging  and use recovered materials when packaging
    is necessary. Buy more concentrated products that have lower packag-
    ing and shipping costs, lower cost per application costs, and less waste
                                                                 Product Evaluation    +   25

-------
'
1
'

'

u
•V


1
'
r r M
' '
i li
i
1
•

i
:


Ii i

                        to recycle or dispose of. When using concentrates, the products should
                        be packaged so that the user is not placed at a great risk for exposure."

                 •   The Indiana Department of Administration is investigating biodegradable
                     cleaning products and is currently preparing specifications and drafting a
                     purchasing agreement. An  award is expected in February 2001. Seattle,
                     Washington, and Kansas  City and Jackson County, Missouri, are also
                     investigating green cleaning products. Each is examining the criteria
                     used by others.

                Although a significant number of state and local governments are successfully
              purchasing or exploring purchases  of green cleaning products, not everyone has
              reported complete success.

                 •   Kalaniazoo  County, Michigan, used low-toxicity cleaning products in a
                     juvenile home facility. Anecdotal evidence suggests the residents experi-
                     enced fewer  respiratory incidents following the change in cleaning
                     products. The county's purchasing officials, however, found the purchasing
                     process particularly challenging because it was difficult to identify products
                     as environmentally preferable. The staff chemists had great difficulty deter-
                     mining toxicity  based on MSDS information.12

                 •   Olnisted County, Minnesota, conducted a pilot project using a variety of
                     less toxic cleaning materials from several vendors in the county's largest
                     office building. The effort  raised awareness of EPP, but ultimately the
                     county continued using traditional cleaning products because its custodians
                     were more comfortable with them. Custodians reported that some of the
                     alternative products did not perform as well, took longer to work, or
                     required twice as much of the product to work. County officials recognize
                     that other governments are using the products successfully. They believe
                     additional training might have alleviated some performance concerns, but
                     they do not currently plan  to resume efforts to purchase green cleaning
                     products.


              Computers

                Many state and local  governments are purchasing Energy Star®-compliant com-
              puter equipment, which can reduce energy consumption and expenses more than
              50 percent compared with traditional equipment. In addition to  the Energy Star®
              requirement, Seattle, Washington, requires vendors to take back all computer
              packaging for recycling and has asked the contractor to explore shipping multiple
              computer units in "multi-paks" instead of packaging each individual computer.
                 Several state and local governments are preparing to follow Massachusetts and
                                 Minnesota's lead and develop contracts for proper disposal of
                                     computer equipment. This will ensure that lead, mercury,
                                       and other hazardous or toxic materials are disposed of
                                       properly.
              12 The source for this information was unsure when Kalmazoo County, Michigan, explored these cleaning
              products or whether purchasers contacted state and local governments with successful green cleaning programs
              prior to their attempt.
26
Product Evaluation

-------
  Massachusetts, however, has gone a step further in evaluating the environmen-
tal preferability of its computer purchases. Bidders on recent computer contracts
could score higher on the Commonwealth's product evaluation scorecard by meet-
ing the following environmental attributes:
    1.  Components that were not manufactured or assembled using the following
       ingredients:
       i.   Chloroflurocarbon or hydrochloroflurocarbon compounds identified in
           the Montreal Protocol.
       ii.  Chlorinated solvents.
       iii.  Cadmium in the monitor, electronic components, batteries, photo
           semiconductors, packaging, or packaging ink.
       iv.  Mercury in the background lighting system, batteries, or other elec-
           tronic components.
       v.   Selenium, unless the equipment can be returned to the manufacturer.
       vi.  Flame retardant materials in any plastic components containing any
           organically bound chlorine or bromide.
    2.  Recycled content in the following:
       i.   Plastic components such as the central processing unit, monitor hous-
           ing, and/or keyboard.
       ii.  Monitor glass.
       iii.  Other.
    3.  Packaging
       i.   Recycled-content packaging.
       ii.  Minimizes or eliminates use of polystyrene or other difficult to recycle
           materials.
       iii.  Minimizes or eliminates use of disposable containers  such as cardboard
           boxes.
       iv.  Provides a return program where packaging can be returned for recy-
           cling.
       v.   Manuals printed on recycled-content papers.
    4.  Upgradability
       i.   Modular design that can be upgraded without special tools.
       ii.  Expandable memory.
    5.  Design for recycling
       i.   Use of single plastic resin.
       ii.  Clear and visible labeling of plastic resins.
       iii.  Avoiding use of metallization in plastic housings.
       iv.  Easily disassembled.
                                                                        Product Evaluation    +   27

-------
                 6.  Take-back provisions
                     i.  Bidders should have methods allowing for the return of used equip-
                        ment to the original manufacturer at no cost to Massachusetts.

                 7.  Worker health and safety
                     i.  Ergonomic design, including reduced eye strain.
                     ii.  Monitors that reduce exposure to magnetic and electrical fields and X-
                        ray radiation.

                 8.  Third-party certification
                     i.  Points for certification by organizations such as TCO, Blue Angel, ISO
                        14000.

                 9.  Other environmental issues
                     i.  Toxics use reduction.
                     ii.  Natural resource conservation.
              Green  Buildings

                Conventional U.S. office buildings consume 40 percent of total energy flows,
              generate one-third of the carbon dioxide emissions, and are responsible for 17 per-
              cent of the country's water consumption. The country's construction and
              demolition debris occupies 40 percent of the nation's landfill space. In addition,
              many traditional construction materials off-gas chemicals that contribute to poor
              indoor air quality, contributing to what is known as "sick building syndrome." EPA
              estimates that sick building syndrome costs the nation nearly $60 billion in illnesses
              and lost productivity each year. Avoiding building materials that are high in VOCs,
              chemical irritants, or other indoor air quality contaminants can eliminate many
                            indoor air concerns. This requires carefully reviewing caulks, adhe-
                            sives, sealants, stains, paints, carpets, flooring materials, wall
                            coverings, furniture, and other materials for the presence of poten-
                            tial indoor air contaminants.

                              Many state and local governments recognize that constructing
                            new buildings and refurbishing existing buildings present numer-
                            ous opportunities to incorporate EPP practices. In fact, some of
                            the most significant advances in understanding and applying EPP
                            principles are originating in the green building arena.

                            •   In 1999, Pennsylvania established its green building specifi-
                                cations in the "Commonwealth's Guidelines for Creating
                                High Performance Green Buildings." Numerous construc-
                                tion projects throughout the Commonwealth already used
                                the guidelines and specifications, including an award-winning
                                office building for the Department of Environmental
                                Protection and an office building for Commonwealth
                                employees, both located in the capital. A 48,000-square-foot
                                classroom building at Shippensburg University is being reno-
                                vated using the green principles. Copies of the
28
Product Evaluation

-------
       Commonwealth's guidelines are available online at
       www.gggc.state.pa.us/Greenbldg/greenpdf/highperf.htm.

       Santa Monica, California, is incorporating green building principles
       into a variety of new construction and renovation projects. A four-story,
       115,000-square-foot public safety facility adjacent to city hall, for exam-
       ple, is being built with photovoltaic panels, highly energy efficient
       lighting and HVAC systems,  occupancy sensors to turn off lights in unoc-
       cupied rooms, recycled-content and low-VOC building materials, and a
       dual plumbing system that will allow the use of reclaimed water to flush
       toilets. The building was designed to  be 45 to 50 percent more energy
       efficient than California Title 24's energy efficiency requirements. The
       city's Engineering Division is currently compiling a database  of environ-
       mentally preferable building  materials used on this and other current and
       future green building projects in Santa Monica.

       King County, Washington,  built two new buildings in 1998 that made
       extensive use of recycled-content materials and other materials the county
       considers environmentally preferable. Both buildings included low-VOC
       and formaldehyde-free products, as well as energy- and water-efficient
       products. One of the buildings,  a 327,000-square-foot, eight-story office
       building in downtown Seattle, contains 32,000  square yards of reused,
       renewed carpet tiles—the largest installation on the West Coast. It also has
       an onsite water reclamation system that collects storm-water runoff and
       ground water,  used for flushing toilets. This system is saving an estimated
       1.4 million gallons of water annually.

       Both the city hall and civic center in Seattle, Washington, are being con-
       structed using green building  features. Seattle's definition of green building
       includes everything that goes  into the structure, all the way down to the
       furniture. The city requires all of its remodels and renovations to meet the
       U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental
       Design (LEED) silver rating.13

       San  Diego, California, renovated a three-story 73,000-square-foot office
       building for its Environmental Services Division using green building prin-
       ciples. With healthy indoor air quality a primary goal, the  renovation
       emphasized careful material selection,  a new mechanical system,  environ-
       mental construction methods, and a healthy building maintenance plan.
       The city is expecting higher employee productivity because of reduced
       absenteeism related to healthier working conditions.

       Built at a cost  of $37 per square foot, which is only slightly more expensive
       than the area's typical renovation costs, the building includes advanced
       energy efficiency features. These features reduce the building's energy con-
       sumption by 62 percent, saving  the city more than $80,000 in annual
       energy expenses. Energy efficiency features include a super-efficient heat-
       ing, ventilation, and air-conditioning system; energy-efficient T-8
       fluorescent lamps; room occupancy sensors; daylight sensors; and extensive
       use of natural light. The building's energy consumption is  carefully moni-
13 For additional information on LEED, visit die U.S. Green Building Council's Web site at www.usgbc.org.


                                                                        Product Evaluation    +   29

-------
                               tored with a direct digital control system that automatically adjusts lighting
                               and temperature.

                               The city prevented many indoor air quality problems, including chemical
                               emissions from new materials and furnishings that combine to produce a
                               "new building smell." To avoid IAQ concerns and to incorporate other
                               important environmental considerations, the city adopted the following
                               construction material selection criteria:

                               •   Minimal chemical emissions (especially VOCs).

                               •   Avoid carcinogens and toxins.

                               •   Recycled-content materials.

                               •   Recyclable materials.

                               •   Recycling as part of the manufacturing process.

                               •   Increased product durability.

                               •   Use of sustainable and renewable resources.

                               •   Products that inhibit biological contaminants without causing indoor
                                   air quality concerns.

                               •   Materials that do not need cleaning or maintaining with harsh chemicals.

                               •   Preference for locally available building materials.

                               •   Reasonable cost.

                               The San Diego County, California, Board  of Supervisors passed a policy
                               affirming its interest in a sustainable building program. The policy empha-
                               sizes occupant health, energy and transportation efficiency, and resource
                               and material conservation, as well as reuse and recycling during building
                               construction, operation, and demolition. It also established an Innovative
                               Building Review Committee that advocates and provides incentives for
                               complying with voluntary standards established by the board of supervisors.
                               Excerpts from the voluntary standards include:

                               1.  Projects should use resources and methods that minimize pollution
                                   and waste, and do not cause permanent  damage to the earth, includ-
                                   ing erosion.

                               2.  Buildings should be designed to take maximum advantage of natural
                                   sources of heat, cooling, ventilation, and  light.

                               3.  Projects should include innovative strategies and technologies to con-
                                   serve water, reduce effluent and runoff, and recharge the water table.

                               4.  Projects should be planned to incorporate public transportation and
                                   reduce the need for automobiles.

                               5.  Buildings should be constructed and operated using materials, methods,
                                   and mechanical and electrical systems that ensure healthy indoor air
30   +   Product Evaluation

-------
       quality while preventing contamination by carcinogens, volatile organic
       compounds, fungi, molds, bacteria, and other known toxins.

   6.  Projects should be planned to minimize waste through the use of innov-
       ative methods such as lifecycle analysis, and preferences given to: a)
       reuse or the highest practical recycled content; b) raw materials derived
       from sustainable or renewable sources; c) materials and products ensur-
       ing long life/durability and recyclability; d) materials requiring the
       minimum of energy and rare resources to produce  and use; and e) mate-
       rials requiring the least amount of energy to transport to the job site.

   7.  Mechanical and electrical systems should be designed and constructed
       to achieve the maximum energy efficiency achievable with current
       technology.
Representative Building Materials For The San Diego Environmental
Services Department Renovation

•   Low-VOC paints, sealers, and stains—All met California requirements for low-VOC
    coatings and contained no formaldehyde, petroleum-based solvents, or other toxins.

•   Acoustic ceiling tiles—Pearlite content with no VOC emissions and no artificial miner-
    al fibers. They also are naturally nonflammable and antimicrobial and contain 10 percent
    recycled content.

•   Carpet tiles—Met the state of Washington Indoor Air Quality Specifications for low-
    VOC products, including a low-VOC adhesive for installation.

•   Linoleum flooring—Linoleum is made from natural fibers and has minimal VOCs
    (unlike vinyl flooring).

•   Cabinetry fiberboard—Manufactured from 90 percent preconsumer recycled wood
    without using formaldehyde. Cabinets are coated with a low-VOC coating instead of a
    laminate.

•   Ceramic tiles—Use glass and clay as the primary materials, which makes them naturally
    inert with no VOC emissions. The glass tiles contain 70 percent recycled content.

•   Cellulose insulation—Manufactured without formaldehyde from 100 percent recycled-
    content soy-ink newspapers. Contains no artificial mineral fibers such as fiberglass.

•   Gypsum wallboard—Available with 100 percent recycled-content facing and no VOC
    emissions.

•   Low-flow plumbing fixtures—Reduce building water consumption by 50 percent.

•   Steel framing—Requires no chemical fire retardants or sealants and contains 50 percent
    recycled content.

•   Counter tops—Solid surface acrylic polymer manufactured without formaldehyde.

•   Toilet partitions—Recycled-content HDPE plastic manufactured without formaldehyde.
                                                                  Product Evaluation   +   31

-------
                         Creative design and innovative energy sources and uses shall be
                         encouraged to reduce the consumption of energy from nonrenewable
                         sources. A deliberate effort shall be made to convert to renewable ener-
                         gy sources to the extent that such options are feasible.

                         Energy efficiency measures should be selected to achieve energy con-
                         sumption at 50 percent below California's current Title 24 standards,
                         with a target maximum payback period of 5 years.
                Green Building Leases

                Recognizing that its building-related environmental impacts include buildings
              leased and owned by the state, Minnesota's Real Estate Management Group began
              incorporating an environmental clause into its building leases in 1999. The lan-
              guage currently reads  as follows:

                "LESSOR shall use its best efforts to employ practices that protect occupants'
              health and ensure conservation of natural resources in the operation and mainte-
              nance of the building and the Leased Premises."

                Minnesota also is working with state agencies to incorporate recycled-content
              and/or low-VOC products into  the building spaces they lease. The state hopes to
              expand its current green lease language in the near future and is examining green
              lease language used by EPA in its leased facilities.14
                              Green Power

                                According to EPA, the U.S. electric power industry produced
                              1.1 billion pounds of toxic emissions in 1998, or 15 percent of all
                              U.S. toxic emissions. In addition to toxicity concerns, many elec-
                              tricity sources produce greenhouse gas emissions, which are
                              believed to have potentially adverse impacts on the global climate.
                              In 1994, for  example, 36 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions
                              were attributed to the utility industry versus 30 percent for trans-
                                                      portation, 23 percent for industrial
                                                      facilities, 7 percent for residential house-
                                                      holds, and 4 percent for commercial
                                                      operations.

                                                       Most electricity in the United States
                                                      is generated from fossil fuels (e.g., coal,
                                                      oil, natural gas), large hydroelectric
                                                      dams, or nuclear energy. Each presents
                                                      unique environmental concerns. Most of
                                                      the toxic and greenhouse gas emissions
                                                      are produced by burning fossil fuels.
                                                      Large hydroelectric dams—those pro-
              14 Additional information on EPAjs Green Lease Riders is available on the EPP Web site at
              www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/ppg/case/region3.htm andww.epa.gov/oppt/epp/ppg/case/region7.htrn.
32
Product Evaluation

-------
during more than 30 megawatts of power— permanently alter entire river ecosys-
tems. Nuclear power plants have produced 70,000 tons of high-level radioactive
waste with such a long half-life that it must be safely stored for at least 10,000 years
and up to 240,000 years. At the time this report was published, no permanent stor-
age facility was available for the radioactive waste.

  "Green" power, which is derived from renewable resources with minimal adverse
environmental impacts or risks, has the potential to displace these forms of electri-
cal generation, significantly reducing pollution, decreasing reliance on limited
natural resources, and avoiding other environmental risks. King County,
Washington, has investigated generating its own renewable power for use at coun-
ty facilities. The county was investigating use of a molten carbonate fuel cell
technology, which was to be powered by methane gas and carbon dioxide generated
at the wastewater treatment facility. Unfortunately, the company the county was
working with ceased operations. The county, however, remains interested in evalu-
ating the efficiency and environmental benefits of fuel cells, which a number of
other U.S. companies have successfully designed, built,  installed and operated.

  Recent deregulation in the U.S. electric industry provides alternatives to creating
local, government-owned, electricity generating capacity. It allows consumers in
some states to choose their electricity supplier in a way similar to choosing a
    Defining "Green" Power

      There are a growing number of competing "green" power definitions.
    Some definitions consider electricity green if at least 1 percent is generated
    from renewable energy sources; others do not consider it green power
    unless 100 percent of the electricity is generated from renewable sources.
    Some definitions include any energy source that does not generate air pol-
    lution. This definition, however, includes energy generated by nuclear
    plants or large-scale hydroelectric plants, which are energy sources specifi-
    cally excluded from other definitions of green power.

      EPA, in several of its recent green power purchases, defined green
    power as renewable energy generated by any of the following sources:

    •   Bioniass generates electricity by burning waste wood, other plant
        materials, or the gas emitted when waste decomposes in landfills.

    •   Geothernial produces electricity using the heat of the Earth's core or
        solar energy trapped by the Earth's crust.

    •   Small hydroelectric projects (3 0  megawatts or less) generate electrici-
        ty from running water without requiring large dams that adversely
        affect local communities and wildlife.

    •   Solar power produces electricity from the sun.

    •   Ocean-based sources of electricity are  generated from the constant
        motion of waves or variations in ocean temperature.

    •   Wind generates electricity by powering windmills.
Product Evaluation
                                                                                                  33

-------
                       long-distance telephone company. This provides consumers with opportunities
                       to evaluate their electricity providers' environmental impacts when making pur-
                       chasing decisions.

                          At the time this report was published, green power suppliers were only active in
                       the deregulated California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois electric utility markets, but
                       state and local governments were already taking advantage of opportunities to sig-
                       nificantly reduce their environmental impacts by purchasing green power.

                           •   In June 1999, Santa Monica, California, became the first U.S. municipali-
                               ty to purchase 100 percent renewable electricity for its facilities. It buys
                               approximately five megawatts of electricity produced by geothermal plants,
                               which generate electricity from the heat of the earth's crust. Based on its
                               1998 energy consumption, the city expects the switch to reduce greenhouse
                               gas emissions by 13,672 tons, NOx emissions by 16.2 tons, and SOx emis-
                               sions by 14.6 tons annually.

                           •   Pennsylvania's Department of General Services began purchasing green
                               electricity in January 2000. Pennsylvania's Department of Corrections;
                               Capital  Complex buildings in Harrisburg; office buildings in Pittsburgh,
                               Scranton, and Reading; and 14 universities are all receiving a portion of
                               their electricity from green sources. The Commonwealth agreed to pur-
                               chase 37,500 megawatt hours of green electricity in 2000, which represents
                               5 percent of its electricity purchases.

                           •   In March 2000, Santa Barbara, California, began buying 100 percent cer-
                               tified renewable power for city facilities.

                           •   Oakland, California,  also recently announced it would begin buying
                               renewable power. On June 20, 2000,  a resolution formalized the purchase
                               of green power for all  municipal facilities—city hall, administration build-
                               ings, and street and traffic lights. The $4 million annual purchase of
                               approximately nine megawatts of electricity is equivalent to the electricity
                               purchased by 27,000 average homes.

                           •   Chicago, Illinois, and 47 other nearby government bodies announced in
                              July 2000 that they would begin buying 400 megawatts of electricity as a
                               group. Eighty megawatts must be from clean, renewable resources such  as
                               solar or wind energy. The renewable  energy purchase will help reduce the
                               region's reliance on coal-fired plants,  which officials believe will improve
                               regional air quality.
                       Integrated  Pest Management
                          Every year in the United States, more than 4.5 billion pounds of chemicals are
                       used to control unwanted insects, rodents, and weeds. To minimize the environ-
                       mental impacts associated with use of these chemicals, purchasers are investigating
                       alternatives they consider environmentally preferable. Integrated pest management
                       (IPM) is an increasingly popular approach that combines employee education,
                       physical traps and barriers, and limited applications of less-toxic chemicals. Several
                       state and local governments, including Connecticut; Massachusetts; Cape May
                       County, New Jersey; Chatham County, North Carolina; Kansas City,
34   +   Product Evaluation

-------
Missouri; King County, Washington; Portland,
Oregon; Santa Monica, California; and Seattle,            H f  •    I  *     * A
Washington, are exploring or practicing IPM. Santa          _     »*
Monica, for example, drastically reduced its pesticide          "es* Management
use, continued eliminating pests, and reduced the cost          According to Section 39.2 of the San Francisco
of pest control services by 3 0 percent. Cape May             Administrative Code, integrated pest management
County saved $45,000 between 1993  and 1998 by            means «a pest mamgement method that combines
adopting an IPM approach.                                 biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools to
  In response to an executive order signed by the gov-        minimize health, environmental, and financial
ernor, Massachusetts developed a statewide IPM            risks' The method uses extensive knowledge
contract. More than 20 vendors have conducted onsite        about Pests'such as infestation thresholds, life
visits and prepared detailed IPM plans to demonstrate        histories, environmental requirements, and natur-
proficiency and to qualify as IPM providers under the         al enemies, to complement and facilitate
contract                                                   biological and other natural control of pests. The
                                                          method uses the least toxic synthetic pesticides
  San Francisco, California, also has a very aggressive       only as a last resort to controlling pests."
IPM program. Concerned about potential pesticide and
herbicide runoff into the San Francisco Bay, the city's
board of supervisors passed an IPM ordinance in
October  1996 that immediately banned use of the most toxic pesticides and pesti-
cides linked to cancer and reproductive harm. It established an IPM approach led
by a full-time, citywide IPM coordinator who is assisted by coordinators in the
seven city departments traditionally using the greatest volume of pesticides. It also
initiated development of an approved product list that was released, as mandated  by
the board of supervisors, on January 1, 2000. Products not appearing on the list
cannot be used without a one-time exception approved by the citywide IPM coor-
dinator. The current list of approved  pesticides is available at
www. sfenvironnient. com.

  When developing the list, the city  considered information about each chemical's
known and suspected effects as an endocrine disrupter,15 a carcinogen, and a con-
tributor to reproductive disorders. It  also examined toxic effects on humans, aquatic
organisms, wildlife, domestic animals, birds, bees, and potential impacts on water
quality due to runoff potential.

  At the time this report was published, San Francisco's list included 75 products
approved for use by city employees and contractors. Each product is listed along
with information about the pesticide type (aquatic, fungicide, insecticide, herbicide,
slug, vertebrate), use category (allowed, limited, special concern), hazard tier (less
hazardous to more hazardous), product name active ingredients, EPA registration
number, and use limitations.

  While the approved products list is an important component of the city's IPM
practices, the most significant effects are the result of decreased pesticide and
herbicide uses. The city has used a variety of alternatives to chemical application.
To control weeds, the city successfully tried physical removal (by hand or
mechanical means), green flamers (propane torches that heat, steam, and kill
weeds), corn gluten meal, and use of wood chips, mulch, and other barriers.
15 Endocrine disrupters are chemicals capable of interfering with the naturally produced hormones that guide
development, growth, reproduction, and behavior in humans and animals. For additional information, visit
www.epa.gov/pesticides/citizens/3file.htm.


                                                                         Product Evaluation    +   35

-------
                        Demonstrating its resolve to employ alternatives to chemical herbicides even in
                        difficult situations, the city hired a goat tender and a herd of 340 goats to suc-
                        cessfully control poison oak growth on a steep mountainside slope. The city's
                                                   Recreation and Parks Department, which is respon-
                                                   sible for 200 facilities covering 3,000 acres, was
                                                   formerly the city's largest chemical user. The
    For Additional Information              department has reduced its pesticide use by 60 per-
      For more about IPM  visit                     cent anc* eliminated the use of organophosphates
    www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/pest/school/.      and other highly toxic pesticides.
                                                      According to one Recreation and Parks represen-
                                                   tative, while pesticide use has decreased dramatically,
                                                   complaints of carpal tunnel syndrome and other
                        injuries related to physical activity have increased because of the change. There is
                        also concern that the department is being asked to "do more" without a corre-
                        sponding increase in funding. The representative says some city employees are
                        unhappy about "seeing a few weeds where there were formerly none." He did
                        acknowledge, however, the importance of the environmental benefits.

                           In addition to decreasing outdoor pesticide use, the city replaced spray pesticide
                        applications inside public buildings with baits and traps. It further reduced pesticide
                        use by teaching employees how proper sanitary and food storage habits  attract fewer
                        pests. The city also carefully tracks all pesticide applications by recording which
                        products are used, in what quantities, and with what degree of success. Before
                        adopting the citywide IPM program, building managers frequently were unaware of
                        which chemicals were applied or for what purpose. Now each facility has a site man-
                        ager responsible for tracking the information.

                           To further facilitate decreases in chemical use, the city holds monthly Technical
                        Advisory Committee meetings and an annual IPM conference. Attended by IPM
                        coordinators and other interested parties, the meetings allow city agencies to share
                        information and coordinate citywide approaches to new challenges.

                        Paint

                           Recycled-content paint—paint collected at household hazardous waste collection
                        points, then reblended, filtered, and sold in a wide variety of colors—is an excellent
                        use for excess paint that otherwise might be incinerated, landfilled, or disposed of
                        improperly. EPAk CPG program designated recycled-content latex paint in accor-
                        dance with RCRA requirements in 1997. This designation means federal agencies
                        and state and local governments using federal funds are required under RCRA to
                        buy recycled-content paint as needed if the cost is reasonable, adequate competi-
                        tion is available, it is reasonably available, and it meets reasonable performance
                        specifications. As a result of EPA^ designation and the  desire to eliminate paint
                        from the waste stream, several state and local governments are purchasing recy-
                        cled-content paint.

                           Federal agencies and state and local governments are beginning to look beyond
                        recycled content to examine other environmental attributes associated with paint
                        purchases, such as VOC and heavy metal content. In some instances, the require-
36   +   Product Evaluation

-------
ment to buy recycled and the desire to minimize other adverse environmental
impacts are not always complementary objectives given the limited avail-
ability of low-VOC recycled-content paints.16 A few of the state and
local governments looking beyond recycled content when purchasing
paint include the following:

    •  Vermont tried using recycled-content paint in a variety of
       applications, but had very poor results. It was used to
       paint a city director's office, for example, and the smell
       was overpowering. Because of the complaints and con-
       cerns about the smell, the state no longer purchases
       recycled-content paint and instead focuses on low- or zero-
       VOC paint  and other environmental attributes such as zero
       heavy metal content. When the state issued a contract for
       paints meeting its low-VOC standard, more than half a
       dozen vendors submitted compliant bids at very competitive
       prices.

    •  Washington currently has a contract for recycled-content
       paint, but is strongly considering incorporating a wider vari-
       ety of environmental criteria such as VOC, heavy metal, and
       hazardous constituent content into future paint contracts.

    •  North Carolina is investigating low-VOC paints because it can signifi-
       cantly reduce emissions associated with smog formation and lung irritation.

    •  The Cincinnati, Ohio, Department of Public Works' Highway
       Maintenance Division and the Office of Environmental Management
       worked together in 1994 to successfully convert from solvent-based paints
       to water-based paints for highway lines. The paint used for highway lines
       had to be capable of enduring the wear-and-tear imposed by traffic and
       severe weather. The water-based paint also met Cincinnati's public safety
       standards for performance and durability, thus no sacrifices were made to
       gain the environmental improvements.

       The selected water-based paints meet both performance and environmental
       goals; the paints no longer contain lead, cadmium, or other heavy metals,
       and they significantly reduce VOC emissions. Residual paint no longer has
       to be handled, transported, or disposed of as  hazardous waste. The switch
       also eliminated harmful cleaning sol-
       vents and resulting hazardous waste
       generated from the cleaning process.          For Additional Information
       The conversion completely eliminated
       toxic materials use and the generation of
       hazardous waste from line painting
       operations. Based on an estimated
       annual use of 22,000 gallons of line
       stripe paint, the switch will eliminate
       approximately 33,000 pounds of lead
       and 36,000 pounds of VOCs from
       Cincinnati's environment yearly.
  To find out more about selecting environmen-
tally preferable paints, download a copy of EPA's
Painting the Town Green (EPA742-R-99-005) case
study at www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/ pdfs/paint.pdf,
or call EPA's Pollution Prevention Information
Clearinghouse at 202 260-1023.
16 Low-VOC recycled-content paint is not widely available because the chemical content of recycled paint is depen-
dent upon the chemical content of its older feedstock paint. Even the lowest VOC recycled paint contains
significantly higher VOC levels than the extremely low-VOC, virgin-content paints widely available.
                      Product Evaluation
                                                                                                   37

-------
                        Paper and Paper  Products

                          Of all state and local government purchases, paper appears the most likely to be
                        centralized and available on governmentwide contracts because of the large paper
                        volumes used as part of routine governmental operations. Paper is also one of the
                        most visible ways of demonstrating an environmental ethic because it is the most
                        prolific means for state and local governments to communicate with the public. As
                        a result, many state and local governments use recycled-content paper and note
                        that fact on the bottom of their printed publications. Some state and local  govern-
                        ments are examining additional environmental impacts associated with paper
                        purchases, including chlorine-free, "tree-free," and undyed paper.

                           •   Pennsylvania stopped purchasing its traditional "goldenrod" yellow
                               envelopes because the colored inks  made them less suitable for recycling.
                               Avoiding the yellow dye in the production process also reduces the envi-
                               ronmental impacts associated with artificial dyes.

                           •   Because of increasing demand, Ohio's Department of Administrative
                               Services (DAS) added a tree-free paper made from seaweed to the  state
                               paper contracts to make the purchasing process easier. At $7.46 per ream, it
                               is three times more expensive than the traditional recycled-content paper
                               the state routinely purchases.  State  officials think, however, the additional
                               cost is primarily related to the small quantities currently being purchased
                               and manufactured.

                               Ohio DAS has purchased a variety of tree-free papers for the state's
                               Department of Natural Resources and the Expo Agency, which coordinates
                               the annual state fair.  Some of the tree-free papers available through Ohio
                               DAS include paper made from old U.S. currency, denim, banana skins,
                               tobacco leaves, and coffee bean shells.

                           •   Following adoption of a 1999 antidioxin resolution in Oakland,
                               California, the city's Purchasing Division revised specifications to require
                               that all paper provided to the  city be chlorine free and produce no dioxin
                               during manufacture.

                           •   As directed by its governor in 1996 to support the "Clean State Initiative,"
                               Vermont uses chlorine-free copy paper for all state business. Portland,
                               Oregon, is also buying chlorine-free paper. (See  page 7.)

                           •   A Minnesota statute encourages the purchase of recycled-content paper
                               manufactured with little or no chlorine bleach or chlorine derivatives. It
                               also promotes the use of soy inks for printing. In January 2000, Minnesota
                               increased efforts to purchase recycled content paper because only 50 per-
                               cent of Central Store customers were buying recycled. In June 2000,  after
                               an aggressive outreach strategy, recycled content paper purchases rose to 85
                               percent.

                           •   A September 1999 antidioxin ordinance in San Francisco, California, asks
                               departments to find products  that do not contain and were not manufac-
                               tured with chlorine or chlorine derivatives. The city is now purchasing
                               approximately 5,000  cases of 100 percent recycled-content, process chlo-
38   +   Product Evaluation

-------
       rine free paper per year. This represents about 10 percent of
       the city's annual paper purchases.

       Indiana, as a result of an executive order issued by the gover-
       nor, is currently promoting the purchase of tree-free and
       chlorine-free paper. The state also requests that vendors and
       manufacturers print bids double-sided on 30 percent postcon-
       sumer recycled-content paper that is tree-free and chlorine-
       free. It also requests that bids are printed with soy-based inks
       when possible.

       All paper purchased by the Massachusetts government con-
       tains at least 30 percent postconsumer recycled  content.
       Paper containing between 50 and 100 percent postconsumer
       content and tree-free papers  made from kenaf and bamboo
       are also available under state  contract.
       Washington is currently investigating the purchase of chlo-
       rine-free paper. It is also investigating straw-based paper because of recent
       restrictions on the burning of agricultural residues.
Vehicles

  According to a 1997 report by EPA^ National Vehicles and Fuel Emissions
Laboratory, every year the average gasoline-powered passenger car generates 606
pounds of carbon monoxide, 80 pounds of hydrocarbons, 41 pounds of nitrogen
dioxides, and 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. Larger vehicles such as trucks and
buses produce even more. In an attempt to minimize these emissions, and in some
cases to meet federal Clean Air Act requirements, many state and local govern-
ments are purchasing alternative fuel vehicles with significantly lower emissions
than their traditional counterparts.

  There are a wide variety of alternative fuel vehicles currently available. Some
state and local governments consider many of these vehicles environmentally
preferable because they significantly reduce emissions when compared with tradi-
tional gasoline vehicles. The state and local governments contacted for this study
are evaluating a number of alternatively fueled vehicles, including the ones
described below.
  Biodiesel

  In addition to petroleum, diesel can be derived from animal fats, agricultural
feedstocks, recycled cooking grease, and soybean, canola, sunflower, and cottonseed
oils. Most U.S. biodiesel is derived from soybean oil because of its abundance in
the United States. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form (B100) or blended with
traditional diesel fuels. The most common blend is B20, which is 20 percent
biodiesel and 80 percent petrodiesel. In 1999, the Deer Valley School District in
Phoenix, Arizona, began using B20 in almost 60 percent of the school district's
250 buses and other vehicles. The school district has not reported any adverse per-
formance issues.
Product Evaluation
                                                                                                  39

-------
                                                         Compressed Natural Gas

    For Additional Information                      More than 85,000 compressed natural gas
                                                         (CNG) vehicles travel U.S. roads, including one
      To learn more about alternative fuel vehicles,           ^  f      c       .. i      r^^r^   u- i
                                                         out or every five transit buses. CNG vehicles
    visit EPAs Alternative Fuels Program Web site at           A    \        \,   <-   A      u
                 ,     ,          /?  .  /                  produce lower exhaust and greenhouse gas
    www.epa.eov/otaq/consurner/fuels/                     .  .    ,     ,  .      ,.        ,.   ,        ,
          ,  , ,  „                                   r      emissions  than their gasoline- or diesel-powered
    aluuels/altiuels.ntm and the U.S. Department of          ^     ^A       u        ^  ^    jii
                       T-  1-rTi-i   T-I                    counterparts. As a result, many state and local
    Energy s Alternative Imel Vehicle Meet isuyers                    ^          ^    ^i   TVT   ^  ,
                                                         governments are using them. Ihe New York
    Guide at www.lleets.doe.eov.                         >,..  ^.            r^       ^  .         .
                                                         City Department or  Iransportation recently
                                                         committed to converting its entire bus fleet
                                                         from diesel to natural gas. It has already
                         ordered more than 300 CNG buses, each of which saves more than 10,000 gallons
                         of diesel fuel annually. Connecticut is purchasing 300 automobiles capable of run-
                         ning on either CNG or traditional gasoline. This represents 45 percent of the 670
                         vehicles the state will purchase in 2000.


                           Electric and Hybrid-Electric

                           Many consider electric vehicles environmentally preferable because they have
                         zero tailpipe emissions. After taking power plant emissions into account, which must
                         be considered unless electricity is generated from nonpolluting renewable sources
                         (see page 32), electric vehicles can still remain more than 90 percent cleaner than
                         the cleanest conventional gasoline-powered vehicle. Massachusetts owns 37 zero
                         emission electric passenger sedans and pickup trucks in addition to 82  CNG vehi-
                         cles, including passenger cars and vans, pickup trucks, and one heavy duty vehicle.

                           Hybrid-electric vehicles use a gasoline- or  diesel-powered engine to run an
                         onboard generator that powers the electric motor. This configuration can more
                         than double the gas mileage of a traditional vehicle and eliminates the limited dri-
                         ving range of many electric vehicles.17 The New York City Transit Authority
                         ordered  125 new hybrid-electric buses in January 2000. Each hybrid-electric bus
                         conserves about 6,000 gallons of diesel annually.


                           Ethanol

                           Henry Ford's first car ran on ethanol, an alcohol made from corn,  potatoes,
                         wood, waste paper, wheat, brewery waste, or other agricultural products. Anything
                         containing sugar, starch, or cellulose can  be fermented and distilled into ethanol. In
                         the United States, 90 percent of ethanol is derived from corn because of its abun-
                         dance. Ethanol is usually mixed with gasoline for use as a fuel. Many  communities
                         require the use of "gasohol," a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline
                         (E10), during the winter to reduce carbon monoxide  emissions. Any automobile
                         can use gasohol, and its use  does not void vehicle warranties. For state and local
                         communities interested in significantly lowering emissions year-round, the most
                         popular ethanol blend of is E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol  and 15 percent
                         gasoline. This mixture requires vehicles specially equipped to run efficiently on
                        1 ^ Although many people are concerned about electric vehicles' limited driving range, nearly half of all U.S.
                        automobile trips are less than 3 miles, which is well within the 40 to 120-mile range of a fully charged electric
                        vehicle.
40   +    Product Evaluation

-------
high ethanol concentrations. Automobile manufacturers produce a variety of cars,
pickup trucks, and minivans that can run on any combination of ethanol and gaso-
line. These flexible fuel vehicles automatically sense the percentage of alcohol in
the fuel tank and adjust the engine's performance accordingly. Minnesota has
about 500 E85 flexible fuel vehicles and will add another 160 in 2000. In addition
to purchasing the vehicles, the state has ensured that the necessary infrastructure  is
in place. Approximately 50 stations in the state now sell E85.


   Propane

   Propane is currently the most widely used alternative fuel in the United States
with more than 5,000 fueling stations nationwide and more than 350,000 propane-
fueled cars and buses on U.S. roads. Auto manufacturers offer a variety of
propane-powered vehicles, many of which have two separate fuel systems making
them capable of running on either propane or gasoline. Propane-powered vehicles
currently get fewer miles per gallon than their gasoline-powered equivalents, but
offer significantly lower emissions per mile. The Texas
Department of Transportation has more than 4,400
propane-powered vehicles.


   Miscellaneous

   Several other alternative fuels are currently available,
including liquified natural  gas, fuel  cells, and Fischer-
Tropsch liquids. Although few of the state and local
governments interviewed for this case study mentioned
their use, manufacturers of these alternative fuels have
test vehicles in numerous state and local government
fleets. Chula Vista, California, for example, recently
purchased a bus powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
According to EPA's Alternative Fuels Program, the bus
fleet in Orange County, California, is fueled entirely by
liquified natural gas.

   The table on the following page  summarizes the use of alternative fuels by the
state and local governments contacted for this study.
Product Evaluation
                                                                                                   41

-------
Use of Alternative Fuel Vehicles by Locality/State

Chattanooga, TN
Chu la-Vista, CA
Connecticut
Dayton, OH
Massachusetts
Minnesota
New York
New York City, NY
Orange County, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Santa Monica.CA
Texas
Washington
Wisconsin
Biodiesel









/




Compressed
Natural Gas
/

/
/
/
/
/
/

/
/



Electric/
Hybrid-
Electric


/

/
/
/
/


/

/

Ethanol


/
/

/






/
/
Propane





/




/
/


Hydrogen
Fuel Cell

/












Liquefied
Natural
Gas








/
/




42
Product Evaluation

-------
Final  Observations
      This case study provides substantive examples of the many ways EPP efforts in
      state and local governments have increased and expanded since the publica-
      tion of A Study of State and Local Government Procurement Practices that
Consider Environmental Performance of Goods and Services (EPA742-R-96-007) in
1996. Numerous governments have written policies and mandates to create EPP
programs, while others have actively expanded their EPP efforts to include more
diverse product areas and a wider array of environmental attributes based on their
jurisdictions' needs. When evaluating EPP's evolution from 1996 to the present,
several observations can be made, as described below.
Several  Successful EPP Approaches  Exist

  Each of the EPP programs described in this report implements environmental
purchasing slightly differently. There do, however, seem to be two major distinc-
tions between the various programs—some rely solely on voluntary participation,
and others include executive orders, policies, or explicit legislative mandates for
environmental purchasing. Some of the most successful EPP programs, such as
those found in King County, Washington;  Massachusetts; and Minnesota, are
strictly voluntary. EPP advocates within each of these programs research and pro-
vide environmental product information, then work with individual purchasers to
encourage the purchase of environmentally preferable products when available.

  Other program contacts, however, believe state and local governments with
statutory mandates for green purchasing are  more likely to have green purchasing
efforts under way. A few commenters suggested that they were only incorporating
green purchasing "because they have to," but nevertheless, green purchasing activi-
ties are being implemented. Many of these activities, however, only include a
single-attribute focus on recycled content or energy efficiency.

  Several people interviewed for this study dismissed the importance of green pur-
chasing executive orders and other policy statements. They explained that  executive
orders and policies do not legally require green purchasing activities. More than
once, officials in state and local governments with green purchasing-related execu-
tive orders or policies in place said there was no real effort to adopt green
purchasing because, "It is not required." Others suggested that green purchasing
policies might be eliminated with a change in administration, so they chose not to
make green purchasing a priority.

  Participants from programs in King County and Massachusetts explained that
this attitude reinforces their belief that voluntary  programs are the best way to
implement EPP. "You can't force someone to do something they don't want to  do,"
one official explained, a view two other officials strongly endorsed. "If they do
relent, they won't do it very well without very explicit guidance." All three officials
questioned whether the necessary guidance was available yet. "EPP is just still too
new for that," a representative from King County suggested.
                                                                      Final Observations    +  43

-------
                      Strong EPP Advocates Increase Success

                        Without exception, state and local governments with a strong EPP advocate are
                      more likely to base purchasing decisions on multiple environmental attributes than
                      those without an advocate. When EPP executive orders or policy statements exist,
                      advocates have used them to generate greater momentum for their EPP efforts.
                      Success is even more likely in state and local governments with both a strong EPP
                      advocate and an EPP statute.
                      Purchasers Are More Likely To Buy  Products
                      With Environmental Attributes When They  Are
                      Available  On State  Contracts

                        Several purchasing officials interviewed for this report mentioned the impor-
                      tance of identifying and placing environmentally preferable products on state
                      contracts. Once products are available on a contract, they are easier for people to
                      buy. Making them easier to buy significantly increases purchasers' willingness to try
                      a product with innovative environmental attributes rather than continuing to pur-
                      chase a more traditional alternative. An EPP official from Massachusetts suggested
                      that the first step should always be to make innovative products available on state
                      contracts. "Once they are available," he explained, "EPP advocates will have
                      greater success creating a demand for the products."


                      Numerous EPP Resources Are Available

                        As more state and local governments investigate EPP, they are learning that oth-
                      ers have already faced many of the issues they are confronting. As a result,
                      information is available about the multiple environmental attributes of products
                      such as alternative fuel vehicles, cleaning products, green buildings, green electrici-
                      ty, integrated pest management, paint, and paper. Several state and local
                      communities have posted Web sites describing their EPP processes and the prod-
                      ucts they are buying.  (See Appendix 3 for a brief listing of some of the available
                      resources.)


                      Introducing and Implementing EPP Takes Time

                        State and local governments buy a majority of their goods and services through
                      multiyear contracts, so they might have to wait until contracts are up for renewal
                      or renegotiation before incorporating new environmental attributes. EPP also
                      requires introducing a wider variety of people to environmental information about
                      the products and services they buy. Most people are unfamiliar with the specifics of
                      how their purchasing decisions can affect the environment. Climbing this learning
                      curve can take time. EPP cannot truly succeed until all purchasing decision partici-
                      pants, including product or service specifiers, buyers, and vendors, are familiar with
                      the process.
44   +   Final Observations

-------
EPP Requires Good  Communication
and Teamwork
  With very few possible exceptions, purchasing is not a one-person responsibility.
Many different people and departments request products or services, others are
responsible for obtaining them and negotiating the contracts, and still another
group is responsible for providing the products or services. Incorporating environ-
mental aspects into this process requires working together to ensure everyone
understands which environmental attributes are important and how to evaluate
them. Based on this study's results, the most successful way to accomplish this goal
is to convene teams  of people with the necessary environmental and purchasing
expertise. The teams can then collectively examine new purchasing opportunities
and determine how to incorporate environmental attributes into future purchases.
EPP Is  Expanding

  Since EPA originally published A Study of State and Local Government Procurement
Practices that Consider Environmental Performance of Goods and Services (EPA742-R-
96-007) in 1996, numerous state and local governments have implemented EPP
activities or expanded "buy green" programs beyond their original buy-recycled
focus. Appendix 1 provides an update on the six EPP programs discussed in the
1996 report.

  While most programs still emphasize buy-recycled, many also recognize the
value of examining multiple environmental attributes. This study supports the
notion of EPP as an evolutionary concept, beginning perhaps with recycled-con-
tent paper purchases  and eventually expanding to numerous products and various
environmental attributes. EPA expects the number of EPP programs to continue
growing as more state and local governments recognize the local and global envi-
ronmental impacts of their purchasing decisions and as more information becomes
available about the environmental characteristics of products and services.
                                                                    Final Observations    +  45

-------

-------
   ^£
Appendix  1:
Early  EPP  Pioneers Update
  In 1996, EPA published A Study of State and Local Government Procurement
  Practices that Consider Environmental Performance of Goods and Services (EPA742-
  R-96-007). This study examined the purchasing practices of six states and
counties and reached some  general conclusions about the success of EPP at state
and local levels. Findings suggested that "agencies are mainly interested in recycled
content, almost to the exclusion of other issues such as energy efficiency or source
reduction." With the exception of Wisconsin's investigations of chlorine-free paper
and Minnesota's early alternative fuel vehicle purchases, most purchases were
examined only for recycled  content.

  As the current study demonstrates, EPP has expanded beyond the early emphasis
on buy-recycled to encompass a wider variety of environmental impacts. An
increasing number of state and local governments are examining multiple environ-
mental impacts associated with their purchases. Many successes highlighted in the
current study built on the initial efforts of the earlier pioneers described in the
1996 study. Those pioneers included:

    •   King County, Washington

    •   Maine

    •   Minnesota

    •   San Diego County, California

    •   Washington

    •   Wisconsin

  This appendix highlights the evolution and current activities of the six EPP pro-
grams highlighted in the original study. In some cases,  the effort to buy
environmentally preferable  goods and services expanded. In other cases, EPP
efforts remained static or were de-emphasized.


King  County, Washington

  King County's EPP program began in 1989, following the county's adoption of
its Recycled Products Procurement Policy. This policy included a 15 percent price
preference for recycled-content paper and a 10 percent price preference for re-
refined motor oil. The county's Recycled Products Procurement Program, located
within the Procurement Services Division, established a successful buy-recycled
program through a variety of employee training and outreach strategies such as
workshops, "field trips," and a newsletter devoted to the topic.

  By 1996, when EPA published its first study of state and local government EPP
practices, the county had increased its purchase of recycled-content paper from 8
                                                Appendix 1—Early EPP Pioneers Update    +   47

-------
                          percent to 90 percent. The paper contained between 2 5 and 3 5 percent postcon-
                          sumer recycled content, which was significantly higher than the 10 percent EPA
                          was then promoting.18 The county also was buying recycled-content concrete
                          aggregate, asphalt, compost, paint, plastic lumber, glass aggregate, and trash can
                          liners, plus re-refined antifreeze and motor oil, remanufactured toner cartridges,
                          and retread tires.

                                                   When the 1996 EPA study was released, King County
                                                 had no immediate plans to incorporate the multiple envi-
For Additional Information                 ronmental attributes EPA^ EPP program was
                                                 recommending. Since the initial report was released, and
  To find out more about King County's            as highlighted in this report, King County's Recycled
Environmental Purchasing Program, including       Products Procurement Program, now known as the
back issues of the county's EPP newsletter, visit       Environmental Purchasing Program, has expanded. It
www.metrokc.gov/procure/green.                 now includes advanced energy and water efficiency pur-
                                                 chases; low-toxicity cleaning products; renewable energy
                                                 projects using electricity generated from solar energy and
                                                 fuel cells; highly resource-efficient, low-toxicity "green"
                          buildings (including one that relies on natural cooling instead of air-conditioning,
                          and another that collects rainwater for flushing toilets); and integrated pest man-
                          agement techniques that drastically reduce chemical use while controlling rodents,
                          insects, and weeds.

                            The ordinance establishing the county's original EPP program included funding
                          for the Solid Waste Division (SWD) to establish two EPP positions. A few years
                          ago, program funding was removed from the SWD budget because of budget cuts,
                          but the program was so successful that the county established permanent funding
                          in the Purchasing Agency.

                            The program remains collaborative rather than prescriptive. The county does
                          not require EPP, but its two EPP experts constantly educate county employees
                          about more environmentally preferable alternatives and encourage them to exam-
                          ine these products more closely. The county's Environmental Purchasing Program
                          maintains an extensive Web site and distributes a monthly e-mail newsletter as part
                          of this education effort. The Web site  and neswsletter report on a wide variety of
                          topics, including:

                            •    Carpet and carpet recycling

                            •    Environmentally preferable cleaners

                            •    Environmentally preferable purchasing resources

                            •    Flooring

                            •    Green building and sustainability resources

                            •    Pollution prevention resources

                            •    Recycled plastic lumber

                            •    Remanufactured office furniture

                            •    Scrap tires in civil engineering applications
                          18 EPA currently recommends agencies purchase paper containing 30 percent postcon-
                          sumer content.
  48   +    Appendix 1—Early EPP Pioneers Update

-------
  King County plans to continue expanding its EPP program as environmental
attribute information becomes available for additional products. The county also
hopes to launch an automated procurement system next year that will reduce
paperwork and simplify the purchasing process. When available, it will provide
buyers with relevant environmental information to incorporate into their purchas-
ing decisions.


Maine

  As reported in EPAk  1996 study, Maine was purchasing a variety of recycled-
content products, including paper, tires, plastics, glass, re-refined motor oil,
aluminum, toner cartridges, and wiping cloths. Many purchases were driven by a
Maine statute requiring the purchase of recycled-content products. It included a 10
percent price preference for paper products. The state legislature suspended the
price preference in fiscal year 1993/94, and Maine did not meet its recycled-con-
tent purchasing target that year. As a result, according to the 1996 EPA study, the
head of the state's relatively small  purchasing division suggested that "recycled
products may not always be considered a high priority issue in Maine."

  Despite several attempts, EPA was unable to reach anyone to discuss the current
status of Maine's EPP efforts. Anecdotal evidence provided by others, however,
suggests the state still has a very small purchasing division that continues some of
its buy-recycled activities.


Minnesota

  When EPA published its 1996 study, Minnesota was already beginning to expand
its EPP program beyond "buy recycled." In addition to purchasing recycled-con-
tent products such as retread tires, re-refined oil, and paper, it was purchasing
energy-efficient computers that had earned the ENERGY STAR®label. Minnesota
had already purchased a few alternative fuel vehicles. Since then, the state has con-
tinued expanding its EPP activities.
  The Minnesota Department of Administration
handles a majority of the state's purchases and over-
sees about $1 billion in spending, $15 million of
which is currently spent on products and services it
considers environmentally preferable. The depart-
ment also tracks all state purchasing contracts. When
a contract is within 7 months of expiring, the
Department of Administration alerts the Office of
Environmental Assistance (OEA). OEA reviews envi-
ronmental attribute information for products and
services covered under the contract and makes rec-
ommendations for improving the contract's
environmental performance.

  To further integrate EPP into the purchasing process, Minnesota requires new
purchasers to undergo EPP training before becoming certified. Training includes
an EPP guide that covers more than 3 0 products the state considers environmen-
tally preferable. The guide  addresses cost, performance, and availability of products
    For Additional Information

      To learn more about Minnesota's Environmental
    Purchasing Program, visit the Office of
    Environmental Assistance's EPP web site at
    www.moea.state.mn.us/lc/purchasing/index.cfm
    and the Department of Administration's EPP page
    at www.rnrnd.adrnin.state.rnn.us/envir.htni.
Appendix 1 — Early EPP Pioneers Update
                                                                                                49

-------
                       meeting the state's EPP criteria. The guide is currently distributed to state agen-
                       cies, local governments, school districts, and universities.

                          Minnesota continues to pursue a multiphase EPP implementation approach.
                       The first phase concentrated on making products that meet the state's EPP criteria
                       available on state contracts. The next phase is providing training to state pur-
                       chasers. The third phase will further clarify environmental attributes of concern to
                       the state and refine efforts to track purchases of environmentally preferable prod-
                       ucts and services.
                       San Diego  County, California
                          San Diego County's EPP efforts began when its board of supervisors adopted a
                       buy-recycled resolution in 1992. At the time of EPA's 1996 study, 20 percent of the
                       county's paper purchases included recycled content. The county was also buying
                       remanufactured toner cartridges, retread tires, and re-refined motor oil, and incor-
                       porating recycled-content product information into its electronic purchasing
                       system.

                          In April 1997, the board of supervisors passed a resolution mandating the
                       Department of Environmental Health (DEH) to investigate expanding the county's
                       buy-recycled program to incorporate EPA's EPP principles and guidelines. DEH
                       established an advisory committee of environmental and purchasing specialists that
                       met regularly for 1 year to discuss EPA's guiding principles, lifecycle assessments,
                       and certification programs. It also discussed ways to certify manufacturers' claims.
                       The committee then drafted a countywide policy based on EPA's EPP guidance.

                          Following development of the policy, DEH attempted to apply EPP principles
                       to its paper purchases. It increased the postconsumer recycled-content percentage
                       of its paper purchases to 30 percent. It considered purchasing chlorine free paper,
                       but ultimately decided the chlorine issue was too complex. DEH was also prepar-
                       ing a matrix comparing the risks of different environmental impacts and developing
                       a ranking of the most important environmental attributes when the county elected
                       to move the EPP program to the Purchasing Division in April 2000. The
                       Purchasing Division, which does not create  actual purchasing specifications but
                       "buys what it is told," does not currently have plans to expand the EPP program.
                       Washington

                          As reported by EPA in 1996, Washington's environmental purchasing efforts
                       emphasized recycled-content products. A 1988 state law adopted EPAk
                       Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for recycled product purchases. Early
                       efforts, while focused primarily on recycled-content paper and office products, also
                       included compost, paint products, retread tires, re-refined lubricating oil, and
                       building insulation.

                          Although the state does not have a formal EPP program, it has increased the
                       purchase of products it considers environmentally preferable. The state currently
                       spends approximately $22 million on products with environmental attributes
                       (including recycled content). Approximately 80 percent of the copier paper sold
                       through the state's Central Stores is 30 percent postconsumer recycled content.
                       Almost 99 percent of the copiers the state government uses are Energy Star® com-
50   +   Appendix 1—Early EPP Pioneers Update

-------
pliant, and many of them are remanufactured. Washington also purchases low-mer-
cury, low-energy lamps and ballasts, and many refurbished goods such as fencing,
roofing, and furniture.

  While the state considers many products available on its contracts environmen-
tally preferable, customers either do not know about them or choose a more
traditional product. The state purchasing office makes products with environmental
attributes available, but the purchasers decide whether to purchase them or not.
Additional educational efforts are necessary to expand the use of the environmen-
tally preferable products available under these contracts.

  Washington has purchased flexible fuel vehicles for several years, but the alterna-
tive fuels are not conveniently available. The state is currently exploring ways to
make E85 (85  percent ethanol and  15 percent gasoline) more accessible to state
vehicles. It is also plans to purchase a significant number of hybrid-electric vehicles,
which improve environmental performance but still run on conventional fuels, in
2001.

  Washington's Department of Ecology is working with the Office of State
Procurement to incorporate additional environmental criteria into state contracts
and to help increase EPP within the state. One of the first results of this collabora-
tion was a state contract for environmentally responsible cleaning products.
Successful bidders had to meet nine mandatory environmental criteria and were
awarded additional points for other environmental attributes such as reduced pack-
aging.

  Washington is examining additional EPP opportunities. The janitorial services
contract template, for example, might soon include additional specifications for
environmentally responsible cleaning products. The state has an existing contract
for recycled-content paint, but is investigating the possibility of specifying VOC
levels and heavy metal content in new paint contracts. Research is also under way
on EPP carpet specifications.  Because of recent restrictions on the burning of agri-
cultural waste, the Departments of Agriculture, Ecology, General Administration,
and Economic Development are investigating ways to develop markets for straw-
based building materials and straw-based paper.

  Without specific mandates or funding, Washington is attempting to continue its
research and purchase of products it considers environmentally preferable. It also
continues to educate state customers about their availability.


Wisconsin

  Wisconsin began buying recycled-content products after the state legislature
emphasized it in buy-recycled legislation. A 1989  Wisconsin law requires the pur-
chase of recycled-content products from a variety of categories, including paper and
paper products, plastic and plastic products, glass  and glass products, motor oil and
lubricants, construction materials, furniture, and highway equipment (e.g., signs,
signposts, guardrails). Following passage of the law, the state began buying a variety
of recycled-content products and established a Recycled Products Clearinghouse.
The state made this database of companies selling recycled-content products avail-
able via an electronic bulletin board system, a precursor to the modern Web page.
Tracking for most recycled-content products was  unavailable, but more than 50
percent of Wisconsin state agencies were buying recycled-content paper in 1995.
                                                    Appendix 1—Early EPP Pioneers Update    +   51

-------
                          When the original EPA report on state and local government EPP activities was
                        published in 1996, Wisconsin had plans to expand its EPP efforts beyond recycled
                        content. The state had begun to explore additional environmental attributes such
                        as chlorine-free paper and energy-efficient office equipment. By 1999, 98 percent
                        of copy paper purchased by Wisconsin state agencies and universities was recycled
                        content. One state official proudly explained that this was the highest buy-recycled
                        percentage in the country. After October 1999, however, the state's Department of
                        Administration (DOA), which coordinated the buy-recycled initiative and main-
                        tained the Recycled Products Clearinghouse, ceased providing those services
                        because the state legislature did not include  funding for them in the 2000 state
                        budget. As  a result, DOA will no longer actively support EPP efforts or maintain
                        the clearinghouse.

                          Although DOA support for EPP was eliminated, Wisconsin's efforts to comply
                        with federal Clean Air Act air quality standards led the state to purchase almost
                        1,400 alternative fuel vehicles. Additional purchases are planned. This  suggests that
                        EPP might continue to play a role in some state activities.
52   +   Appendix 1—Early EPP Pioneers Update

-------
      Index of State  and  Local  Governments
                             V
     The following state and local governments are discussed in this case study.
     Please note, as explained in the disclaimer, this report is intended to show
     representative state and local government EPP activities. It does not attempt
to include the efforts of every state and local government initiating such activities
or every activity initiated by the state and local governments highlighted in the case
study. If you have additional information on state and local government EPP activi-
ties, please share this information with Julie Shannon at shannon.julie@epa.gov or
fax at 202 260-0178.
Arizona
  Phoenix	9, 18, 21, 39, 42

California
  Chula Vista	41, 42
  Oakland 	11, 22, 34, 38
  Orange County	41, 42
  Richmond	24, 25
  San Diego	29
  San Diego County	1, 12, 30, 50
  San Francisco	35,38
  Santa Barbara	13,34
  Santa Monica  	14, 23, 24, 25, 35, 42

Colorado
  Boulder	3

Connecticut	8, 14, 19, 34, 40, 42

Delaware	5

Florida
  Lee County  	9, 18

Illinois
  Chicago 	11, 34

Indiana	26, 39

Maine	1, 49

Maryland	5

Massachusetts	5, 7, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 23,
                                      24,25,26,27,34,35,39,40,42,43
                                                               Appendix 2—Index   +   53

-------
                       Michigan
                         Kalamazoo County	5, 17, 18, 26
                         Washtenaw County	22

                       Minnesota	1, 7, 10, 14, 16, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 32, 38, 41, 42, 43, 47
                         Olmsted County  	26

                       Missouri 	10
                         Jackson County  	3, 11, 13, 26
                         Kansas City	3, 11, 13, 16, 19, 26, 34

                       Nevada
                         Washoe County	3,17

                       New Jersey
                         Cape May County	17, 34

                       New York 	42
                         New York City	40, 42

                       North Carolina	8, 15, 34, 37
                         Chatham County	25

                       Ohio	5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 38
                         Cincinnati	3, 12, 19, 37
                         Dayton	42

                       Oregon
                         Multnomah County	25
                         Portland  	7, 8, 15, 16, 19, 35, 38

                       Pennsylvania	3, 17, 19, 25, 28, 34, 38

                       Tennessee
                         Chattanooga	42

                       Texas 	10, 41, 42

                       Vermont	8, 10, 12, 16, 22, 24, 37, 38

                       Virginia
                         Fairfax County	5

                       Washington	1, 10, 11, 12, 25, 37, 39, 42, 50
                         King County	1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 17, 23, 25, 29, 33, 35, 43, 47
                         Seattle	3,  8, 15, 26, 29, 35

                       Washington, DC  	8

                       Wisconsin	1, 42, 47
54   +   Appendix 2—Index

-------
       Appendix 3:
       EPP  Resources
      is appendix contains a brief list of EPP resources. It is not comprehensive.
     Selected organizations are included because they are referenced in this report
     or were mentioned during interviews with state and local government offi-
cials. The inclusion of specific resources on this list does not constitute
endorsement or recommendation by EPA.


EPA's  EPP Web Site

  www. epa.gov/oppt/epp

  EPA's EPP Web Site contains numerous resources, including a searchable EPP
Contracts and Standards Database, which provides environmental information on
more than 600 products. It also includes more than 40 contracts with environmen-
tally preferable purchasing language. It also features an EPP Promising Practices
Guide, an  online source for green  purchasing tips, strategies, and success stories,
and the multimedia EPP Training Tool, where users are able to watch, listen, and
learn as EPP is explained with audio narration and animated graphics. Background
information on the federal EPP program is also available, including the Executive
Orders outlining EPP and EPA^ Final EPP Guidance. The site also makes numer-
ous publications available, including almost a dozen case studies, fact sheets, and
past issues of the EPP Update, a newsletter published by EPAk EPP Program.


EPPNet

  www.nerc.org/eppnet.html

  The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) established EPPNet, the
Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement Listserv, to link federal, state,
local, and private procurement and environmental officials interested in purchasing
environmentally preferable products. EPPNet is intended to provide this group
with quick access to information such as: availability of product specifications, lists
of vendors for particular products, pricing information, strategies to  achieve recy-
cled product procurement goals, and federal procurement policies.


King County, Washington, EPP Program

  www.metrokc.gov/procure/green

  King County's Environmental Purchasing Program Web site contains numerous
EPP resources including: a model policy, contract language, detailed outlines of
experience with several products (e.g., recycled glass, re-refined oil, plastic lumber),
EP Bulletins, and links to various EPP resources.
                                                              Appendix 3—Resources    +   55

-------
                      Commonwealth of Massachusetts, EPP  Program

                       www.state.rna.us/osd/enviro/enviro.htm

                       This comprehensive Web site includes valuable resources for procurement offi-
                      cials, including a registry where businesses and vendors can list their products and
                      services for review. The site also contains useful detailed information on an exten-
                      sive list of products, including specifications and fact sheets, and a thorough list of
                      links to various EPP-related Web sites.


                      Minnesota, Environmental Purchasing

                       www.moea.state.mn.us/lc/env_purc.cfm

                       Minnesota's Environmental Purchasing Web site contains a unique searchable
                      directory of recycled-content products made in Minnesota, as well as a list of model
                      EPP programs in various state and local governments.


                      NACo's  EPP Starter Kit

                       www.naco.org/prograrns/environ/purchase.cfrn

                       Designed with local governments in mind, NACo's kit contains numerous
                      resources to facilitate the implementation of EPP practices. The kit contains an
                      overview of greening government purchasing opportunities, four case studies, a
                      comprehensive list of resources, a sample environmental purchasing resolution, a
                      baseline survey, and a model press release. The kit can be ordered through NACo's
                      EPP Web site or by calling its publications department at 202  942-4256.
56   +   Appendix 3—Resources

-------
We want to hear from you! Please tell us about your environmentally
preferable purchasing activities and efforts. We are collecting and shar-
ing information, tools, and hints about what works and what doesn't, as
environmentally preferable purchasing evolves and expands. Please con-
tact the EPP program by e-mail, regular mail, or fax:
           Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program

               U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

               1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (7409)

                      Washington, DC 20460


                     E-mail: epp.pilot@epa.gov

                        Fax: 202 260-0178

-------

-------