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Green Procurement - FAQs

1. What is "Green" Procurement (GP)?

Green Procurement, also termed (Affirmative Procurement) is the purchase of environmentally preferable products and services. These products are made with recovered materials and are preferred because they conserve resources, create less pollution and waste, or eliminate health and safety risks. The intent of GP is to stimulate recycling by creating a market for new products made from recycled materials. The DoD and Army goal is to achieve 100% compliance with all mandatory Federal Green Procurement Preference Programs in all acquisition transitions—commodities, contracts, and services that require designated items.

2. What are the components of the “Green” procurement preference programs?

  • Products Manufactured from Recovered Material
  • Environmentally Preferable Products
  • Energy and Water efficient
  • Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable Buildings
  • Alternative Fuels and Fuel Efficiency Vehicles
  • Bio-based Products
  • Non-ozone Depleting Substances
  • Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Registered Electronics

3. Why Buy "Green"?

  • Compliance - The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act directed Federal agencies to develop Affirmative Procurement programs to increase the purchase of items containing recycled material. Since then, Executive Order (EO) 13423, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, and the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) also contain requirements to buy green. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and EOs 13423, 13221, and 12845 require Federal agencies to buy energy-efficient equipment and vehicles. EO 13423 also addresses environmentally preferable purchasing with specific requirements for water efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable construction, Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registered electronics, toxic substances, and ozone depleting substance.
  • Environmental Benefits - Buying green creates markets for recycled materials and agricultural products, conserves resources, saves energy, saves landfill space, and reduces pollution.
  • Sustainability - GP provides incentive for manufacturers to develop technologies to create new and improved environmentally preferable products. Using these products lessens or eliminates negative impacts to human health and the environment.

4. Who Must Buy "Green"?

Green Procurement Program (GPP) requirements apply to all purchases of products and services by:

  • Any Federal agency, or state/local agency, or contractor using appropriated federal funds
  • All Government Purchase Card (GPC) holders
  • Civil Engineering and Contracting Office personnel responsible for developing contracting documents for services and construction projects

As you use the government credit card, buy products that are:

  • Recycled content
  • Less packaging
  • Energy efficient
  • Bio-based products
  • Reusability

5. What tips should be considered when buying “Green” products with the Government Purchase Card?

  • Recycled content products, also known as EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) items
  • Energy-efficient products: Energy Star® and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated products; and low standby power devices
  • Water efficient products which meet EPA’s Water Sense Standards
  • Alternative fuel vehicles/alternative fuels
  • Bio-based products
  • Non-ozone depleting substances
  • Environmentally preferable products (EPP) and services
  • Products with low or no toxic or hazardous constituents

6. Where can I find green products?

  • General Services Administration
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Ability One
  • Government Printing Office

7. What is the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program?

  • The primary purpose of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program is to help Federal agencies prevent waste and pollution by considering environmental impacts along with price and performance and other traditional factors when deciding what products and services to buy.
  • The Federal government is the single largest consumer in the U.S., spending over $350 billion each year on a wide variety of products and services. The government's purchase and use of products and services leave a large environmental footprint. Through its purchasing decisions, the Federal government can minimize environmental impacts while supporting manufacturers that produce environmentally preferable products and services.
  • The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program serves as a clearinghouse of information and tools to facilitate the efforts of Executive agencies to purchase environmentally preferable products and services. The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program's audience is not limited to the Federal government, however. Businesses, non-profit organizations, and state and local government agencies have also found the program to be of interest and value.

8. What are the benefits of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program?

By carefully selecting goods and services, units can:

  • Significantly improve their impact on the overall quality of human health and the environment
  • Reduce costs due to lower overhead, avoid waste disposal, liability costs or occupational health costs
  • Provide a healthier environment for the public, military, and civilian employees through cleaner and healthier facilities
  • Reduce exposure to cleaners, solvents, paints, and other hazardous materials
  • Leverage positive publicity and promotion potential

9. Where can I get more training on Green Procurement preference programs?

The best way to ensure that personnel follow GP requirements is to provide awareness training. To learn more about green purchasing requirements, see the short online course called Green Procurement (CLC046), hosted by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) (https://learn.dau.mil). The DAU also provides purchase card training in the DAU Purchase Card Continuous Learning Module.

10. What can you do to ensure awareness of Green Procurement?

  • Ensure training and awareness of GPP mandatory purchasing requirements at all levels
  • Substitute environmentally preferable products whenever feasible and cost effective
  • Use recycled paper and recycled content office products
  • Buy energy and water efficient products
  • Find alternatives for products with excessive packaging or those that contain or produce hazardous or toxic chemicals
  • Consider the entire life cycle of the product
  • Recycle materials at work area and installations

11. Where can I find additional Green information and resources?

page last modified on: 3/21/2012