BP15: Green Purchasing

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Official language

Purpose

To support the elimination of adverse environmental effects caused by products and materials acquired for the normal operations of the business.

 

Objective

Create and implement a procurement policy that prioritizes products and materials with environmentally-preferrable attributes.

Submittal Requirements

BIT Building:

  • Written purchasing guidelines summarizing the green purchasing criteria and strategy.
  • Documentation of implementing any short-term (one year or less) and/or long-term (more than one year) green purchasing initiatives (this may be an excerpt from the annual sustainability planning meeting).

 

BIT for Tenants:

Provide both of the following:

  • Purchasing guidelines summarizing green purchasing criteria and strategies; AND
  • Documentation of implementing any short-term (one year or less) and/or long-term (more than one year) green purchasing initiatives (this may be an excerpt from the annual sustainability planning meeting).​​​​​​​

Implementation Guidance

BIT Building:

  1. Perform an annual review of data from the past 12 months of purchases made by the building to identify at least the top five product types (by spend or volume). Consider ongoing purchases such as paper products, office supplies, printer cartridges, batteries, light bulbs, food and catering, as well as infrequent purchases such as office equipment, appliances, maintenance equipment and supplies, and tools. Construction and tenant fit-out materials are not covered by this best practice.
    1. If the past 12 months are not representative of typical annual purchasing, adjust the time frame as needed.
    2. Vendors can sometimes provide reports that detail the sustainable elements of products purchased, or present more sustainable alternatives to current products.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building for areas and operations under Tenant control.

BIT Building:

  1. Identify opportunities to better align purchasing with sustainable best practices and environmentally-preferred products, focusing first on high-volume and high-impact purchases. It is not required that 100% of building practices meet best practice criteria, though buildings should target best practices to the extent possible given product availability and cost considerations.
    1. Prior to fully transitioning to alternative products, we recommend using a pilot to ensure the effectiveness of new products.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building for areas and operations under Tenant control.

BIT Building:

  1. During the Annual Sustainability Planning Meeting, evaluate the feasibility of these opportunities and develop a green purchasing strategy for the year ahead. Prior to the meeting, evaluate if the previous year’s strategies have been successfully implemented through spot checks of purchases, measuring an increase in recycling or decrease in waste to landfill, or by verifying that individuals who participate in purchasing understand the strategies.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building.

BIT Building:

  1. Establish written guidelines that summarize the green purchasing strategy.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building.

BIT Building:

  1. Communicate with building occupants at least annually regarding the building’s purchasing criteria and associated benefits, such as better indoor air quality (low/no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), reduction in waste hauling fees, less deforestation (recycled content), and less waste to landfill (packaging and non-disposables).

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building for areas and operations under Tenant control.
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BIT User’s viewpoint

Frequently asked questions

Online resources

Implementation toolkit

Purpose

To support the elimination of adverse environmental effects caused by products and materials acquired for the normal operations of the business.

 

Objective

Create and implement a procurement policy that prioritizes products and materials with environmentally-preferrable attributes.

Implementation Requirements

BIT Building:

  1. Perform an annual review of data from the past 12 months of purchases made by the building to identify at least the top five product types (by spend or volume). Consider ongoing purchases such as paper products, office supplies, printer cartridges, batteries, light bulbs, food and catering, as well as infrequent purchases such as office equipment, appliances, maintenance equipment and supplies, and tools. Construction and tenant fit-out materials are not covered by this best practice.
    1. If the past 12 months are not representative of typical annual purchasing, adjust the time frame as needed.
    2. Vendors can sometimes provide reports that detail the sustainable elements of products purchased, or present more sustainable alternatives to current products.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building for areas and operations under Tenant control.

BIT Building:

  1. Identify opportunities to better align purchasing with sustainable best practices and environmentally-preferred products, focusing first on high-volume and high-impact purchases. It is not required that 100% of building practices meet best practice criteria, though buildings should target best practices to the extent possible given product availability and cost considerations.
    1. Prior to fully transitioning to alternative products, we recommend using a pilot to ensure the effectiveness of new products.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building for areas and operations under Tenant control.

BIT Building:

  1. During the Annual Sustainability Planning Meeting, evaluate the feasibility of these opportunities and develop a green purchasing strategy for the year ahead. Prior to the meeting, evaluate if the previous year’s strategies have been successfully implemented through spot checks of purchases, measuring an increase in recycling or decrease in waste to landfill, or by verifying that individuals who participate in purchasing understand the strategies.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building.

BIT Building:

  1. Establish written guidelines that summarize the green purchasing strategy.

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building.

BIT Building:

  1. Communicate with building occupants at least annually regarding the building’s purchasing criteria and associated benefits, such as better indoor air quality (low/no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), reduction in waste hauling fees, less deforestation (recycled content), and less waste to landfill (packaging and non-disposables).

BIT for Tenants:

  1. Same as BIT Building for areas and operations under Tenant control.

Submittal Requirements

BIT Building:

  • Written purchasing guidelines summarizing the green purchasing criteria and strategy.
  • Documentation of implementing any short-term (one year or less) and/or long-term (more than one year) green purchasing initiatives (this may be an excerpt from the annual sustainability planning meeting).

 

BIT for Tenants:

Provide both of the following:

  • Purchasing guidelines summarizing green purchasing criteria and strategies; AND
  • Documentation of implementing any short-term (one year or less) and/or long-term (more than one year) green purchasing initiatives (this may be an excerpt from the annual sustainability planning meeting).​​​​​​​

BIT User expert

Shane Totten

Registered Architect (Georgia), BIT Pro

Southface
Director, Strategy and Impact

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