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Write a green bid or contract

Write a Green Bid or Contract

One of the most important things you can do to ensure that you are buying green products is to write an environmentally preferable purchasing bid and contract. That means that you should include environmental language in your product specifications or proposal requests. Green Guardian provides a terrific outline of the kind of language you should use, which we have reprinted below:

Green Bidding and Contract Tips

1. Avoid using language that prohibits the purchase of environmentally preferable products.

Example: Avoid specifications that require new equipment so that vendors are able to offer remanufactured items, such as auto parts, office furniture, and toner cartridges.

2. Require recycled content if adequate competition exists for a product that is readily available with recycled content.  Example: Require 30% post-consumer recycled-content copy paper.

3. If you are uncertain about the availability of a particular recycled-content product, you could instead give a preference to bids offering recycled content, or award additional points based on the level of recycled content offered in the bid or proposal.

Example: You could award zero points for bids offering computer forms with no recycled content, five points for 10% recycled content, and 10 points for 30% recycled content.

4. Eliminate over-specification without compromising performance. Allow alternatives that satisfy the end use. Specify product qualities that are critical to performance and leave other options open.

Example: Avoid specifying clear plastic trash bags. Otherwise, you may eliminate recycled-content trash bags that are often darker or opaque in color, but perform just as well.

5. Include environmental criteria - such as post-consumer recycled content, mercury-free, or Energy Star® compliance - for the product you want to purchase.

 Example: Specify the federal standard of 25% post-consumer recycled content in a solicitation for re-refined oil. Similar standards exist for most of the products listed in this Guide, and are ready for you to use in your bid solicitations.

6. Take into account the life-cycle costs of products, such as savings on maintenance, replacement, and disposal costs, which are not factored into the initial unit price.

Example: Your evaluation criteria for bids offering plastic benches and tables could include price, durability, manufacture warranty, required maintenance, recycled content, testing of product samples, and references.

7. If packaging or containers are necessary, specify types that are refillable, returnable, or recyclable. Otherwise, specify that no packaging or container be provided.

8. Require vendors to report your environmental purchases on a quarterly or annual basis so that your organization can track its progress, such as amount of recycled-content copy paper and file folders purchased.

(from http://www.greenguardian.com/government/eppg/tools/writing-specifications)

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Green Buying Tools

"Environmentally Preferable Purchasing" or "Green Purchasing" means integrating environmental and health factors into all procurement policies and decisions. Green purchasing can also save money, protect students and staff, and reduce liability—something schools everywhere should care about.

The following tools will help you get started:

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