EPA's Final Guidance on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing - Resources
Key Policy, Guidance Documents
As published by the EPA on August 20, 1999.
VI. List of Resources
- EPP Web Site
- Federal Case Studies of Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
- Life Cycle-Based Resources
- Agency Environmental Catalogs
- Federal Trade Commission's Guides on the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims
- Office of Federal Environmental Executive Website
- Other Resources and Tools
This section includes a partial list of current resources that Executive agency personnel may find useful in implementing environmentally preferable purchasing. For a more complete and updated list, please refer to EPA's EPP Web site, described below.
A. EPA's EPP Program Web site
This comprehensive Web site serves as the main repository of information and resources related to environmentally preferable purchasing, including:
Publications such as case studies, program updates and fact sheets.
Interactive features designed to elicit information exchange such as topical discussion forums, a listing of upcoming events, a bulletin board for posting questions and comments and sharing users' experiences, as well as tools that have been helpful in implementing EPP.
A list of top twenty prioritized product and service categories selected because they represent large volume federal procurements with environmental impacts, along with a description of the methodology used. The list is provided to assist Executive agencies in selecting pilots that will have the most effect.
The site will also include training modules, a collection of promising green contracting practices, and a database of existing environmental standards, specifications and contract language.
EPA has developed a number of documents that describe the results of EPP pilot projects, including:
"Cleaners Pilot Project Case Study" documents a collaboration between the General Services Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.
"Paving the Road to Success" describes Department of Defense's efforts to "green" a parking lot repair and maintenance contract.
"Leading by Example" documents how EPA incorporated environmental features into two new buildings, the Ronald Reagan Building and the Research Triangle Park office complex.
"Defending the Environment at the Department of Defense" describes the addition of environmental factors in the maintenance of the Pentagon and other DOD facilities.
In addition, Executive agencies have either initiated or are contemplating a number of other pilot projects involving products such as degreasing agents, paints, adhesives and copier paper4, and services such as conferencing. Examples of where environmental preferability was factored into purchasing decisions can be found under "How to Do EPP" as well as "EPP Resources" on EPA's EPP Web site.
C. Life Cycle-Based Resources
Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES)
A life cycle-based, decision-support software tool to assist users in balancing environmental and economic concerns among products. The tool generates relative scores for alternative products based on environmental and economic performance weights that individual users can set. Although originally designed for building materials and product comparisons, the tool will be expanded to include other materials.
Federal Facility Pollution Prevention Project Analysis: A Primer for Applying Life Cycle and Total Cost Assessment Concepts
D. Agency Environmental Catalogs
The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) in the Department of Defense, the two major suppliers for the rest of the Federal government, publish product catalogs that highlight some environmental attributes. These catalogs are listed below:
Environmental Products Guide
Published by the GSA, this guide contains a list of over 3,000 products and services with environmental attributes, such as low volatile organic compound content, recycled content, energy-efficiency, etc. All products featured in the guide are available through the supply system of GSA's Federal Supply Service. The guide is available on MUFFIN (Multi-Use File for Interagency News).
Environmental Products Catalog
Published by the DLA, this catalog includes products that meet the requirements of EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines as well as products that help reduce hazardous waste or eliminate the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. Currently, the catalog does not have a systematic way of screening products for their environmental characteristics, so inclusion in the catalog does not necessarily connote an environmentally preferable product. A DLA pilot is underway to develop environmental standards for a category of products in the catalog. For more information, contact the Defense General Supply Center at 1 800 352-2852.
E. Federal Trade Commission's Guides to the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (Green Guides), 16 C.F.R. Part 260
The Green Guides, recently revised in May 1998, are intended to reduce consumer confusion and prevent false or misleading use of environmental terms in product advertising and labeling. The Green Guides indicate how the Federal Trade Commission will apply Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices, in environmental marketing claims. The Green Guides apply to all forms of product and service marketing to the public, including advertisements, labels, package inserts, promotional materials, and electronic media. The Green Guides can be accessed via the FTC's Web site (Select "Consumer Protection", then select "Environment", and then select "Guides"). For hard copies, contact FTC at 202 FTC-HELP (382-4357). For questions, contact Janice Podoll Frankle at 202 326-3022.
F. Office of Federal Environmental Executive's Web Site
The Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE) maintains a comprehensive Web site. Updated frequently, it includes background information on OFEE's mission, history, and staff; resources for implementing EO 13101; best practices and success stories for environmental procurement, recycling, and waste prevention; federal agency compliance guidance; and posts information on current and upcoming conferences, activities, publications, and other relevant news. The site also showcases the Closing the Circle Awards recognizing outstanding performance towards "greening" the government. OFEE also manages an interactive forum (list serve) for the exchange of information on environmental purchasing, recycling, and waste prevention.
"Greening" of the Federal Logistics Information System (FLIS)
The Defense Logistics Agency is working through a multi-agency group to incorporate positive environmental attributes (such as recycled content, energy efficiency and water efficiency) into FLIS, is a database of more than 7 million supply items purchased by the Federal government. With the supply items tagged with environmental attributes, FLIS will provide Federal consumers with specific environmental information about the products they buy.
There are a variety of other resources and tools that are currently available or under development to assist Executive agency personnel implement environmentally preferable purchasing practices. For the latest list of resources and tools, please check EPA's EPP Web site.
4. Under the Pulp and Paper Cluster Rule published in 1998, EPA's Air and Water Offices have created the Voluntary Advanced Technology Incentives Program in order to move the industry toward the minimum environmental impact "mill of the future." EPA also has proposed to add a procurement incentive in line with this goal in the near future. The purchase of recycled content, chlorine-free paper would be a way to advance several Administration initiatives, including the Technology Incentives Program, President Clinton's directive to purchase paper containing 30 percent post-consumer fiber and the President's directive to agencies to purchase environmentally preferable products and services. For those interested in EPA's views on recycling and chlorine content in copier paper, please see EPA's Effluent Guidelines and Standards for Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Category, Phase I, promulgated on April 15, 1998. (See 40 CFR Parts 63, 261 & 430) [Return to text]