Boulder, CO Environmental Purchasing Policy

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Boulder, CO, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted

Source File:


The City of Boulder's goal is to encourage and increase the use and procurement by City Departments of recycled and environmentally preferable products. By using an affirmative procurement policy, the City seeks to:

  • Strengthen the markets for such products.
  • Maximize diversion of materials from the solid waste stream.
  • Promote both human and environmental health.

The City Purchasing Office and Environmental Affairs Office shall:

  • Maintain and distribute to City Departments a list of Target Environmental Procurement Products that shall contain which products MUST be purchased as recycled content products and may not be purchased in virgin form and those products that shall be purchased whenever possible and available with recycled content.
  • Establish goals for increasing the purchase of products with recycled content and environmentally preferable products.
  • Establish measures to monitor progress toward these goals.
  • Review progress on an annual basis and the policy shall be revised as needed to increase participation and achieve the stated goals.

The City Purchasing Office and Purchasing Agents within City Departments shall follow the procedures below to maximize purchase of products with post-consumer recycled content and environmentally preferable products:

  • All bid documents shall include information on the City's programs to buy recycled and environmentally preferable products. Vendors shall be encouraged to provide bids on products with recycled content or which meet criteria for environmentally preferable products wherever such products meet the performance criteria specified in bid documents.
  • To support the purchase of recycled products, purchasing agents have the following three options:

1. Specify recycled content or criteria for environmentally preferable products or services as a necessary criterion in any bid document.

2. Accept a bid which is not the lowest if a) the lowest bid is for a non-recycled product and b) a recycled content product meets the performance criteria specified, or c) a bid other than the lowest bid meets the criteria for environmentally preferable products or services or d) a cost analysis conducted over the life and disposal of the product reveals lower total costs than are reflected in short-term analysis.

3. Award a portion of the contract to bidders offering recycled content or environmentally preferable products.

  • Unless otherwise specified, bidders and contractors shall use recycled paper and double sided copying for the production of all printed and photocopied documents related to the fulfillment of City contracts and shall otherwise fully comply with the provisions of this policy.

All City departments, in consultation with the City Purchasing Office and the Environmental Affairs Office, shall report annually regarding a review of existing product and service specifications to:

  • Identify and eliminate any specifications that require the use of virgin products or exclude the use of recycled or environmentally preferable products, unless they can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the City Manager that such specifications are necessary to protect health and safety or that recycled or environmentally preferable products do not meet performance standards, unfairly eliminate competition, or are unreasonable in price, taking durability and liability into account.
  • Revise specifications, where appropriate, to include recycled content and environmentally preferable criteria.
  • Ensure that wherever possible, the department purchases or leases copiers, printers and offset equipment capable of using both recycled paper of the appropriate grade and reusable toner cartridges where applicable and of making two-sided copies.
  • Re-use and recycle, to the greatest extent possible, the waste produced as a result of any City sponsored construction or renovation project.