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SPLC 2018 Summit: Making the Business Case: Measuring the Economic Outcomes of Sustainable Purchasing

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Slides from Jenna Larkin, Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented at the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council's 2018 Summit in Minneapolis, MN.

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SPLC 2018 Summit: Making the Business Case: Measuring the Economic Outcomes of Sustainable Purchasing

  1. 1. 1 EPA’s Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels SPLC Summit 2018 Jenna Larkin EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT)
  2. 2. The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program Celebrating 25 years of greening the Federal government! Markets need sound, reliable information to perform efficiently. Significant demand for environmentally preferable products and services, but many definitions of what is “green.” U.S. businesses want agreed definitions of what constitutes environmental preferability for their product/service sector The federal government has been a key player. Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 48 CFR Part 23.703 • Agencies must "(M)aximize the utilization of environmentally preferable products and services (based on EPA-issued guidance)." 2 Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  3. 3. EPA’s Recommended Standards & Ecolabels Includes ~40 private sector standards/ecolabels in 22 product categories 3 www.epa.gov/greenerproducts Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  4. 4. Product Categories in EPA Recommendations *Pilot Category Cafeteria • Take-out Service: Containers, Cutlery, Dishware • Commercial Dishwasher Detergent Construction • Adhesives • Carpet* • Ceiling Tiles-Acoustical • Fiberboard, Gypsum Panels, and Wallboard • Flooring* • Insulation • Interior Latex Paint* Office/Furniture • Copy Paper • Furniture* Custodial • Cleaners: Carpet, Glass, Multipurpose • Floor Care • Hand Soap • Toilet Tissue • Towels – paper • Wastebasket Liners (24” x 33” or smaller) Electronics • Computers • Imaging Equipment • Mobile Phones • TVs Grounds/Landscaping • Deicer 4 Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  5. 5. Guidelines for Assessing Environmental Performance Standards & Ecolabels 5 Standards development processSection I Effectiveness in addressing human and environmental healthSection II Conformity assessment proceduresSection III Ecolabel program managementSection IV Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  6. 6. 6 Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics How can we start to measure the impacts of the Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels?
  7. 7. 7 Measuring the Impacts of the Recommendations COST SAVINGS for items such as: • Saving federal purchasers time and resources by eliminating the need to conduct independent research of appropriate standards and ecolabels • Potential for saving manufacturers’ time and resources if they reduce the number of certifications they pursue and maintain Exploratory analysis indicates Federal savings could be between $3 million to $16 million annually from time saved Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  8. 8. 8 Measuring the Impacts of the Recommendations POTENTIAL INCREASED REVENUES for: Driven by federal purchasers buying more certified products to EPA Recommended standards & ecolabels • Manufacturers of products meeting recommended standards and ecolabels. • SDOs/ecolabels that are included in the recommendations. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  9. 9. 9 Measuring the Impacts of the Recommendations ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS from: • Impact reductions throughout the lifecycle of certified products. • Cost and environmental savings from procuring certified products. • For example, less energy used by EPEAT Registered computers and displays. e.g. Estimated use-phase energy savings for all federal EPEAT purchases from 2008-2016: $600 million Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  10. 10. 10 Useful tools to help measure success • Robust Product Registries • Can support pre- market research on product availability • Can help support data input for calculating results • Calculators • Helps to quantify environmental and public health benefits Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  11. 11. Wide Variation Among Product Registries • Some just pdfs on website, others are online databasesStructure • Some have advanced search functions or filters • Some offer a unified database listing all certified products by the different certifying bodies, while others require user to go to each of the certifiers’ websites to find products Ease of Use • Some have robust monitoring systems for ensuring accuracy, regularly updating product listings, others do not Maintenance Frequency • Some are machine readable, offer live data feeds, others aren’t/don’t Ability to Integrate into Retailer Systems 11 Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  12. 12. Example of Integration Efforts by GSA’s SF Tool 12 • GSA’s Green Procurement Compilation on the Sustainable Facilities tool (SF Tool). • Helps purchasers search for brands and products that comply with federal sustainability requirements. • To date, they’ve successfully integrated product registry data from 14 different EPA Recommended standards or ecolabels • Others coming soon, but will largely depend on the quality of the standards’ or ecolabels’ product registry • Retailers interested in using the same integration technique www.sftool.ecomedes.com Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  13. 13. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics 13 Example: EPEAT Product Registry Source: https://ww2.epeat.net/searchoptions.aspx
  14. 14. 14 Example: EPEAT Product Registry Source: https://ww2.epeat.net/searchoptions.aspx Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  15. 15. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics 15 Example: EPEAT Product Registry Source: https://ww2.epeat.net/searchoptions.aspx
  16. 16. How to Improve Product Registries? • Use Common: • Data Fields • Product categories familiar to buyers • Product identifiers (SKU numbers) • Make Easy to Integrate • Machine readable • API enabled • Make Transparent • Time stamp last time registry was updated • Provide open source information • Maintain/Update Regularly 16 Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  17. 17. Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator (EEBC) • Development funded by EPA • Launched in 2009 in Excel format, many updates since launch • Currently calculators for: • Computers (Version 4) • Imaging Equipment (Version 1) • Televisions (Version 1) 17 Purpose: To assist organizations in estimating the cost and environmental benefits of greening their purchase, use and disposal of electronics. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  18. 18. 18 What Data Does the EEBC Provide? The cost and environmental benefits of: • Purchasing Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)- registered products • Enabling power management features on computers and monitors above default percentages • Extending the life of equipment beyond baseline values • Reusing computers, monitors, imaging equipment, televisions and cell phones • Recycling computers, monitors, imaging equipment, televisions, cell phones and loads of mixed electronic products • Cost savings include the full range of costs for products, beyond the initial purchase price – operational and disposal costs, etc. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  19. 19. 19 Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics • Most recently, EPA is exploring posting the base code for these calculators to allow others to build off of this work • The Green Electronics Council (GEC) announced it will be building new & updated calculators based on EPA’s EEBC. • In 2018: Plan to develop new calculators for mobile phones and servers, and update the computer & display calculator. Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator (EEBC)
  20. 20. 20 Conclusions • Having a pre-vetted list of standards or ecolabels to be used in procurement can result in an array of economic benefits to purchasers, manufactures, vendors, etc. • Robust product registries make it quick and easy for purchasers to identify the environmentally preferable products that meet their needs. • Can also help keep track of environmental or human health data associated with each product you buy • Having product category specific calculators are extremely useful for estimating costs and environmental benefits from buying environmentally preferable products. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
  21. 21. Resources • Email: Larkin.jenna@epa.gov • EPA’s Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels • GSA’s Sustainable Facilities Tool • EEBC – under the “Benefits Calculator” tab 21 Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics

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