Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors has adopted a comprehensive new green purchasing policy that puts the power of its purchasing dollars to work to foster a green economy. Building on over a decade of successful green purchasing initiatives, this policy also helps the County create efficiencies, save water and energy, and reduce waste.
“Purchasing decisions can have a big impact on human health, the environment, and our community,” said Board of Supervisors President Nate Miley, “By adopting this policy, we show our commitment to doing our part to create a healthy environment and vibrant community now and in the future.”
“Fostering a green economy is vital to the future of our County – and the entire nation,” said Board of Supervisors Vice President Keith Carson. “By creating demand for green products, we are continuing our efforts to help ensure green jobs. We are also fulfilling a key commitment we made as part of our climate action plan.” In May 2010, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Alameda County Climate Action Plan for Government Services and Operations with 16 Climate Commitments, including adopting a green purchasing policy.
The new policy identifies four key principles:
- Prioritize waste reduction
- Purchase products with recycled content
- Purchase products that meet other environmental criteria defined in the Policy. These criteria seek to conserve energy, water, and other natural resources; reduce toxics, pollution, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions; extend the life of products, and ensure they are less costly to dispose of.
- Use third-party eco-labels and other successful implemented standards, when available. Using these creates efficiencies by making it easy for County agencies to identify what is green and also sends a consistent message to the marketplace.
“This comprehensive policy will not only benefit Alameda County residents, but can serve as a model for other local governments as well as businesses,” said Supervisor Nadia Lockyer. “We’re happy to share our green purchasing successes in order to leverage our efforts.”
To this end, the County has revamped the green purchasing section of its sustainability web site to provide easy links to resources, including the environmental requirements the County uses in bidding and contracting decisions. For more information visit http://www.acgov.org/sustain/what/purchasing/.
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