Long Beach, CA Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy
Status: In Effect
This policy shall be known as the "City of Long Beach Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy." The primary purpose of this policy is to maximize environmental benefits of the City’s activities by encouraging the procurement of services and products that:
- reduce toxicity
- conserve natural resources, materials, and energy
- maximize recyclability and recycled content
The purchase of environmentally preferable products is preferred whenever such products perform satisfactorily and are available at the lowest bid.
A collateral purpose of this policy is to support markets for recycled goods and other environmentally preferable products and services.
Practicable means sufficient in performance and available at the lowest bid. Final determination of the practicability of any given product must lie with the users of the product since it is the user who understands the product’s performance and the user’s budgetary requirements.
Environmentally Preferable Product has a lesser or reduced negative effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products which serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal of the product. This term includes, but is not limited to, recycled products, recyclable products, low toxicity products, and reusable products.
Life Cycle Analysis is the comprehensive examination of a product’s environmental and economic effects throughout its lifetime, including new material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, and disposal.
Recyclable Product is a product that, after its intended end use, can demonstrably be diverted from the City's solid waste stream for use as a raw material in the manufacture of another product.
Recycled Product is a product containing recycled material.
Reusable Product is a product that can be used several times for an intended use before being discarded, such as a washable food or beverage container or a refillable ballpoint pen.
The City shall acquire its goods and services in a manner that complies with city, state and federal laws. The City shall promote the use of Environmentally Preferable Products in its acquisition of goods and services. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as requiring a department to procure products that do not perform adequately for their intended use or products that are not the lowest price bid, as required by the City Charter.
Procedures and guidelines may be established as necessary to encourage the continuation of a strong Environmental Procurement Program. It is the policy of the City of Long Beach to:
1. Procure Environmentally Preferable Products and services where criteria have been established by governmental or other widely recognized authorities (e.g. Energy Star, Green Seal, and EPA Eco Purchasing Guidelines).
2. Raise staff awareness on the environmental issues affecting procurement by providing relevant information and training.
3. Encourage suppliers and contractors to offer Environmentally Preferable Products at competitive prices.
4. Encourage providers of services to consider environmental impacts of service delivery.
5. Encourage departments to include specifications for Recycled and Environmentally Preferable Products in all City contracts. The City Charter allows departments to evaluate the efficacy of a product prior to formulation of product specifications and further allows departments to specify both Environmentally Preferable Products and standard products in the same bid. Departments may also specify only Environmentally Preferable Products and select the lowest priced bidder.
6. Continue and if possible expand its existing programs to purchase Environmentally Preferable Products (such as re-refined automotive oils and coolants; the use of integrated pest-management, green seal custodian supplies, etc.). City departments are also encouraged to evaluate Environmentally Preferable Products and purchase them when possible.
4. Implementation Recommendations
4.1 Lead Departments
The Environmental Services Bureau of Long Beach Energy will collaborate with the Purchasing Division and the Green Purchasing Implementation Team in the implementation of this policy by providing training, information when requested, and assistance in the evaluation of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing status of a product or service.
The Green Purchasing Implementation Team will be composed of representatives from the departments of Long Beach Energy, Public Works, Tech Services, Fire, Police, Harbor, Water, and Parks, Recreation and Marine as well as a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Other departments are encouraged to participate in the Green Purchasing Implementation Team. The Green Purchasing Implementation Team will:
- Evaluate specifications for Environmentally Preferable Purchasing on City-wide contracts.
- Undertake LifeCycle Analysis, on a pilot basis, when developing specifications for costly durable products.
- Participate in training and ensure that all departments are represented in training to raise awareness of Environmentally Preferable Purchasing.
- Develop and continue to refine Environmentally Preferable Purchasing benchmarks and measurable goals for the program.
- Promote the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing efforts that departments are currently undertaking.
- Promote department recognition program.
- Work to continuously improve the City of Long Beach’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing performance.
- Apply for grant funding to support Environmentally Preferable Purchasing activities.
- Hold public workshops on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing with minority chambers of commerce, including: Latino Chamber of Commerce, African American Chamber of Commerce, Cambodian Chamber of Commerce as well as the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
- Report program outcomes/accomplishments to City Council every two years.
4.2 Purchasing Systems
The Purchasing Division will also facilitate Environmentally Preferable Purchasing by setting up systems to:
- Track Environmentally Preferable Purchases by department and category (e.g. paper, paint) and report the results to all departments and City Council.
- Publish a monthly hot sheet of new Environmentally Preferable Products available for purchase.
- Develop an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing web page which links to existing Environmentally Preferable Purchasing websites with information about products, specifications, cost comparisons, suppliers, etc.
- Identify all Environmentally Preferrable Products in City contracts.
4.3 Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Incentives
The City can facilitate implementation of this policy throughout City departments by developing an incentive program. An Environmentally Preferable Purchasing incentive program could include:
- An award (monetary, recognition, etc.) for the Department with the best annual or monthly Environmentally Preferable Purchasing outcomes.
- Creation of an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing VIP award program with its own review panel that includes representatives from purchasing and environmental services.
5. Policy Goals
City departments should work to integrate environmental factors into the City’s buying decisions where external authorities have not established purchasing criteria, for example:
- Replace disposables with reusable or recyclable items.
- Support eco-labeling practices by buying products bearing such labels in preference to others, where they are available and provide value for money.
- Take into account life cycle costs and benefits.
- Evaluate, as appropriate, the environmental performance of vendors in providing products and services.
City departments should follow the following specific purchasing recommendations:
- Imprinted letterhead paper, envelopes and business cards used by City of Long Beach Departments should be composed of recycled paper and bear a symbol identifying the paper as recycled, provided the quality and pricing meet City criteria.
- The percentages of post-consumer content (minimum 10%) and recycled content (minimum 20%) should be spelled out in the bid specifications for letterhead and other paper grades based on industry availability.
- City departments are encouraged to request and obtain life-cycle cost analysis from potential suppliers as part of the bid submittal procedure.