Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program
The Ci
Environmental Purchasing
A Case Study
  > Printed on paper that contains at least 20 percent postconsumer fiber.

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   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 contact:
  Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC)
                 202260-1023
           E-mail: ppic@epamail.epa.gov

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Fo
Foreword
     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that environmen-
     tally preferable purchasing is a dynamic concept that, depending on the product
     category, will not necessarily be implemented in the same manner within an
agency or organization. In order to demonstrate some of the ways environmental pur-
chasing principles are currently being applied, EPA is documenting examples of envi-
ronmental purchasing efforts undertaken by Executive agencies, state and local
governments, and the private sector.

  This case study describes the city of Santa Monica's efforts to identify and purchase
products and services that minimize the burden on the environment and human
health. It provides an overview of Santa Monica's broad-reaching environmental pur-
chasing efforts and describes the city's program, the lessons it learned, and the key
reasons for its success. We hope the lessons and insights documented in this case
study will help you and your organization as you begin incorporating environmental
preferability into your purchasing decisions.
                  Purchasing in Perspective

      The federal government purchases more than $200 billion worth of goods
      and services each year.

      State and local governments combined purchase more than $1 trillion
      worth of goods and services per year, according to Governing magazine's
      Sourcebook 1997.

      In fiscal year '96/'97 the city of Santa Monica purchased more than $32.5
      million worth of goods and services.
                                                                            Foreword

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 _
Contents
 —
Foreword	j
Introduction	1
Environmental Purchasing Policies	3
Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action	8
    Cleaning Products	8
    Fleet Maintenance	16
    Integrated Pest Management	18
    Recycled Products	21
Lessons Learned	23
Next Steps and Plans for the Future	26
Resources...                                                       ..27
Contents
                                                                                 ill

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Introduction
           The city of Santa Monica, California, bordered by the
           Pacific Ocean and the city of Los Angeles, has
           recently emerged as a leader in the field of environ-
     mental purchasing. This community of 90,000 has a strong
     commitment to  environmental conservation and relies on a
     healthy environment, in part because the  city's tourism
     industry brings in more than $520 million per year. Santa
     Monica has shown how one local  government can alter its
     purchasing policies in a short time to produce win/win situa-
     tions that benefit end-users and the environment. In just a
     few years, the city began buying products and services it
     deemed to be environmentally preferable in a wide variety of
     areas including custodial services, fleet maintenance, and
     pest management. These environmental products and services perform as well as or
     better than their traditional counterparts and, in some cases, also save the city
     money. The  following are just a few of the many successes related to Santa
     Monica's environmental purchasing efforts:

     • Citywide,  Santa Monica replaced its traditional cleaning products with less toxic or
       nontoxic alternatives in 15 of 17 cleaning product categories, which reduced
       spending on custodial products  by approximately 5 percent.

     • Santa Monica switched to an integrated pest management approach at all city facil-
       ities, a method that costs up to 30 percent less than the traditional method of reg-
       ular pesticide  application.

     • Santa Monica purchases a wide  range of recycled products including office paper,
       recycled paint, and trash can liners.

     • Of all city vehicles, 67.5 percent use re-refined motor oil and antifreeze made with
       propylene glycol (deemed by the city to be less toxic than ethylene-glycol
       antifreeze).

     • Approximately 20 percent of the city's vehicles are powered by alternative fuels
       including  compressed natural gas, electricity, and propane.

       Santa Monica uses existing purchasing procedures to implement new environmen-
     tal purchasing policies. The city also looks for ways to improve, expand, and simplify
     the environmental purchasing process. Among the chief reasons for the city's success
     (discussed in more detail on pages  12 and 13) are the following:

     • Having support from the top

     • Including the end-users in the decision-making process

     • Conducting up-front research
                                                                                Introduction

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                    Adopting a customized approach to purchasing

                    Creating partnerships between environmental and purchasing staff

                    Implementing pilot programs

                    Providing hands-on training by experts

                    Holding face-to-face meetings with vendors

                    Maintaining flexibility

                    Evaluating the program and planning next steps
This case study provides an in-depth look at the
steps Santa Monica took to achieve its success in
evaluating, purchasing, and using alternative prod-
ucts and services. While Santa Monica has its own
unique challenges in implementing its environmen-
tal purchasing efforts, the city's pragmatic, flexible
approach and the lessons it learned along the way
are helpful guides for any agency or organization
seeking to meet environmental purchasing goals.
      Introduction

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Environmental Purchasing  Policie
    The  Sustainable City and Toxics Use
    Reduction Programs

          The impetus for environmental purchasing comes from Santa Monica's
          Sustainable City Program, a citywide effort striving to "create the basis for a
          more sustainable way of life—helping the city meet its current needs without
    compromising the ability of future generations to do the same." Beginning in 1991, a
    volunteer task force of community representatives and city officials identified sustain-
    ability as a fundamental goal to guide the city's environmental policies and programs
    and, to the extent appropriate, other programs not traditionally included in environ-
    mental planning such as housing and economic development. This task force created
    the Sustainable City Program to provide the city with a coordinated, proactive
    approach to implementing the city's existing and planned
    environmental programs. Formally adopted in September
    1994, the program's far-reaching goals include reducing
    resource consumption, reducing the use of hazardous         The Sustainable City Program's far-
    materials, reducing waste generation and pollution, and        reaching goals include reducing resource
    safeguarding the local environment and public health. As      consumption, reducing the use of haz-
    part of the Sustainable City Program, Santa Monica has       ardous materials, reducing waste genera-
    set purchasing goals for products such as recycled paper       tion and pollution, and safeguarding the
    and alternative-fuel vehicles.                              local environment and public health.

       In addition, the city adopted the Toxics Use Reduction
    (TUR) Program, a set of policies implemented by the
    city's Environmental Programs Division that are  part of the broader Sustainable City
    Program. With the goal of reducing the city's use of toxics, the TUR Program governs
    the purchasing of all products that contain chemicals. The Environmental Programs
    Division's implementation of this program involves overseeing the purchasing of
    cleaning products, fleet maintenance products, and pest management services.

       Before deciding which products to focus on, the city asked students working on
    their master theses for the Pollution Prevention Research Center  of the Department
    of Urban Planning at the University of California at Los Angeles  (UCLA) to study
    citywide purchasing of hazardous products. UCLAk study listed all the chemicals the
    city purchased by departments and by subject groupings in the following categories:
    custodial products, pesticides, fleet maintenance and automotive repair, and other
    (e.g., streets division, parks, and paints). This baseline research laid the groundwork
    for the TUR Program and Santa Monica's environmental purchasing strategy.
                                                         Environmental Purchasing Policies

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                 Environmental Products Purchased by Santa Monica
                The city of Santa Monica currently purchases the following alternative
              products or services it deems to have a reduced impact on human health and
              the environment:
              Cleaning Products
              All-purpose cleaner
              Bathroom cleaner
              Brass polish/cleaner
              Carpet shampoo
              Chrome polish/cleaner
              Degreaser/cleaner
              Deodorizer
              Disinfectant
              Enzymatic cleaner/digester
              Furniture polish
              Glass and window cleaner
              Graffiti remover
              Liquid hand soap
              Solvent spotter

              Fleet Maintenance
              Antifreeze
              Alternative-fuel vehicles
Brake cleaners
Parts washers
Re-refined motor oil
Retread tires
Integrated Pest
Management Service
(as a replacement for
pesticide sprays)
Recycled Products
Aggregate for street resurfacing
Business cards
Janitorial paper products
Laser printer cartridges
Office paper (e.g., stationery,
envelopes, computer, and
photocopier)
Recycled paint
Plastic semiautomated refuse carts
Trash can liners
Environmental Purchasing Policies

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Environmental  Purchasing in Santa Monica

  The Environmental Programs Division in Santa Monica accomplishes the city's
environmental purchasing goals using existing purchasing procedures. Santa Monica's
purchasing procedures vary based on the dollar amount of the purchase, the volume
of the purchase, and the frequency with which the product is used. Environmental
purchasing practices vary accordingly. For example, alternative cleaning products,
which are high-volume, frequently used products, are stocked at the city's warehouse.
Fleet maintenance and recycled-content products, however, are obtained in one of
three ways:

    •  High-volume, frequently used products, such as recycled-content office
       paper, are stocked at the city's warehouse.

    •  Low-cost, low-volume products are bought by individuals in the form of
       small purchases (under $1,000).

    •  Most other environmental purchases are made by the city's central
       Purchasing Division at the request of individual city departments.

  By using existing procedures, Santa Monica was able to switch to alternative prod-
ucts without placing an extra burden on procurement staff. Since individual depart-
ments or the Environmental Programs Division perform the research and prepare the
specifications for a given product, procurement staff are able to process these purchas-
es in the same way they would traditional products. Diane Howell, one of the two
main buyers  for the city and the only buyer for the city's warehouse, confirmed that
the purchasing of alternative products does not take more time than purchasing tradi-
tional products. The specifications she uses have changed, but the procedure is the
same.

  Implementing the TUR Program effectively added a layer of environmental
decision-making to the purchase of many products, since all decisions about what
chemicals the city will buy are now made by the Environmental Programs Division.
The city's two main buyers know that if the product contains a chemical, they need to
contact the Environmental Programs Division before they make the purchase.
Environmental Programs Division staff will then provide them with specifications for
the alternative product the city now uses. In this way, the buyers help the
Environmental Programs Division screen all purchases over $1,000 before they are
made to ensure that they are in keeping with the city's policies. For purchases under
$1,000, individuals in various city departments act independently, and the
Environmental Programs Division can only review these purchases after they are made.

  In general, Santa Monica's environmental purchasing decisions are based on three
main criteria: environment and human health, performance, and  cost. For products
purchased under the TUR Program, Santa Monica ranks these criteria in a distinct
hierarchy. A product is judged first and foremost on whether it meets the city's specif-
ic environmental and human health criteria for that product. Santa Monica bases this
criteria on up-front research, feedback from end-users, and pilot  programs. If a prod-
uct meets established criteria, it is then tested for performance. Finally, products that
pass both these tests are evaluated based on cost. At this point, Santa Monica chooses
the lowest bid.
                                                         Environmental Purchasing Policies

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The Players:
Environmental Purchasing in Santa Monica
The Environmental Programs Division
implements the TUR Program, a set of policies
designed to reduce the city's use of toxics, that
governs the purchasing of any product contain-
ing chemicals. The Environmental Programs
Division conducts research, drafts specifications,
reviews bids, and makes recommendations.

Other city divisions, including the Engineering
Division, Public Works Division, and the
Fleet Maintenance Division, also conduct
research, draft specifications, review bids, and
make recommendations.

The City Council reviews and approves all
bids for purchases over $25,000 including the
purchase of alternative cleaning products.
The City Council supports environmental
purchasing.
The city's buyers in the Purchasing Division
procure products for individual departments
and the central warehouse. If a product contains
a chemical, they consult the Environmental
Programs Division for specifications. They also
are aware of the city's policies for recycled-
content products.

Individuals in city departments contact the
Purchasing Division for all purchases over
$ 1,000. Individuals also make small purchases
(under $ 1,000) using quick purchase orders.
They have been informed of the city's policies
for recycled-content products and products
containing chemicals but act independently.
Individuals obtain many items, such as cleaning
products and recycled-content office paper,
from the central warehouse.

                  Responsible Bid"—City Municipal Code
                Language to Support Environmental  Purchasing

                   Santa Monica's city municipal code contains a clause that opens the door for envi-
                ronmental purchasing. Instead of requiring purchasers to choose the lowest bid, Santa
                Monica's city charter requires that they choose the "lowest and most responsible bid."
                The municipal code states, "In evaluating whether a person is the lowest responsible
                bidder pursuant to this Chapter, City staff may utilize some or all of the following cri-
                teria, in addition to price:

                1. The quality of the material or services offered.

                2. The ability,  capacity, and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the
                   material or services.

                3. The capacity of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service promptly,
                   within the time specified, and without delay or interference.

                4. The sufficiency of the bidder's financial resources.

                5. The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, training, experience, and efficiency
                   of the bidder.

                6. The ability of the bidder to provide such future maintenance or service as may be
                   needed."
      Environmental Purchasing Policies

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  The Environmental Programs Division uses this existing municipal code language
to help it implement environmental purchasing. When it makes a recommendation to
the City Council for purchasing products or services deemed environmentally prefer-
able, it justifies this recommendation by using a broad interpretation of the first crite-
rion: "the quality of the material or services offered." The current City Council
supports environmental purchasing and, therefore, accepts this broad interpretation.

  In addition, the city is exploring ways to strengthen environmental purchasing by
updating the municipal code. For example, a seventh criterion might be added to the
definition of what constitutes a responsible bid. The seventh criterion would include
"the public health and environmental attributes  of the materials or services" in the
decision-making process. Should the City Council approve such a change to the city's
municipal code, it would ensure that future city administrations continue to support
environmental purchasing.
                                                         Environmental Purchasing Policies

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                                      tT                                      ,/^V
Putting  Environmental  Purchasing Into  Action
                        Santa Monica has developed an environmental purchasing process that goes far
                        beyond writing specifications and obtaining bids. Its process includes the end-
                        user in decision-making and follows up a purchase of alternative products with
                    training and evaluation. While the city tailors its approach to specific products or ser-
                    vices, the purchasing process generally includes the following stages:

                    •  Researching products

                    •  Drafting specifications

                    •  Obtaining vendor information

                    •  Evaluating bids and testing products

                    •  Running a pilot program

                    •  Training end-users

                    •  Evaluating the product and process
      Environmentally Preferable
               Paperwork

    In addition to requiring vendors to provide
  information about the environmental and
  human health attributes of their products,
  Santa Monica also requires that the actual bids
  be consistent with the city's environmental
  goals. All of the city's Requests for Proposals
  require vendors to comply with the following
  documentation guidelines:

  •  All copies shall be printed on recycled
    and/or tree-free paper.

  •  All copies shall be double-sided.

  •  Report covers or  binders shall be recyclable;
    use of plastic covers or dividers should be
    avoided.

  •  Unnecessary attachments or documents not
    specifically asked for should not be submit-
    ted. Avoid superfluous use of paper (e.g.,
    separate title sheets or chapter dividers).
Cleaning Products
  Santa Monica's purchase of alternative cleaning prod-
ucts under the TUR Program provides an in-depth
look at how the city's environmental purchasing process
works in practice.
Research

  Santa Monica's pragmatic approach to environmental
purchasing includes implementing its purchasing poli-
cies one product category at a time. The city chose to
start with custodial products because of the amount of
research previously done on these products. Before
drafting specifications for alternative products, the city
compiled information from Green Seal, the
Washington Toxics Coalition, and a local independent
consultant. It also reviewed the work of Canada's
Environmental Choice program and Germany's Blue
Angel program in the area of custodial products. In
addition, the custodial staff's insights and concerns
were taken into consideration before drafting specifica-
tions.

         Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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      The Players:
      How Alternative Cleaning Products Are Purchased
     The Environmental Programs Division eval-
     uates bids and makes a recommendation to the
     City Council.

     The City Council awards the contract.
The buyer for the city's warehouse buys the
alternative products specified.

City custodial staff and contract custodial
staff must obtain products from the warehouse.
  Drafting Specifications

  Using information from these sources, Santa Monica prepared a comprehensive list
of specifications for alternative cleaning products and required vendors to provide
information on a wide range of environmental criteria, including toxicity air quality,
corrosiveness, and biodegradability for their products.  Santa Monica also specified
that products be supplied in concentrated form to reduce the amount of packaging.

  Initially, each of these criteria was assigned a point value, based on a predetermined
range. For example, corrosiveness was rated on a scale  of 0 to 2, while biodegradabili-
ty was given a score of 0 to 3 points. These criteria are an explicit reflection of the
city's priorities and local concerns. Deborah Raphael, Environmental Analyst and
manager of the TUR Program, noted that it was "a real challenge to assign point val-
ues [and] decide threshold levels." When established standards existed, such as federal
definitions of a primary irritant versus a slight irritant,  Santa
Monica used those standards to set threshold levels. When no
established standards were available, the city relied on its research
and the professional judgment of a technical advisory group.
Santa Monica assigned relative point values for each of the envi-
ronmental attributes based on its needs as an ocean community
near Los Angeles. Two of its top priorities were biodegradability
and aquatic toxicity. Since cleaning products are used in and
around city buildings and parks that are in close proximity to the
ocean, and there is the potential for runoff, it was important to
the city that products biodegrade quickly and be less toxic to
marine life. Given Santa Monica's location in the southern
California region, which has high levels of air pollutants, the city
also was particularly concerned about air quality issues  such as
volatile organic compound (VOC) levels. Other environmental
attributes  considered by the city, such  as whether the product was
tested on animals, were considered important but did not receive
the same emphasis in the selection process as those attributes that
were tied to the city's top priorities.
   Obtaining Vendor Information

   Santa Monica received information from a number of vendors
interested in providing alternative cleaning products and created
hard copy files for each vendor. When it came time for the for-
          Criteria Evaluated by Santa
             Monica for Alternative
               Cleaning Products:
          • Acute toxicity.
          • Chronic toxicity.
          • Biodegradability.
          • Skin irritants.
          • Flammability.
          • VOC levels.
          • Corrosiveness.
             Presence of petroleum or
             hydrocarbons.
             Presence of ozone-depleting
             chlorinated compounds.

             Presence of artificial dyes or
             fragrances.
                                               Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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                     mal bid process, Santa Monica used these files to prepare the mailing list for sending
                     out Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Brian Johnson, Environmental Programs
                     Coordinator, noted that although Santa Monica had been warned by some vendors
                     that its criteria were too onerous and that no vendors would submit bids, the city
                     received 17 submittals covering 200 products. Santa Monica found, however, that it
                     was sometimes difficult to obtain accurate, complete information from these vendors.
                     Often, material safety data sheets (required by the U.S. Occupational Safety and
                     Health Administration) were submitted with key information marked "not available."
                     Sometimes, vendors would list a general category such as "surfactant" in their list of
                     ingredients, and the city would not have enough information to determine the envi-
                     ronmental impact of the particular surfactant used. When vendors could not provide
                     information on a criterion, they were given a poor  score in this category. For the
                     aquatic toxicity criterion, however, almost all of the vendors were unable to provide
                     data, in part because the city was the first to ask for this information.


                        Evaluating Bids and Testing Products

                        Santa Monica reviewed all of the bids received based on its established criteria. The
                     city reviewed material safety data sheets and statements by vendors that their products
                     met the established criteria. In addition, for certain criteria, such as biodegradability
                     the city required that vendors provide lab tests. Santa Monica provided guidelines for
                     these tests but did not require the vendors to go to an outside testing lab. Santa
                     Monica did not have the time, resources, or expertise, however, to verify manufactur-
                     ers' claims about products. The city investigated third-party certification but has not
                     found an organization that performs the comprehensive product evaluations it is seek-
                     ing. Deborah Raphael noted that the city's environmental purchasing efforts would be
                     aided by an objective, comprehensive, third-party certification program run by a gov-
                     ernment agency, university, or nonprofit organization.

                        Products meeting the established environmental and human health criteria were
                     then tested for efficacy by the city's custodial staff. This hands-on testing, and the cor-
                     responding feedback from staff members, was a crucial step in the  process of evaluat-
                     ing competing bids. For example, when the  city tested a line of products from  one
                     vendor, all of the products performed well with the exception of the all-purpose
                     cleaner. Based on this performance testing, the city chose to purchase an all-purpose
                     cleaner from  a different vendor whose product was approved by custodial staff.

                        After the city tested products for performance, it evaluated them for cost. Cost was
                     not the primary consideration used in evaluating products. Instead, the goal of the
                     program was "to achieve a cost savings while maintaining or improving the level of
                     service." In its first 2 years,  Santa Monica estimates that it saved approximately 5 per-
                     cent by purchasing alternative cleaning products rather than traditional products.
                     This cost savings resulted in part from the reduced packaging and shipping costs asso-
                     ciated with concentrated products. In addition, improved custodial training led to
                     more efficient use of products, which also contributed to cost savings.
10   +   Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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  Redrafting Specifications

  Santa Monica is currently revising its criteria for cleaning products to simplify
them for future use and for sharing with other communities as well as to address chal-
lenges revealed during the first round of bids. When the city began revising its crite-
ria, Santa Monica initially noted the potential for subjectivity with the point system
and considered switching to a pass or fail evaluation system. The city was concerned,
however, as Deborah Raphael notes, that with a pass or fail system, "too much would
pass through the sieve." For example, if pH were a pass or fail criterion, "a product
could use sulfuric acid and have a pH of 4 or citric acid with a pH of 4, [and] sulfuric
acid is much more corrosive." The final set of revised criteria, therefore, will consist
of both the point and pass or fail systems.

  One of the city's initial criteria rated corporate environmental responsiveness based
on the vendor's support of environmental conservation efforts, environmental justice
work, cruelty-free testing, and other areas.  Santa Monica discovered, however, that
this criterion led to an unintended bias towards larger companies that have the
resources to support environmental or social responsibility causes. Small companies
struggling to market one  product, on the other hand, might not have such resources.
For this reason, Santa Monica might eliminate this  criterion.

  In the first round of bids, most of the vendors were unable to provide information
about aquatic toxicity. The city decided to buy cleaning products from vendors that
did not provide this information and, therefore, is considering eliminating or de-
emphasizing the criterion. Deborah Raphael noted  that factors that caused the city to
lean in this direction included the following:

• Pragmatism and environmental priorities clashed in this instance. The city recog-
  nized that it needed cleaning products for its custodians.

• Smaller companies were unable to provide the data, but Santa Monica did not want
  to put smaller companies at a disadvantage.

• The city hoped that other criteria, including biodegradability and the requirement
  that additives used be "food-grade," would mitigate the fact that aquatic toxicity
  was not included.
  Pilot Program

  Before switching to alternative cleaners citywide, Santa Monica ran a 10-month
pilot program. Santa Monica's independent consultants recommended a line of prod-
ucts, as well as specific products and quantities for particular applications, in each city
department. The Environmental Programs Division then held an initial meeting with
custodial managers and supervisors to create awareness of the program. Custodial
staff then received training and began using the alternative products. Their feedback
about the products was solicited at a series of meetings with the consultants and
Environmental Programs Division staff. A focus group of "stakeholders" was formed
to provide more in-depth input. These  stakeholders were custodial staff who had an
increased awareness of or interest in the alternative products and/or had achieved the
respect of their peers. Santa Monica recognized that these stakeholders had expertise
in specific areas of custodial care and made use of this expertise in the evaluation
process. For example, one custodial staff member was recognized by his peers as being
an expert in floor care. Santa Monica asked him to test the floor care products
because of his expertise and credibility with other staff.
                                                Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action    +   11

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                                                       Keys  to   Santa  M
                Having Support From the Top. The support of high-level officials, such as the
                City Council, city manager, and department heads, makes a crucial difference.

                Including End-Users in the Decision-Making Process. Santa Monica's experi-
                ence shows that when end-users are included in the process of selecting alter-
                native products, they are less resistant to changing established practices.
                End-users' knowledge  of and experience with the particular product or service
                help purchasing officials select the most effective alternative products and
                make them credible advocates of environmental purchasing.

                Conducting Up-Front  Research. Santa Monica's baseline research about the
                city's needs and about alternative products and services helps the city draft
                specifications and evaluate bids. For this research, Santa Monica consults inde-
                pendent consultants, nonprofits, universities, product manufacturers, programs
                run by other governments, and city staff.

                Adopting a Customized Approach to Purchasing. For each environmentally
                preferable product or service purchased, Santa Monica tailors its approach so
                that it can implement its environmental purchasing goals using existing pur-
                chasing procedures. For example, cleaning products are purchased through a
                citywide bid, while fleet maintenance and recycled products are purchased on a
                product-by-product basis. Customizing environmental purchasing based on
                product category helps the city achieve its goals.

                Creating Partnerships Between Environmental and Procurement Staff. In
                Santa Monica, Environmental Programs Division staff conduct product research
                and draft specifications that the city's Purchasing Division staff use to procure
                products. Purchasing Division staff also contact Environmental Programs
                Division staff with questions about requests for products that contain chemicals.
                This teamwork approach helps the city achieve its environmental purchasing
                goals without increasing the workload of procurement officers.

                Implementing Pilot Programs. Testing alternative products on a limited basis
                through pilot programs allows Santa Monica to test products for efficacy,
                include end-users in the decision-making process, and overcome end-user
                skepticism about alternative  products. The information gathered during  these
                pilot tests helps the city draft comprehensive, usable specifications for the bid
                process.
12  +   Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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lonica's  Success
          Providing Hands-On Training by Experts. Santa Monica finds that training end-
          users is a key step in the process and that trainers must be credible to the end-
          users. The city used custodial experts to teach custodians how to use the
          alternative cleaning products and brought in a pest-control expert to show city
          staff how to prevent pests. It also finds that hands-on demonstrations are par-
          ticularly effective, as they help convince skeptical end-users that the alternative
          products perform as well as  or better than traditional products.

          Holding Face-to-Face Meetings. Santa Monica finds that face-to-face meetings
          with vendors help improve the quality of bids by providing an opportunity for
          Environmental Programs Division staff to answer vendors' questions and to
          emphasize the importance of complete, accurate information.

          Maintaining Flexibility. Santa Monica's environmental purchasing programs
          continue to evolve  and respond to lessons learned during program implemen-
          tation. For example, the specifications for cleaning products are being substan-
          tially revised based on the city's experiences in the first bid process.

          Evaluating the Program and Planning Next Steps. Santa Monica's
          Environmental Programs Division staff and Purchasing Division staff
          continuously evaluate the success of the program and products with an eye
          toward improvement.
                                                          Two years after the inception of the
                                                          Sustainable City Program, Santa Monica
                                                          prepared a comprehensive report detail-
                                                          ing program successes, obstacles, and
                                                          plans for the future. For copies of The
                                                          Sustainable City Progress Report, contact
                                                          Dean Kubani, Environmental Analyst:
                                                          phone: 310 458-2227, e-mail: , or visit
                                                          the web site .
                                                    Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action
13

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Santa Monica's Successes With Alternative Cleaning Products
Replaced toxic products used throughout the
city with less toxic or nontoxic alternatives in
15 of 17 cleaning product categories.

Eliminated approximately 3,200 pounds
annually of hazardous materials in products
purchased.

Reduced spending on custodial products by
5 percent.
                                                      Developed proven and effective procurement
                                                      specifications that can be adapted for use in
                                                      future TUR Program efforts.

                                                      Increased morale of custodians who recognize
                                                      the city's concern for their health and working
                                                      conditions and who appreciate the opportunity
                                                      to participate in making decisions about their
                                                      work.
                    During this pilot phase, the city discovered that most of the new products per-
                 formed as well as or better than the products they replaced, except for the floor care
                 products. The city discovered that the less toxic strippers provided by the vendor
                 could not remove previous layers of wax and also did not work well on the less toxic
                 wax supplied under the same label. The city continues to buy the products used in the
                 past, therefore, but is working to reduce the amounts of the products used. Santa
                 Monica also continues to look for alternative products that meet its needs.

                    The pilot phase also revealed that the method of applying alternative products was
                 instrumental in their effectiveness. Based on this information, the  city decided to
                 expand its training program for custodial staff and to purchase a different kind of rag
                 for applications. The type of rag traditionally used, a treated T-shirt knit fabric, was
                 not very effective at removing dirt and required the use of more cleaning product.
                 The new terry-cloth type rag actually makes it possible to reduce the amount of
                 cleaning products used, which helps the city achieve its goal of reducing toxics. The
                 city used the experience and information obtained in the cleaning products pilot
                 phase to draft its specifications for the formal bid process and plan the implementa-
                 tion of the citywide switch to alternative cleaners.

                    The city recognized that it could not take a "one size fits all" approach to imple-
                 menting its program because of the different kinds of arrangements for the custodial
                 care of different city buildings. Whether a particular building is city owned or city
                 leased affects the arrangements for custodial care. About 50 percent of the city's cus-
                 todial staff are city employees, while the other 50 percent are  contractors. Of these
                 independent contractors, most have contracts directly with the city, but some have
                 contracts with the owners of city-leased buildings. One of the challenges the city
                 faced was how best to tailor the implementation of its program to these different cir-
                 cumstances, especially in the area of custodial staff training.


                    End-User Training

                    Training was an essential part of Santa Monica's switch to alternative cleaners. The
                 city's research and pilot testing revealed that alternative cleaners would need to be
                 applied differently to achieve the same results. Santa Monica instituted a training pro-
                 gram for all of its custodial staff including both city employees and contract staff. For
                 most contract staff, their contracts specify that they must use the alternative products
                 stocked at the warehouse and participate in training. City employees and contractors
14
      Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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alike received training on using the alternative products. The city found that the
training of its own employees was more effective, however, because contractors tend
to have higher staff turnover.

   Custodial experts led small group training sessions using hands-on demonstrations.
These demonstrations made the training more effective and helped convince reluctant
end-users that the alternative products performed as well as or better than traditional
products. Custodial staff initially came to these sessions because their supervisors
required them to, but, as Deborah Raphael notes, many staff found that they enjoyed
the training. The custodial staff's willingness to adjust their practices was critical to
the success of Santa Monica's efforts.
   Evaluating the Product and Process

   Since the inception of the TUR Program in 1994, Santa Monica has conducted
regular formal and informal evaluations of both the cleaning products used and the
purchasing process. Two years into the program, the city produced a formal report
evaluating the program that discussed the lessons learned and successes achieved.
Based on this evaluation, Santa Monica believes that it has improved the cleaning ser-
vice it provides by expanding the training of custodial staff and through the use of
alternative cleaning products.  As proof of the program's success, the city recently
received a letter from a business district group praising the custodial  care of their area.

   According to Eddie Greenberg, Maintenance Crew Leader for the Promenade
District, "The results are really fantastic...Everybody seems to be pleased—the public
[and] the employees, because they are not exposed to toxics..The people who worked
on cleaning elevators used to use an  aerosol spray. If the elevator closed and went up a
few floors [unexpectedly, after spraying], when it opened and they walked out, they
would feel their heads spinning. With these [alternative products], it  doesn't happen.
We notice a difference." Overall, he notes, "We're a lot healthier."

   Eddie Greenberg also provided the following specific example of how well the
alternative cleaning products work. "The Promenade District is about three blocks of
[waterfront] retail businesses [and] residences. We use large scrubbing machines with
the new cleaning products. [The new products  are]  not only equal [to traditional
products, they are] even better. There's a sheen on the sidewalks. The merchants, and
the people that are here, they like what they see."
                                                Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action   +   15

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             Fleet Maintenance

                Santa Monica's Fleet Maintenance Division maintains 67.5 percent (585) of all city
             vehicles including parks and recreation, street maintenance, and refuse vehicles.
             Passenger sedans, light-duty trucks, long-haul tractors, and specialty equipment are
             among the many different types of vehicles maintained by the Fleet Maintenance
             Division. Excluded from its efforts are Police Department, Harbor Division, Fire
             Department, and Transportation Department vehicles, which are maintained by other
             city divisions. In addition to maintaining the city's existing vehicles, the Fleet
             Maintenance Division runs a Vehicle Management Program, which funds and sched-
             ules the replacement of vehicles. The Fleet Maintenance Division purchases less toxic
             or recycled products for its vehicles as well as vehicles that are powered by the alter-
             native fuels compressed natural gas (CNG), electricity, and propane.

                The purchasing of fleet maintenance products, such as antifreeze, degreasers, parts
             washers, and re-refined motor oil, follows  a different process from that used for clean-
             ing products. While cleaning products are purchased with a citywide formal bid, fleet
             maintenance products are purchased on a product-by-product basis. Since fleet main-
             tenance products vary greatly in terms of volume purchased, frequency of use, and
             cost, this product-by-product approach is necessary. For example, Santa Monica pur-
             chases motor oil, a frequently used product that can be purchased in large volumes,
             using a citywide bid. Brake cleaner, by contrast, is a lower volume, less frequently
             used product that is purchased in small amounts as needed.

                While cleaning products were evaluated using multiple  environmental and human
             health criteria, some fleet maintenance products are judged on only a single environ-
             mental attribute. For example, Santa Monica's research showed that antifreeze made
             with propylene glycol was less toxic than antifreeze made with the more traditional
             ethylene glycol. Hence, the city decided to switch to purchasing only propylene-
             glycol antifreeze.

                Similarly, Santa Monica used a single environmental criterion—percentage of re-
             refined content—to evaluate motor oil. In addition to the environmental benefits of
             re-refined motor oil, Santa Monica achieved a significant cost savings by switching to
             this alternative product. The city estimates that the re-refined motor oil it currently
             purchases costs 25 percent less than virgin motor oil.
The Players:
How Fleet Maintenance Products Are Purchased
The Environmental Programs Division and
the fleet manager conduct research and draft
specifications.

The city's buyers stock high-volume, frequently
used products, such as motor oil, at the ware-
house and procure other products valued at
more than $1,000. They use specifications pro-
                                                        vided by the fleet manager or the
                                                        Environmental Programs Division.

                                                        Two storekeepers stock a parts shop, obtaining
                                                        goods from the buyers or on their own in the
                                                        form of small purchases (under $1,000).

                                                        Individuals obtain products from the ware-
                                                        house or the storekeepers.
16
  Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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     Santa Monica's Successes With Fleet Maintenance Products
  •  All 585 vehicles maintained by the Fleet
     Maintenance Division use re-refined motor oil,
     which costs the city up to 25 percent less than
     virgin motor oil.

  •  The Fleet Maintenance Division uses
     propylene-glycol antifreeze in 100 percent of
     fleet vehicles.
More than 50 percent (300) of the fleet current-
ly has retread tires. The city has used retread
tires on its vehicles for more than 20 years.

The Fleet Maintenance Division also purchases
less toxic, water-based brake cleaners and parts
washers for all its vehicles.

Of 585 vehicles, roughly 20 percent are pow-
ered by alternative fuels including CNG, elec-
tricity, or propane.
  The Fleet Maintenance Division has been proactive in purchasing alternative prod-
ucts for its vehicles; 100 percent of its vehicles use re-refined motor oil and propy-
lene-glycol antifreeze. Other city divisions have not yet begun purchasing these
alternative products. The Police and Fire Departments cite concerns about the per-
formance of alternative products during emergency situations. The Fleet
Maintenance Division, however, has found that these products perform as well as or
better than their traditional counterparts. Ralph Merced, Fleet Manager, notes that in
the 3 years  since they began using alternative  products, "we have never had an engine
or mechanical failure" associated with the use of propylene-glycol antifreeze or re-
refined motor oil.

  For each alternative fleet maintenance product purchased, Santa Monica conducted
a pilot program. When the city began using re-refined motor oil, it tested the product
in half the fleet (approximately 300 vehicles) before purchasing the alternative product
for the entire fleet. Similarly, propylene-glycol antifreeze was initially tested in
approximately 50 vehicles. The entire fleet now uses this alternative product. Another
alternative product that Santa Monica pilot-tested is retread tires, which are currently
used in more than 50 percent (300 vehicles) of the city's fleet.

  As was the case with cleaning products,  Santa Monica found that this pilot phase
was an important step in the process of switching to alternative fleet maintenance
products. Not only did the pilot tests help the city ascertain that the alternative prod-
ucts performed  as well as traditional products, but they also helped overcome the
skepticism of some of the fleet maintenance staff. Staff were able to see for themselves
that the alternative products were as effective  as the traditional products they were
accustomed to using. In addition, staff appreciated being included in the decision-
making process; their feedback was solicited and considered before decisions were
made on which products to buy.

  The Fleet Maintenance Division also purchases environmental vehicles powered by
alternative fuels including CNG, electricity, or propane. One of the Sustainable City
Program's goals is to have 75 percent of the Fleet Maintenance Division's fleet pow-
ered by alternative fuels by 2000. Forty percent of the city's fleet of vehicles are cur-
rently past their recommended replacement point,  and the city hopes to replace them
with alternative-fuel vehicles. Of 585 vehicles, roughly 20 percent (130) are currently
powered by alternative fuels. Of these, 75 vehicles are powered by  CNG, 9 by elec-
tricity, and  the remaining 46 by propane.
                                               Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action
                                            17

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                   Cost, however, is a definite factor in the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles. The
                 city estimates such vehicles cost 15 to 30 percent more than their gasoline- or diesel-
                 powered counterparts. In fact, for the CNG vehicles the city plans to purchase over
                 the next few years, it estimates the additional up-front cost will be $400,000 to
                 $500,000. While the initial cost is higher, many alternative-fuel vehicles cost less over
                 the long term. Lower life-cycle costs result from cleaner burning engines and cheaper
                 fuel. For example, a sedan powered by CNG might cost 15 percent more initially
                 than its gasoline-powered counterpart. The fuel for this sedan, however, costs 3 5 to
                 45 percent less per gallon, with gasoline costing $0.90 to $1 per gallon and CNG
                 costing $0.50 to $0.60 per gallon. (Santa Monica owns its own fueling station, which
                 helps it achieve these cost savings.) Because CNG is cleaner burning than gasoline,
                 CNG engines require less frequent routine maintenance, are less likely to break
                 down, and are projected to last longer. In addition, motor oil has to be changed less
                 frequently, saving the city money on oil,  oil filters,  and recycling of used oil.


                 Integrated Pest  Management

                   Santa Monica's environmental goal for pest control was to reduce the risks associat-
                 ed with the use of chemical pesticides, as well as the amount of toxic pesticides used,
                 in order to safeguard both the environment and the health of city workers. This goal
                 required a different purchasing process than that used for either cleaning products or
                 fleet maintenance products, since the city was purchasing a service. In the past, the
                 city's primary method of controlling pests, including roaches, ants, and rats, was to
                 hire contractors who would regularly spray pesticides in and around city buildings. To
                 safeguard human health and the environment, Santa Monica's TUR Program adopted
                 an integrated pest management (IPM) system. Santa Monica defines IPM as:

                   "a process for achieving long term, environmentally sound pest control through
                   the use of a wide variety of technical and management strategies. Control tech-
                   niques include structural modifications and procedural modifications that
                   reduce food,  water, harborage, access, and environmental conditions that are
                   favored by pests. Management strategies include education, training, and pro-
                   motion of behavioral practices that are important in the IPM process."

                   IPM management strategies also include monitoring, baits and traps, and, as a last
                 resort, pesticide application to cracks and crevices.
The Players:
How IPM Services Are Purchased
The Environmental Programs Division eval-
uates bids and recommends one contractor for
the entire city.

The City Council approves this recommenda-
tion.

City staff contact the pest manager for their
building when pests appear. The pest manager,
usually also the building's facility manager, is a
                                                     city staff member who has received additional
                                                     training in IPM.

                                                     Pest managers call the pest control contrac-
                                                     tor directly and work with them.

                                                     The IPM coordinator implements ongoing
                                                     training efforts and provides oversight to the
                                                     pest control contractor.
18
      Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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  Research

  Since Santa Monica had no experience with IPM, it decided that baseline research
was necessary. The Environmental Programs Division assembled a team of experts
that included representatives from universities, government, a nonprofit organization,
and an IPM contractor. This team provided the city with specific information on pest
control techniques including their relative efficacy and toxicity. It also provided advice
on how to work with IPM contractors and on the kind of training that would be
important for city staff. In addition, the city solicited input from the facilities man-
agers of city buildings, who provided lists of the pests that were of greatest concern
and practical suggestions for implementing the program. Based on this information,
the city drafted its Request for Qualifications (RFQ), RFP,  and specifications for IPM
contractors.
  Drafting Specifications and Working With Vendors

  Santa Monica's RFQ for IPM required pest control contrac-
tors to provide the city with detailed information that included
the contractor's experience with IPM programs and its health
and safety programs for employees and site occupants. A selec-
tion panel of city staff and members of the IPM advisory panel
reviewed the Statements of Qualifications sent in by six vendors
in response to the RFQ and selected two finalists. The other
four vendors were not selected as finalists primarily because their
responses to the city's questions were incomplete. RFPs were
mailed out to the finalists, who were also invited to attend a site
tour of the city buildings they would be  servicing before submit-
ting their bids. This face-to-face meeting with vendors provided
Santa Monica with the opportunity to answer vendor questions
and to emphasize the importance of providing complete, accu-
rate information with their bids.
                 "I was one of the diehards who
                 thought you had to spray [to control
                 pests]. I used my office as the testing
                 grounds, trapping ants. I thought,
                 'How can you trap ants?' But, within
                 3 days they were gone, and they
                 haven't been around since."

                      —Randall Martinez, Trades
                        Supervisor and pest manager
                        for city hall and yards
  The RFP required vendors to rank pest management options "in order of lowest
risk to highest risk or group in categories of 'low,' 'medium,' and 'high' risk to human
health and the environment." The city also required vendors to provide detailed
descriptions of their monitoring and quality control programs as well as a suggested
format for training city staff in ways to prevent pests. The detailed RFP, drafted based
on Santa Monica's up-front research, helped the city choose between the two finalists
because the responses showed not only price information but also the contractors'
depth of technical expertise.

  Santa Monica's specifications for IPM contractors include criteria designed to safe-
guard human health and the  environment such as using nonpesticide methods of con-
trol wherever possible. For example, portable vacuums are to be used instead of sprays
for initial clean-outs of cockroach infestations. Pest control in all city buildings is
supervised by a member of the Environmental Programs Division staff who is
appointed as the city's IPM coordinator. The  contractor is required to receive
approval from the IPM coordinator before applying or storing any pesticides at city
properties. Specific pesticides also must be approved by the IPM coordinator. In addi-
tion, the city's IPM contract requires "risk reduction," stating that "the Contractor
shall employ products and techniques that have been determined by the city, in con-
sultation with other appropriate entities, to pose the least risk to people, workers, and
Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action
                                                                                                  19

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Santa Monica's Successes With IPM
Achieved excellent control of pests, including
rats, mice, cockroaches, and ants, in and around
all city-owned buildings and  structures.

Reduced number of complaints received by
facilities managers.

Reduced the hazard associated with pesticide
applications by eliminating the use of spray pes-
ticides in all cases except to control termites in
wall and ceiling voids.

Received excellent  service from pest control
contractor.
                                                   •  Reduced the cost of pest control services by
                                                      30 percent.

                                                   •  Educated staff in how to prevent pests.

                                                   •  Increased awareness of pest identification by
                                                      custodians and other maintenance workers to
                                                      catch pest problems in early stages.

                                                   •  Created a cadre of individuals who can take
                                                      IPM lessons back to their homes and communi-
                                                      ties.
                 the environment. Additionally, the most precise application technique and minimum
                 quantity of pesticide necessary to achieve control shall be applied."


                    Training

                    Some of the most important efforts to control pests have been made, not by the
                 IPM contractors, but by the city staff. Santa Monica's city manager sent a memo
                 informing all staff that "successful implementation of IPM requires that every city
                 employee play a role in the control and eradication of pests in their office space (such
                 as proper food storage and housekeeping habits); therefore all city staff will receive
                 some level of training over the next few months." Training for most staff was done at
                 existing department and division staff meetings and included information on basic
                 pest identification and habits. The city also arranged for select city staff to receive
                 additional, more comprehensive training. These city facilities managers, now also
                 referred to as "pest managers," are the point of contact between employees and the
                 pest control contractor.


                    Pilot Program and Evaluation

                    The IPM pilot project lasted a year and ended in October 1997. Santa Monica's
                 evaluation of the program, which included surveying the city's pest managers, revealed
                 many successes. Several of these pest managers spoke very favorably of the IPM
                 approach. Cindy Tomlinson, Senior Administrative Analyst for the Santa Monica Fire
                 Department, remarked that she used to "call for spraying [and] normally the problem
                 would return." She said it "seems [IPM] methods are more  effective," and noted that
                 they had experienced "less trouble with pests returning." She also found the IPM
                 contractor "very responsive to our needs."Joe McGrath, Park Superintendent, said,
                 "So far, [the contractor's] approach is working great." He has had "few call backs" to
                 say that pests have returned and no calls from  people asking what was being sprayed.
                 He said he used to get a couple of calls a year about spraying.
20
      Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action

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  Randall Martinez, Trades Supervisor and pest manager for city hall and yards, said
the IPM approach is "far better than [what] we had before...! get much, much fewer
complaints [about pests.] I used to get a couple a week. I haven't had a call in over a
month." He added, " I was one of the diehards who thought you had to spray [to con-
trol pests]. I used my office as the testing grounds, trapping ants. I thought, 'How can
you trap ants?' But, within 3 days they were gone, and they haven't been around
since." He's now convinced that the IPM approach is "excellent." Martinez and other
pest managers also gave the IPM contractor high marks for responsiveness, good
communication, and effectiveness.


Recycled  Products

  Santa Monica purchases a wide range of recycled products including office paper,
janitorial paper products, aggregate for street resurfacing, plastic semiautomated
refuse carts, re-refined motor  oil, paint, retread tires, laser printer cartridges, and
trash can liners.  So far, the city does not have an overarching set of policies governing
the purchasing of recycled products. As a result, purchasing decisions are made on a
product-by-product basis. Purchasers attempt to find products with the highest
amount of total recovered materials content and postconsumer content at a cost that
"reasonably approximates" the price of virgin products. This reasonable approxima-
tion approach is an informal policy and does not constitute a price preference for
recycled products. In general,  recycled-content products purchased by the city cost no
more than 1 to 2 percent more than virgin products.
     The Players:
     How Recycled-Content Products Are Purchased
     The Environmental Programs Division con-
     ducts research and provides information about
     recycled-content products.

     The buyers stock high-volume, frequently used
     products such as recycled-content office paper
at the warehouse and purchase other products
costing more than $1,000 for individual depart-
ments. They are aware of the city's informal
policies for recycled-content products.
                                             Putting Environmental Purchasing Into Action
                                           Zl

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                                      >^x
Lessons  Learned
          Santa Monica describes its environmental purchasing program as an ongoing
          "work in progress." It is constantly evaluating both the products purchased and
          the purchasing process to identify areas for potential improvement. The follow-
    ing are some of the lessons Santa Monica has learned along the way:

    •  Work with existing purchasing procedures. Santa Monica did not wait to
       change existing purchasing policies in order to effect environmental purchasing.
       Instead, with each product category, the city used existing procedures. Some envi-
       ronmental products are purchased using a formal, citywide bid, while others are
       requested by individual city departments. The city's warehouse stocks many high-
       volume, frequently used environmental products, while others are purchased on an
       as-needed basis. For each purchasing procedure used, the Environmental Programs
       Division supplies information and, in some cases, the actual specifications used.

    •  Look for ways to improve purchasing policies and systems. Santa Monica also
       looks for ways to improve purchasing policies and systems (e.g., computerization)
       in order to facilitate environmental purchasing. After evaluating the purchasing
       process for alternative cleaning products, the city decided to revise its specifications
       to simplify them for future use. The city also is investigating adding language  to its
       municipal code that will ensure that environmental purchasing continues to be a
       high priority for the city and make it easier to accomplish. In addition, the city is
       expanding its computerized tracking of purchases.

    •  Approach environmental purchasing one step at a time. As part of the TUR
       Program, the city had many goals for environmental purchasing that included
       adopting new purchasing policies for a wide range  of products. The city started,
       however, with a single group of products: alternative cleaning products. When that
       program was well established, the city turned its attention to IPM. By focusing on
       one product category at a time, the city was able to implement a more comprehen-
       sive, workable purchasing process. In addition, each time the city buys a new prod-
       uct, it tests the product using a pilot program. Only after the pilot stage has been
       successfully completed and evaluated does the city buy the product on a large  scale.

    •  Address the entire purchasing process as a system, rather than focusing  on
       just the product. Santa Monica's approach to purchasing starts with up-front
       research by appropriate individuals and then proceeds to drafting specifications,
       testing products, training end-users, and evaluating both the products purchased
       and the purchasing process. By focusing on the entire process rather than individ-
       ual products, Santa Monica is able to realize its environmental purchasing goals.

    •  Create partnerships between environmental and procurement staff. Santa
       Monica's Environmental Programs Division and Purchasing Division combine
       their expertise and share the workload of environmental purchasing. The
       Environmental Programs Division's research, advice, and specifications assist
       buyers with the task of purchasing products and services deemed safer for the  envi-
                                                                            Lessons Learned    +   23

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                        ronment and human health. The buyers, in turn, help Santa Monica achieve its
                        purchasing goals by screening requests from other city divisions. The
                        Environmental Programs Division also provides advice to procurement staff in city
                        divisions preparing requests for the Purchasing Division or making small
                        purchases.

                        Enlist the support of both high-level officials and end-users. The support of
                        Santa Monica's city manager, City Council, and department heads is invaluable to
                        the city's environmental purchasing efforts. The insight and support of the end-
                        users for alternative products and services also are instrumental to the  city's success.
                        Santa Monica recognizes the importance of, and actively solicits, this kind of
                        broad-based support for environmental purchasing.

                        Recognize and utilize the specific expertise of end-users. Santa Monica relies
                        on its end-users to provide  essential feedback about a product's performance.
                        When a particular end-user is recognized by his peers as having expertise with a
                        specific product category, Santa Monica finds soliciting that end-user's comments
                        to be particularly helpful. For example, to test custodial floor care products, Santa
                        Monica relied on the city's leading floor care expert, a member of the city's custodi-
                        al staff.

                        Keep staff with purchasing power aware of policy changes. A number of indi-
                        viduals making small purchases (under $1,000) continued to buy traditional, more
                        toxic products even after Santa Monica had officially changed its policies.
                        Environmental Programs Division staff read through all purchase orders for chem-
                        ical products to verify whether the new policy was being implemented. If the prod-
                        uct purchased did not meet the city's new criteria, Environmental Programs
                        Division staff informed the  purchaser and the department head. The department
                        heads are supportive of the  program and help ensure implementation of the policy.
                        When individual staff were  asked why they did not follow policy, they provided
                        valuable feedback that helped Santa Monica  improve its program.

                        Expect a certain amount of resistance to change and skepticism about alter-
                        native products. Initially, many end-users were skeptical about the  efficacy of
                        alternative products or resistant to changing established practices. Santa Monica
                        found that including end-users in all phases of decision-making and having  pilot
                        programs helped it meet this challenge.

                        Investigate third-party certification and other ways to verify vendor informa-
                        tion. Santa Monica's efforts to evaluate environmental products were made more
                        challenging because it could not always obtain complete, accurate information
                        from vendors. In addition, city staff lack the  time and expertise to verify manufac-
                        turers' claims about their products. The city investigated Green Seal and other cer-
                        tification programs but has  not found an organization that provides  the
                        comprehensive information it is seeking. Deborah Raphael noted that third-party
                        certification, either by the government or by a nonprofit organization, would help
                        Santa Monica's efforts. She  also expressed interest in finding other potential ways
                        to ensure that vendors provide complete, accurate information.

                        Train staff in how best to use alternative  products. Santa Monica's research
                        revealed that many alternative products, such as cleaning products, require differ-
24   +   Lessons Learned

-------
ent methods of application. Santa Monica found that training end-users in how
best to use the alternative cleaning products increased the effectiveness of the
products and boosted approval ratings for the new products. In addition, staff
training contributed to efficient use of the products, which helped save the city
money. IPM is another area in which Santa Monica sees the benefit of training
end-users. Training city staff in how to prevent pests is a cornerstone of this effort,
and staff's implementation of these procedures helps reduce the need for treating
pests.

Track specific purchasing information by computer, if possible. Santa
Monica's warehouse tracks purchases according to product category. This helped
the Environmental Programs Division evaluate the success of the city's switch to
alternative cleaning products.  Santa Monica also tracks purchasing information for
small purchases (under $1,000). These quick purchase orders are entered in a
newly established database, and quarterly reports are generated. The city also can
access specific information on citywide formal bids of more than $25,000. As noted
above, however, the city currently has no way to  track specific purchasing informa-
tion for purchases between $1,000 and $25,000. The custom computer system
recently ordered by the city will track this information and enable the city to more
easily measure the success  of its environmental purchasing efforts.
                                                                        Lessons Learned    +   25

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           ""3                        >T
Next  Steps and  Plans  for  the  Future
                          anta Monica plans to build on its success by expanding and improving environ-
                           ental purchasing. Major goals for the next few years include:
                       Improving and expanding computerized tracking. Santa Monica tracks specific
                       procurement information, such as product category, for warehouse purchases and
                       citywide bids (used for amounts more than $25,000). In addition, using a recently
                       established database, the city tracks small (under $1,000) purchases. For purchases
                       ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, however, Santa Monica currently cannot track
                       product category information. The city has ordered a custom computer system
                       that will automatically track purchases and use commodity codes to simplify the
                       tracking process. The city hopes to have this computer system installed by April
                       1998. This computer system also will track certain environmental attributes such as
                       percentage of recycled content.

                       Expanding the TUR Program to include herbicides. Having successfully
                       reduced its use of pesticides through the structural IPM program, the city is inves-
                       tigating ways to reduce chemical applications to control weeds on city property. A
                       panel of experts from the County Agriculture Commissioner's Office and the
                       University of California Cooperative Extension Service surveyed the use of herbi-
                       cides on city property and identified opportunities to reduce their use. Training on
                       alternative weed control techniques will be designed and offered to both city and
                       contractor landscape maintenance staff. A herbicide-free pilot site is already under-
                       way in one section of the city.

                       Conducting outreach to businesses and residents. Now that Santa Monica has
                       gained experience with environmental purchasing, it is planning to share what it
                       has learned with businesses and the general public. Taking information it has gath-
                       ered in the last few years, it will work to encourage local businesses and residences
                       to make similar changes in their purchasing. One example of the city's outreach to
                       the public is a bimonthly bulletin included with utility bills. The first issue of this
                       bulletin informed residents about ways to reduce their use of hazardous household
                       products.

                       Finding ways to institutionalize environmental purchasing.  Santa Monica rec-
                       ognizes that among the reasons for the city's success in environmental purchasing
                       are the talent and dedication of current city staff and the support of the current
                       administration. The city is searching for ways to document and institutionalize
                       environmental procurement so that it endures beyond the tenure of those currently
                       involved in it.
26   +   Next Steps and Plans for the Future

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Resources
        For additional information, including specifications for IPM and custodial prod-
        ucts, on Santa Monica's environmental purchasing as part of the TUR Program,
        contact Deborah Raphael of the Environmental Programs Division: phone: 310
    458-2255, fax:310393-1279.

      For copies of The Sustainable City Progress Report, contact Dean Kubani,
    Environmental Analyst: phone: 310 458-2227, e-mail: , or visit the web site .

      Information about the  city of Santa Monica also can be obtained from the web site
    .
                                                                             Resources
27

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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:
                        Eun-Sook Goidel
           Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program
               U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                     401 M Street, SW (7409)
                      Washington, DC 20460

              E-mail: goidel.eunsook@epamail.epa.gov
                        Fax: 202 260-0178

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