Green Procurement Program

TabletFairness and equitability—Procurement criteria should be fair and equitable, and consider environmental aspects throughout the life cycles of different product options. Green procurement should not be viewed as a vehicle to favor certain goods and/or services. Rather, procurement criteria should ensure fair treatment for all suppliers.

Harmonization and recognition of international standards—Numerous environmental standards exist in the global marketplace. HP supports the general harmonization of the various standards and procurement schemes, particularly in the development of criteria, tools and testing methodologies.

Material restrictions—HP supports eco-label and green procurement criteria that restrict the use of certain substances and materials from use when they are scientifically proven to be a risk through recognized and published studies, restricted by internationally recognized laws, or when a technically feasible alternative exists that has shown to be safer for use and has lesser impact on the environment throughout the product life cycle.

Prioritization—The nature of the procuring organization, and the type and quantity of products purchased, determine the environmental impact associated with the procurement activity. For the criteria to deliver benefit, it should be derived from the overall environmental priorities of the procuring organization. Organizations drafting procurement criteria will benefit most from aligning criteria with the overall environmental priorities of the organization and from prioritizing green procurement specifications, based on good science and with a focus on the areas of greatest risk for the procuring organization.HP Circle Logo Closeup Procurement criteria that cite a maximum number of requirements and that are rated with the same level of importance risk rejecting many environmentally viable products that would otherwise meet the majority of criteria, but which fail on one minor point.

Measurability and verifiability—Environmental criteria should be used only if they are:

• Measurable—refer to an existing standard

• Comparable—allow comparison between competing products

• Verifiable by the purchaser

Examples of verification methods include confirmation from the supplier, self-declaration, and second- or third-party declaration. HP prefers programs in which producers self-certify and self-declare, but supports a number of eco-label programs. Many standards already operate effectively on a system of self-certification, where producers document their conformance through submittals or record-keeping (for example, Germany’s Blue Angel). A trail of auditable documents ensures conformance can be enforced. Appropriate weighting should be assigned to the environmental section in the tender. The weighting should reflect the procuring organization’s priorities and is likely to differ from one procuring organization to another. Advising suppliers on these priorities and weighting is recommended, as this will help them assess and improve their environmental performance.


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Q&A

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Does Executive Order Signal Shift in Green Building Regulations?

Executive Order 13514 requires that, going forward, 95 percent of federal buildings must comply with "sustainability requirements." Section 2(h) of the Executive Order provides more details on the new green federal contracting requirements: