Measuring the Benefits of
 Green Purchasing

 New EPEAT Standard
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  Issue  18  |  February 2007

 Measuring the

 Benefits of Green


  A   new guide is available to help fed-
 /  \  era! employees measure the bene-
/    Vfits of environmentally preferable
purchasing. Promoting Green Purchasing:
Tools and Resources to Quantify the Benefits
of Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
identifies a series of tools and resources
that can be used to help develop quanti-
tative estimates of the benefits of green
purchasing choices. The guide is available
online at .
  The tools and resources included in
the guide are the ones  that EPA found
most useful of those available. Most
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                                      focus on environmental benefits, but
                                      tools that focus on the cost savings of
                                      green purchasing, as well as some more
                                      general resources, are also included.
                                        The guide is structured around EPA's
                                      greening goals that were established in
                                      response to various Executive Orders
                                      (particularly Executive Orders 13101,
                                      13123, 13149, and 13423). For each
                                      goal, the user is presented with a list of
                                      available tools and information on each
                                      tool, such as the tool's source, inputs,
                                      outputs, and possible uses. The tools
                                      included were developed by a number of
                                      organizations, from EPA and other fed-
                                      eral agencies, to various nonprofit and
                                      nongovernmental organizations.
                                        If you know of a tool that should be
                                      included in future editions of the
                                      guide, please share it by filling out the
                                      form at . For more infor-
                                      mation please contact Terry Grogan at
                                      (202) 564-6317.
New Executive Order on Sustainability Signed
On January 24, 2007, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 13423, "Strengthening Federal
Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management." EO  13423 combines five prior EOs
into a more comprehensive approach to environmental and energy management.The EO pre-
sents federal agencies with nine sustainablity goals, such as improved energy efficiency, reduced
greenhouse gas emissions, reduced water consumption, and implementation of environmentally
preferable acquisition of goods and services. For the full text  of EO 13423, visit the Office of
the Federal Environmental Executive Web site at .

Environmentally preferable
Purchasing seeks the overall
best value, taking into
account price competitive-
ness, regulatory require-
ments, performance
standards, and environmental
impact. Because purchasers
typically have clear sources of
information on procurement
and safety  regulations and
well-established methods for
evaluating price and perfor-
mance, EPA's EPP  program
has developed the EPP
Update to  help government
purchasers consider the envi-
ronmental  factors  in the EPP
equation and to keep pur-
chasers informed of EPP
news. For more information
about the EPP program's his-
tory, tools,  and resources,
please visit
Round Two for EPEAT:  New
Standard  Development  in the Works
       Under the recently launched
       Electronic Product
       Environmental Assessment
Tool (EPEAT), EPA's EPP Program is
considering funding the development
of a standard for another electronic
product, to be determined within fiscal
year 2007. EPA, Zero Waste Alliance
(ZWA), and key stakeholders originally
developed EPEAT to help purchasers
evaluate desktop computers, laptops,
and monitors based on how well these
products meet the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers standard for
the Environmental Assessment of
Personal Computer Products (1680).
Through an existing grant to the
International Sustainable Development
Foundation, ZWA will convene a diverse
group of stakeholders to  recommend
priority products for the  development
of new standards. Key stakeholders may
include companies, organizations, and
institutions that have been involved in
developing existing EPEAT standards,
as well as purchasers, IT manufacturers
and suppliers, local and state govern-
ment representatives, electronics recy-
clers, and environmental advocacy
groups that can bring expertise and per-
spective to the table.
  Once the key stakeholders have
been identified, ZWA will hold meet-
ings to solicit input on the prioritiza-
tion of potential electronic products
for EPEAT consideration, key environ-
mental attributes of the products, and
possible approaches  for determining
these criteria in the future. The rec-
ommendations from this group will
inform the future efforts of EPA, the
Green Electronics Council, and other
stakeholders to expand the EPEAT
system. The goal is to have a priori-
tized list of potential electronics prod-
ucts by summer 2007. The Federal
Electronics Stewardship Work Group
will seek input from the federal com-
munity, or input can be provided
directly to Larry Chalfan of ZWA at
  An article in EPP Update Issue 17
(September 2006)—"EPEAT Makes
Buying Green Easy"—describes EPEAT's
rating system, which is based on 51 indi-
vidual criteria in eight different environ-
mental performance categories. Over
the next five years, EPA estimates that
the purchase and use of EPEAT-regis-
tered computers will save organizations
more than $51 million in energy costs
and more than 600,000 megawatt-hours
of electricity, which is enough energy to
power 60,000 homes for a year. In addi-
tion, hazardous waste will be reduced by
13 million pounds and nonhazardous
waste by 3 million pounds.
  EPEAT-registered electronics are cur-
rently available to large purchasers
 only. Pending consumer demand,
 manufacturers might make these
  products available to individual cus-
    tomers in the future.
      For more information on
        EPEAT, please visit
           or con-
            tact EPA's Holly Elwood
        at .

of  Influence
  The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) recently pro-
posed an additional 10 items for its
Biobased Products Preferred
Procurement Program, or
BioPreferred™, bringing the total
number of proposed items to 30.
Once USDA finalizes these additions,
federal agencies and their contractors
must give preference to purchasing
these goods made with biobased con-
tent, when practical and financially
  USDA's biobased program is part of
its implementation of the Farm
Security and Rural Investment Act of
  "Biobased" refers to any com-
  mercial or industrial goods
  (other than food or feed) that
  are composed, in whole or in
  significant part, of biological
  products, renewable domestic
  agricultural materials (including
  plant, animal, and marine mate-
  rials), or forestry materials.
2002, better known as the Farm Bill.
Guided by this legislation, the hope is
that purchasing biobased instead of
fossil energy-based products will help
reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil,
create new jobs in rural communities,
and provide new markets for farm
commodities—not to mention
achieve environmental benefits from
using renewable resources.
  USDA issued an initial set of prod-
uct designations (Round 1) in March
2006, with a total of six items desig-
nated for preferred procurement. This
rule was followed by three rounds of
proposed rules recommending addi-
tional items for the program. Each
proposed rule included a public com-
ment period. Final rules designating
these additional items are anticipated
sometime in 2007.
  For more information, visit
Designated Biobased Products

Round I

Mobile equipment hydraulic fluids
Roof coatings
Water tank coatings
Diesel  fuel additives
Penetrating lubricants
Bedding, bed linens, and towels

Proposed Biobased Products

Round 2

Adhesive and mastic removers
Insulating foam for wall construc-
Hand cleaners and sanitizers
Composite panels
Fluid-filled transformers
Biodegradable containers
Metalworking fluids
Graffiti and grease removers

Round 3

2-cycle engine oils
Biodegradable films
Stationary equipment hydraulic
Biodegradable cutlery
Glass cleaners
Dust suppressants
Carpet and upholstery cleaners

Round 4

Bath and tile cleaners
Clothing products
Concrete and asphalt release fluids
                                                                                 Firearm lubricants
                                                                                       and concrete sealers

                                 GSA  Awards  Blanket  Purchase
                                 Agreement  Under  New
                                  Federal  Initiative
                                Under a new feder-
                             al initiative focused on
                         government spending and
                      procurement, the General
                   Services Administration (GSA) has
awarded the first Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to
the Fed Ex Corporation for federal express and ground
domestic delivery service. The award was made in
October 2006 under the Federal Strategic Sourcing
Initiative (FSSI), an approach to purchasing goods and
services more efficiently by analyzing and adjusting an
organization's spending and consolidating its commodi-
ty purchases.
  The Fed Ex BPA is both economically and environ-
mentally focused. As an EPA SmartWay Transport
Partner,  Fed Ex is committed to the reduction of green-
house gas emissions and air pollution, as well as the
improved fuel efficiency of ground freight transporta-
tion. The BPA also enables participating FSSI agencies to
realize significant savings and waived fuel surcharges on
domestic shipments. GSA reports that participating
agencies can realize from 21.9 to 30.2 percent cost sav-
ings on express delivery and 1.7 to 39.2 percent cost
savings on ground delivery under the BPA.
  As part of the continuing effort to maximize the value
of each dollar spent by federal agencies, the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) issued the implemen-
tation requirements for the FSSI in May 2005. The FSSI
requires  each participating agency to develop its own
agencywide strategic sourcing plan for the following five
commodity product groups: copiers, information tech-
nology (IT) hardware, handheld wireless devices, office
supplies, and express delivery services.
  A total of 23 agencies, including EPA, currently partic-
ipate in the program. Co-chaired by the Department of
the Treasury  and GSA, the FSSI requires each participat-
ing agency to report progress on strategic sourcing to
OMB on an annual basis. Agencies are also to report
new initiatives, goals, and progress on balancing its
strategic sourcing plan with socio-economic goals for
small businesses. Agencies must also establish agency-
wide performance measures and reporting requirements
to track strategic sourcing progress. By tracking
progress, OMB hopes to establish a strategic sourcing
community of practice, collaborate with industry, and
share best practices.
  With such a high focus on widespread progress and
savings, the FSSI has the potential to change much of the
federal government's buying patterns, including reducing
the number of contracts that the government awards to
the same companies and increasing acquisition collabora-
tion among agencies. Companies vying for such contracts
are encouraged to stress any environmentally preferable
products they offer. EPA's Comprehensive Procurement
Guideline (CPG) program, authorized through the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and
Executive Order 13101, requires that procuring agen-
cies—federal, state, and local agencies  and their contrac-
tors—buy products containing recovered materials when
they spend more than $10,000 a year on that item. GSA
considers it an important step of the pre-contract
process to educate contractors and the end-users of the
supplied products on both the CPG and EPP guidance,
and has invited EPA acquisition representatives to take
part in the  education process. Similar to the CPG, pro-
curement requirements also exist for energy efficient
products under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and for
biobased products under the  Farm Security and Rural
Investment Act of 2002.
  GSA also encourages agencies to use GSA Advantage,
the agency's database of approved products and services,
when making environmentally oriented procurements.
Available to federal purchasers worldwide, GSA
Advantage's environmental aisle highlights the environ-
mental products  and services GSA offers, arranged by
such criteria as energy efficient, nontoxic, recycled con-
tent, and biobased  choices. GSA Advantage will soon
offer the Advantage Spend Analysis Program (ASAP),
through which users may view spending reports for
their agencies. User agencies will be able to choose a
date range  and parameters to focus reports on agency
spending, special programs, environmental efforts, and
business size/socio-economic figures.

OMB  Scorecards  Put Agencies
To  the Test
  In 2006, the Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) created scorecards
to evaluate federal agency progress on
environmental stewardship, energy
management, and transportation
management. Similar to the OMB
scorecards issued under the
President's Management Agenda,
these scorecards evaluate agency
progress every six months and overall
status annually.
  While each scorecard focuses on a
different topic, all three incorporate
sustainability goals into their scoring
criteria. The Energy Management
Scorecard includes quantitative tar-
gets for metering building energy use,
using efficient energy design, and
improving energy efficiency. The
Transportation Management
Scorecard includes requirements for
the acquisition of alternatively fueled
vehicles, based on requirements in
the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
Specific requirements for alternative
fuel use are also reflected by the
  The Environmental Stewardship
Scorecard comprises five scoring crite-
ria. The first measure is based on
environmental management systems
(EMS) requirements from Executive
Order 13148 for the particular agency
and all appropriate facilities. The sec-
ond reflects statutory and Executive
Order requirements for a comprehen-
sive green purchasing program. The
third measure assesses an agency's
plans for implementing a sustainable
building program, and the fourth
evaluates the agency's ability to
implement a sustainability program
for electronic stewardship. Finally, the
fifth measure assesses the develop-
ment of a compliance management
plan and implementation strategy.
  An agency achieves a "green" rating
on Current Status if it meets all the
standards for success for each of the
five elements; otherwise it receives a
"yellow" or a "red" rating. While indi-
vidual agency scorecards and results
will not be made available to the pub-
lic, the templates and a summary of
government-wide results are posted
on the Web site at
  EPA is confident that the scorecards
will assist agencies in achieving
results and making progress toward
sustainability goals.