The MRO Purchasing Channel makes identifying and buying environmentally sustainable products easy. Agencies are required to ensure that applicable new contract actions are environmentally sustainable.
Sustainable Product Options
MRO BPA contractors offer a wide variety of compliant products. Sustainable options include:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages the BioPreferred program, which includes a mandatory federal purchasing program for biobased products. Biobased products contain materials derived from agricultural and forestry materials, such as soybeans, corn, and woodscraps from the lumber industry. Under this program, USDA designates categories of biobased products and establishes a minimum biobased content level for each. Examples include:
- Paints with biobased content;
- Wood and concrete sealers; and
- Disposable food containers.
Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. The program offers energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and money savings through increased efficiency in products, homes, industrial plants, and commercial buildings. Energy Star certified MRO products include:
- Air conditioners;
- Battery chargers;
- Ceiling fans; and
- LED lighting.
WaterSense, a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 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 irrigation services. The program seeks to help consumers make smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance. Products and services that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. MRO products examples include:
- Bathroom sink faucets;
- Showerheads; and
Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines
Under the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates products that are or can be made with recovered materials, and recommends practices for buying these products (minimum content levels). Once a product is designated, agencies are required to purchase it with the highest recovered material content level practicable. Buying recycled content products helps to ensure that the materials collected in home and office recycling programs will be used again in the manufacturing of new products.
- Recycling containers and waste receptacles;
- Hoses; and;
- Latex paints.
Identify green purchasing requirements with the Green Procurement Compilation
To find out which types of sustainable products are required for federal purchase, visit the GSA Green Procurement Compilation (GPC). The GPC helps users identify applicable green purchasing requirements by consolidating and organizing information from multiple federal environmental programs in one convenient location. Simply browse or search for a product to find applicable requirements, sample solicitation language, environmental program links, and additional guidance.
Find Sustainable Products on GSA Advantage!®
GSA Advantage!, GSA’s online shopping portal, makes it easy for buyers to identify environmentally sustainable products. MRO contractors are required to identify sustainable products using various environmental symbols or icons. Just look for the Biopreferred, Energy Star, Water Sense, and CPG symbols next to a product to make sure you’re buying green. You can also limit search results to sustainable products by selecting the appropriate environmental icon with the advanced search function. Since there may be inaccurate listings, always be sure to verify with the contractor that the product meets applicable environmental requirements prior to placing your order.
There have been some developments regarding federal sustainable acquisition policy due to recently issued Executive Order 13693. On September 25, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended the first set of specifications, standards and ecolabels for federal use in purchasing environmentally preferable products.
More information can be found here: Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.
Biobased Product Contracting Targets
By using the MRO Purchasing Channel BPAs,your agency can make easy work of complying with the new Agricultural Act of 2014, which requires agencies to set targets for issuing contracts for purchasing only biobased products. Simply make it your target to use the MRO Purchasing Channel BPAs to purchase biobased products.