BP15: Green Purchasing

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Establish green purchasing (sometimes known as procurement) criteria for items under management control, and implement a communication/education program for occupants.

Implementation Requirements

  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.
  2. 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.

    Prior to fully transitioning to alternative products, we recommend using a pilot to ensure the effectiveness of new products.
  3. 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.
  4. Establish written guidelines that summarize the green purchasing strategy.
  5. 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).

Submittal Requirements

  • Written purchasing guidelines summarizing the green purchasing criteria and strategy.
  • Summary of the current-year green purchasing optimization measures considered and the implementation plan for feasible improvements. This may be included in the Annual Sustainability Planning Meeting Report. (See "Annual Sustainability Planning Report Template")
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BIT User’s viewpoint

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Implementation toolkit

Establish green purchasing (sometimes known as procurement) criteria for items under management control, and implement a communication/education program for occupants.

Implementation Requirements

  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.
  2. 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.

    Prior to fully transitioning to alternative products, we recommend using a pilot to ensure the effectiveness of new products.
  3. 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.
  4. Establish written guidelines that summarize the green purchasing strategy.
  5. 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).

Submittal Requirements

  • Written purchasing guidelines summarizing the green purchasing criteria and strategy.
  • Summary of the current-year green purchasing optimization measures considered and the implementation plan for feasible improvements. This may be included in the Annual Sustainability Planning Meeting Report. (See "Annual Sustainability Planning Report Template")

BIT User expert

Shane Totten

Registered Architect (Georgia), LEED AP BD+C, BIT Booster

Southface
Director, Education + Research

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