Plano, TX Environmental Purchasing Policy

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Plano, TX, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Last revised on 9/30/08

Source File:


I. Purpose
This policy is a guide to encourage the purchase and use of materials, products and services that support the City’s economic, environmental and social goals.

II. Policy
The City should purchase and use materials, products and services that are economically responsible and reduce resource consumption and waste within federal, state, local laws.

A. Beyond the conventional purchasing decision-making process, this policy identifies the need to include economic, environmental and social factors. These are all components of the Life Cycle Assessment that may be included to determine what the “best value” is for the City.

B. Environmental factors:

1. Pollutant releases
2. Greenhouse gas emissions
3. Energy consumption
4. Depletion of natural resources
5. Waste generation
6. Recycled, recyclable products
7. General impact on the environment

C. Economic factors:

1. Best value
2. Leveraging our buying power
3. Staff time and labor
4. Technological advances

D. Social factors:

1. Use of locally or regionally produced products and services to minimize transportation requirements
2. Health and safety
3. End of life disposal

E. City Divisions should use, where practicable, products and services that perform and have the least damaging and the most beneficial environmental impact, including new environmentally preferred products, reusable, recyclable and recycled content products. The City should seek opportunities to encourage and influence markets for environmentally preferred products through education; pilot testing of potential new products; adopting innovative product standards, specifications and contracts; leveraging buying expertise; and working with other government entities on cooperative purchasing ventures.

1. All City divisions that have responsibility for a fleet vehicle should support and implement the City of Plano Mobile Source Pollution Reduction Policy 431.000. Oversight Division: Equipment Services.
2. All Divisions should support and implement sustainable building requirements under the City of Plano LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification Policy 430.000. Oversight Division: Facilities Management.
3. All Divisions should support and implement the City of Plano Recycled/Recyclable Products Procurement Policy. Oversight Division: Purchasing.
4. All Divisions should use, and encourage their contractors and consultants to use products manufactured with the maximum practicable amount of recovered material, especially post-consumer recycled content material. They may also use environmentally preferred products whenever cost effective and to the extent practicable.
5. The Purchasing Division should maintain minimum recycled content standards for the purchase of designated products. The Divisions may specify recycled content at higher levels than minimum to the extent practicable.
6. All Divisions should insure that they and their contractors use recycled paper in printed material and that it bears an imprint identifying the recycled content of the paper, whenever practicable.

III. Definitions

A. Cooperative purchasing: System for allowing organizations to combine their purchasing power in order to negotiate better prices and reduce purchasing costs of a formal bid process.

B. Divisions: Refers to City Divisions and Departments.

C. Environmentally preferable product or service: Products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health, use of resources, and the environment when compared with competing products and services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance and/or disposal of the product or service.

D. LEED certification: A green building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council designed to promote design and construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and wellbeing.

E. Life Cycle Assessment: The comprehensive examination of a product’s environmental impacts throughout its lifetime, including new material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use and disposal.

F. Post-consumer recycled content: Percentage of a product made from materials and byproducts recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream after having completed their usefulness as consumer items and used in place of raw or virgin material. Post-consumer content includes materials (such as paper, bottles and cans) collected for recycling.

G. Pre-consumer recycled content: Percentage of a product made from materials and byproducts diverted from the solid waste stream during the manufacturing process. Pre-consumer material excludes reutilization of the material such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it such as: planer shavings, sawdust, woodchips, trimmed printed materials and overruns, over issue publications and obsolete inventories.

H. Performance: The ability of a product or service to accomplish or contribute to the accomplishment of a job or task.

I. Practicable: Sufficient in performance and available at a reasonable cost.

J. Recyclable product: A product that after its intended use can be diverted from the solid waste stream for use as a raw material in the manufacture of another product.

K. Recycled product: Material and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste and have been utilized in place of raw or virgin material in manufacturing a product. It is derived from post-consumer materials, manufacturing waste, industrial scrap, agricultural waste, and other waste material, but does not include material or byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process.

L. Solid waste: Defined under USEPA 40 CFR 261.2

IV. Responsibilities

A. The Purchasing Division should:

1. Designate products, processes and procedures to be evaluated by the City Divisions and if adopted, use whenever practicable. Maintain a designated product list for Divisions to reference for possible use.
2. Provide Divisions with technical assistance in policy implementation.
3. Monitor and revise contracting procedures to be used by all Divisions as necessary to procure designated products whenever practicable and to facilitate data collection.
4. Research and provide information for the procurement of recycled and other environmentally preferable products and communicate these to the purchasing decision makers for evaluation and purchase.
5. Collect data on purchases of recycled and other environmentally preferable products from all Divisions.
6. Promote the use of recycled and other environmentally preferred products by publicizing this policy and its implementation.
7. Evaluate and establish price preferences for products and services that have a positive impact on the associated social and environmental factors where necessary.
8. Promote the involvement of other local governmental purchasing agencies in the use of environmental preferable products. This should help make more environmentally preferable products available locally, therefore increasing the opportunity to negotiate better pricing and incorporate them in inter local/cooperative purchasing agreements.
9. Assemble an annual report to the City Manager, Sustainability Director and to the Divisions on the status of policy implementation. This report will include data on purchases of recycled/non-recycled and environmentally preferred products by Division and results of designated product evaluations. Recommendations for changes in the EPP should also be summarized. The report would be placed on the City’s sustainability website and the highlights would be reported in the paper copy of Live Green in Plano.

B. All Divisions should:

1. Identify key personnel to evaluate each designated product to determine the extent to which it may be practicably used by the Division and its contractors.
2. Insure that contracting specifications do not discriminate against recycled products without justification.
3. Specify recycled and other environmentally preferable products whenever practicable and require this of contractors.
4. Monitor and report to the Purchasing Division the success or failure of all designated products for the annual reporting requirements for the City Manager and an annual or semi-annual Environmental Purchasing e-newsletter for the public.
5. Actively seek environmentally preferred products and services and report the findings to the Purchasing Division for evaluation and for the broadcast to other Divisions’ purchasing decision makers that might be able to use the product.
6. Evaluate and assess current Division policies and practices for opportunities to incorporate more environmentally preferred products.
7. Be familiar with third party certification organizations such as Energy Star™ and Green Seal™ among others to help write specifications for products and services.

V. Exemptions
Nothing in this policy shall be construed as requiring the purchase of products that do not perform or are not available at a reasonable price to provide best value to the City.