Event Offers Contacts, Resources to Help Members Implement Green Purchasing Programs

Feb 4, 2015

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On January 29, COG’s Ronald F. Kirby Training Center was packed with participants attending the Green Purchasing Vendors’ Fair. More than 120 representatives from local governments, school systems, and utilities joined over 30 vendors representing a wide variety of environmentally friendly products and services. In addition to showcasing these green products and services, expert panels and speakers discussed “greening” the supply chain and contract language as well as creating healthy buildings through procurement choices.

The fair was a collaborative effort between COG and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, who partner together to support the Mid-Atlantic Purchasing Team, a consortium spanning the D.C. and Baltimore regions. The Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program also sponsored the event.

Green purchasing is one of the measures in COG’s 2013-16 Climate and Energy Action Plan—the goal is to have 75 percent of local jurisdictions adopt green purchasing policies. According to COG’s most recent survey reflecting 2013 policies, 64 percent of members have adopted policies or are working on them. Green purchasing can also help local governments reach other sustainability goals, such as greening their fleets through alternative fuel vehicle purchases, improving building efficiency with better lighting or weatherization, or purchasing solar power.

All the presentations from the event can be viewed on the Green Purchasing Vendor Fair Event Webpage. The following are specific resources and tools from the fair to help members implement green purchasing programs: 

  - DC OCP’s Sustainable Purchasing Program has made available detailed sustainable specifications and statement of work guidance for 14 product categories, a Sustainable Purchasing Users Guide and much more.
  - Maryland’s Green Purchasing Program resources include a Best Practices Manual, behavioral guidelines, and specifications for a dozen product categories.
  - GSA’s Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Product Requirements provides the minimum green product requirements for more than 80 product categories. 
  - GSA’s Sustainable Facilities Tool provides sustainable guidance for facility managers, procurement professionals, leasing specialists, and project managers.
  - GSA’s Green Products Compilation identifies sustainable products approved for federal procurement and associated guidance to facilitate green purchasing decisions.
  - SPLC’s Principles for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing helps accelerate environmental, social and economic progress through sustainable purchasing.
  - COG’s Cooperative Purchasing Program helps to reduce costs through economies of scale created through volume buying. Participants include local jurisdictions, school systems and water utilities throughout the DC and Baltimore regions.

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