Category Archives: Green purchasing

How consumers can track products at the touch of a smartphone button

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Producers and suppliers trace and count every item they distribute. It’s time to share that information with everyone.

Webinar: Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Product Life Cycle Management

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9-10 am CST
Register at

This webinar will provide an overview and demonstrate tools to model the benefits of alternative end-of-life waste management comparisons. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission implications of purchasing recycled content products, as well as, reusing and source reducing material in products that we use will be presented.

The webinar is hosted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and features a presentation by Deanna Lizas, ICF International, on the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) and Recycled Content (ReCon) Tool.


New CCCL Paper: Federal “Green” Product Procurement Policy in the U.S.

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

With the recent COP19 in Warsaw showing questionable progress towards a universal climate agreement in 2015 (as reported previously by CCCL), government procurement represents an uncontroversial way to achieve greenhouse gas reductions.  The sheer size of government purchases in many countries—which amount to at least 15% of global GDP[i]—makes procurement a “low hanging fruit” for reducing carbon emissions.  In the U.S. alone, the federal government is reported to be the world’s largest purchaser.[ii]  A new white paper released by the Center for Climate Change Law (CCCL) studies federal procurement laws in the U.S., focusing specifically on whether U.S. federal agencies must, or may, take carbon emissions into account when purchasing products.

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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Green purchasing, Publications


10 ways to detect true green design in tech

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

More electronics companies are pitching their products as being green. The products are touted as being smaller, having more functions than previous generations, and made without lead or cadmium. But how can you tell if these claims are valid?

Have the electronics companies actually trained their product-launch teams in leading Design for Environment principles? Have they embedded competitive-level DfE in all of their products? Or are their products simply following Moore’s Law for greater computing power in more efficient packages? Are they just compliant with mandated law?

Here are 10 ways to detect whether the products you’re considering buying — or those your company is selling — are the real deal when it comes to Design for Environment.


Webinar: Sustainable Procurement: Issues and Case Studies

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 1:30 p.m. Central Time
Register at

Sustainable Procurement: Issues and Case Studies
With presentations by:

  • Andrea Desimone, Program Support Specialist, Green Electronics Council
  • Sam Hummel, Director of Outreach, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council
  • Erin Stanforth, Sustainability Manager, Portland Community College

How does one implement a sustainable procurement policy? What assistance can outside organizations provide in doing so? How can tracking purchases help colleges track GHGs? The presenters listed above will help answer these questions.


First WaterSense Labeled Product Available for Commercial Kitchens

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized the first WaterSense specification for a commercial kitchen product. EPA estimates that approximately 51 billion gallons of water is used every year to rinse dishes by close to 1 million food service establishments in the country. Pre-rinse spray valves—which remove excess food waste from dishes prior to dishwashing—are now eligible to earn the WaterSense label and help food service establishments save water, energy, and money.

If every U.S. commercial food service establishment installed and used a WaterSense labeled pre-rinse spray valve, we could save more than 10 billion gallons of water, more than $225 million in water and energy costs and prevent the equivalent of 900,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions – equal to the emissions from 187,500 passenger vehicles – annually across the country.

Like all WaterSense labeled products, pre-rinse spray valves that earn the label must be independently certified for efficiency and performance. Working in conjunction with industry stakeholders, EPA specifies a maximum flow rate for WaterSense labeled pre-rinse spray valves of 1.28 gallons per minute, 20 percent less water than the federal standard. To ensure that these fixtures will work well and meet the demands of high-volume kitchens while using less water, EPA also includes spray force performance criteria and a requirement for life cycle testing for the products to earn the WaterSense label.

“Pre-rinse spray valves can account for nearly one-third of the water used in a typical commercial kitchen,” said EPA Acting Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner. “Replacing just one of these fixtures with a WaterSense labeled model can save a typical restaurant more than 7,000 gallons of water per year, the amount of water needed to wash nearly 5,000 racks of dishes.”

Restaurants and commercial kitchens are one of the highest energy consumers in commercial buildings, using approximately five to eight times more energy per square foot than other commercial spaces. Outfitting a kitchen with WaterSense labeled pre-rinse spray valves, along with ENERGY STAR certified food service products, will save energy and water.

A restaurant that replaces just one pre-rinse spray valve with a WaterSense labeled model could recoup its investment in four to eight months and save more than $115 per year on water and energy costs, depending on how its water is heated. WaterSense labeled pre-rinse spray valves will be promoted by EPA’s ENERGY STAR program as part of a suite of energy saving products and practices for the restaurant industry.

To develop the specification, WaterSense worked with a project team associated with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)/Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to evaluate pre-rinse spray valve performance and develop a meaningful test protocol. The ASME/CSA project team was open to the public and comprised a wide variety of stakeholders, including manufacturers, utilities, testing laboratories, representatives from ASTM International, and other water efficiency experts.

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 487 billion gallons of water and $8.9 billion in water and energy bills. For more information, visit

Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department Release Fuel Economy Tool for Used Vehicles

As part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to increase fuel efficiency, reduce carbon pollution and address climate change, the U.S. Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a new label that features EPA fuel economy estimates and CO2 estimates for used vehicles sold in the United States since 1984.

Consumers may create the new label electronically as part of a new tool on This electronic graphic can be downloaded and included in online advertisements on the web, while the paper label may be printed and affixed to the vehicle window. As a vehicle’s fuel economy changes very little over a typical 15-year life with proper maintenance, the original EPA fuel economy estimate remains the best indicator of a used vehicle’s average gas mileage

“Making fuel economy information more easily accessible can help Americans save money at the gas pump and reduce carbon pollution,” said EPA Acting Administrator for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe. “Buying any vehicle is an investment, and the information on these labels will help consumers make informed decisions and calculate the cost of ownership.”

“Fuel efficient vehicles cut carbon pollution, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help American families and businesses save money,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. “The new fuel economy label gives consumers an easy, quick way to get the information they need to find the used vehicle that’s right for them.”

The Obama Administration has taken unprecedented steps to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in the U.S., establishing the toughest fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles in U.S. history. These standards are expected to save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump — or more than $8,000 in costs over the lifetime of each vehicle – and eliminate six billion metric tons of carbon pollution.

All new vehicles now include a comprehensive fuel economy and environmental window sticker from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including passenger vehicles that meet the new fuel economy standards. With the tool released today, used vehicle sellers can provide potential buyers with comparable fuel economy information. Last year, over 40 million used cars were sold in the United States – roughly three times the number of new cars sold in 2012.

Used vehicles’ information will also be available on in addition to annual fuel cost and petroleum use estimates. Individual fuel economy will vary for many reasons. Visit for personalization tools. Consumers can also view gas mileage estimates from other drivers with the same vehicle year model and configuration.

More information on the used vehicle tool is available at


At ASU, sustainable procurement isn’t just an academic exercise

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Arizona State University (ASU) isn’t just a leader in the academics of sustainable business, it’s also one of the most aggressive – and principled – organizations when it comes to embedding those principles into its operations.

A driving force behind The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, ASU strives to be carbon-neutral for its Scope 1, 2 and non-transportation Scope 3 emissions by 2025. It also aims to eliminate 90 percent of the solid waste generated on campus by 2015, and to halve its water consumption and elimimate all campus water effluent by 2020.

The university has made substantial investments in emerging technologies toward this end. As of late July, for example, close to 21 megawatts (MW) of solar panels are powering four campus locations and the ASU Research Park.

But one of the ASU operations team’s most effective tools for working toward its larger sustainability goals is actually far simpler — a business automation and process management application that lets it guide green purchases.


Tom’s Of Maine Taps Potatoes For Packaging

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Tom’s of Maine is exploring ways to use waste potatoes — produced locally in Maine — as packaging for its products. The company is working with researchers at the University of Maine and the Sustainable BioPlastics Council of Maine to develop polylactic acid (PLA) packaging with potatoes that can not be sold for consumption.


How innovation in glass manufacturing is turning green even greener

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Innovation in glass packaging is saving both resources and carbon emissions but manufacturers and buyers can do more.


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