Acute Toxicity - Capable of producing illness from
a single dose or minimal exposure.
Alternative Fuels/Vehicles - An item designated by the U.S. Department of Energy, for which DOE sets the purchasing requirements and which federal agencies, their contractors, and subcontractors must give preference to when purchasing.
Bioaccumulate - Ability of some substances to collect
in plant and animal tissue. These substances increase in concentration
as they pass through the food chain when the plants and animals
are consumed by larger animals (such as humans).
Biobased Product - Any product made substantially
from plant or animal matter instead of synthetically produced
chemicals or petroleum-based products. Biobased products can
be significantly more biodegradable when compared to their
petroleum- or synthetics-based counterparts. For the purpose
of Federal agencies complying with the Farm Security and Rural
Investment Act Section 9002, a biobased product is a product
"determined by the Secretary [of the U.S. Department
of Agriculture] to be a commercial or industrial product (other
than food or feed) that is composed, in whole or in significant
part, of biological products or renewable domestic agricultural
materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials)
or forestry materials."
Biodegradable - The ability of a substance to decompose
in the natural environment into harmless raw materials. To
be truly biodegradable, a substance or material should break
down into carbon dioxide (a nutrient for plants), water, and
naturally occurring minerals that also do not cause harm to
the ecosystem. In terms of environmental benefits, a product
should take months or years, and not centuries, to biodegrade.
Per the Federal Trade Commission, biodegradable means an "entire
product or package will completely break down and return to
nature, i.e., decompose into elements found in nature within
a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal"
Buyer - Anyone authorized to purchase on behalf of
the organization or its subdivisions.
CAP - Cost, availability, and performancethe traditional
attributes used to evaluate a product
Carcinogen - A substance known to cause cancer in
Chlorine Free - Manufactured without chlorine or chlorine
Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) - Any of a group of compounds
that contain carbon, chlorine, fluorine, and sometimes hydrogen
and have been used as refrigerants, cleaning solvents, aerosol
propellants and in the manufacture of plastic foams. The use
of CFCs are being phased out because they destroy the planet's
stratospheric ozone protection layer.
Chronic Health Risk - Detrimental, long term health
effects from repeated exposure to a product.
Chronic Toxicity - Capable of producing illness from
Compostable - A product that can be placed into a
composition of decaying biodegradable materials and eventually
turn into a nutrient-rich material. It is synonymous with
"biodegradable," except it is limited to solid materials.
(Liquid products are not considered compostable.) Per the
Federal Trade Commission, compostable means "all the
materials in the product or package will break down into,
or otherwise become part of, usable compost (e.g., soil-conditioning
material, mulch) in a safe and timely manner in an appropriate
composting program or facility, or in a home compost pile
or device" (FTC 1998).
Cooperative Purchasing - System for allowing organizations
to combine their purchasing power in order to negotiate better
prices and reduce the purchasing costs of a formal bid process.
Designated Items - Products or materials with specific attributes the U.S.
Congress has said federal agencies shall give preference to when purchasing.
Durable - A product that remains useful and usable
for a long time without noticeable deterioration in performance.
Energy Efficient Product - A product that is labeled
"ENERGY STAR qualified" or "FEMP designated." ENERGY STAR qualified and FEMP
designated products are typically among the highest 25 percent of equivalent
products for energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR/FEMP - An item designated by either the U.S. Department or Energy or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for which the agencies set minimum energy standards for products to qualify and which federal agencies, their contractors, and subcontractors must give preference to when purchasing.
Environmental Management System - A set of processes and practices
that enable an organization to increase its operating efficiency, continually
improve overall environmental performance and better manage and reduce its
environmental impact, including those environmental aspects related to energy,
procurement, and transportation functions. EMS implementation reflects accepted
quality management principles based on the "Plan, Do, Check, Act," model found
in the ISO 14001:2004(E) International Standard and using a standard process
to identify and prioritize current activities, establish goals, implement plans
to meet the goals, evaluate progress, and make improvements to ensure continual
Environmentally Preferable Products and Services -
Products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect
on human health and the environment when compared with competing
products and services that serve the same purpose. This comparison
may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing,
packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance and/or
disposal of the product or service.
EPA Designated Product - A product designated by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency according to the Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act in a Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) and
for which EPA recommended procurement practices, including recovered
materials content levels, in a Recovered Materials Advisory Notice
EPA Recycled Content - An item designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for which EPA specifies the percent of recycled content by volume and which any organization spending federal funds must give preference to when purchasing [adapted from "EPA designated item" on p. 36 of EO13423 definitions].
EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) - An item designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for which EPA sets the standards for electronic equipment and which federal agencies, their contractors, and subcontractors must give preference to when purchasing.
Flashpoint - The minimum temperature at which a liquid
gives off a vapor in sufficient concentration to ignite.
Full-Cost Accounting - Accounting for the economic,
environmental, land use, human health, social and heritage
costs and benefits of a particular decision or action to ensure
no costs associated with the decision or action, including
externalized costs, are left unaccounted. (Compare with Lifecycle
Cost and Product Lifecycle.)
Greenhouse Gases - Any of several dozen heat-trapping
trace gases in the earth's atmosphere that absorb infrared
radiation. The two major greenhouse gases are water vapor
and carbon dioxide; lesser greenhouse gases include methane,
ozone (O3), CFCs, and nitrogen oxides.
LEED Rating System - A self-assessment system developed
by the U.S. Green Building
Council for rating the environmental preferability of
new and existing commercial, institutional, and high-rise
Life Cycle Cost - The amortized annual cost of a product
or service, including capital costs, installation costs, operating
costs, maintenance costs, and disposal costs discounted over
the lifetime of the product or service. (Compare with Product
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) - Written or printed
material about a product that includes information on the
product's physical and chemical characteristics; physical
and health hazards; exposure limits; whether the product contains
carcinogenic ingredients above a certain threshold; precautions
for safe handling and use; control measures; emergency and
first aid procedures; the date of preparation of the MSDS
or the last change to it; and the name, address, and telephone
number of the manufacturer.
Mutagen - Substance that causes mutations, changes
to genetic material in the body.
Ozone Depleting Substances - Any substance
designated as a Class I or Class II substance by the
EPA in 40 CFR Part 82.
Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxics (PBTs) - Toxic chemicals
that persist in the environment and increase in concentration
through food chains as larger animals consume PBT-laden smaller
animals. They transfer rather easily among air, water, and
land, and span boundaries of programs, geography, and generations.
As a result, PBTs pose risks to human health and ecosystems.
They are associated with a range of adverse human health effects,
including effects on the nervous system, reproductive and
developmental problems, cancer, and genetic impacts. They
include heavy metals and chemicals such as mercury, dioxins,
and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
Postconsumer Recycled Content - Percentage of a product
made from materials and byproducts recovered or diverted from
the solid waste stream after having completed their usefulness
as consumer items and used in place of raw or virgin material.
Postconsumer recycled content includes materials (such as
paper, bottles, and cans) collected for recycling.
Practicable - Sufficient in performance and available
at a reasonable price.
Preconsumer Materials - Recovered materials that were
production finished materials, products or by-products that
did not reach the consumer for whose use they were intended,
and have been diverted from the solid waste stream for the
purposes of collection, recycling, and disposition.
Preferred Procurement - Within the U.S. Department
of Energy, the purchase of products with attributes specified
for purchase by the U.S. Congress.
Preferred Procurement Partnership - Informal team
of staff responsible for purchasing preferred products. Within
DOE, the responsibility for preferred procurement is spread
among multiple offices and within those offices multiple organizations,
each with the same need to promote purchase of a preferred
product via strategic plans, identifying purchasers and users
(green teams), technology transfer via teleconferences, outreach
activities, reporting, awards, and technical support for problem
solving. The offices comprising the Preferred Procurement
- Office of Nuclear Safety, Quality Assurance and Environment (HS-20)
- Environmentally Preferable and Recycled Content Purchasing
Program (Office of Pollution Prevention and Resource Conservation)
- Don Lentzen
- Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
- Buy Bio Project (Office of the Biomass Program) - Mark
- Energy/Water Efficient Products (Office of the Federal
Energy Management Program) - Joan Glickman
- Alternative Fuels/Vehicles (Office of the FreedomCar
and Vehicle Technology) - Shab Fardanesh
- Office of Procurement and Assistance Management (ME)
- Procurement (Office of Procurement and Assistance Management
Policy) - Richard Langston
Price Preference - A percentage by which offered prices
for recycled products are reduced for purposes of bid evaluation.
For example, under a 10 percent price preference, if a bid
of $1.00 per unit is received for an environmentally preferable
product meeting specifications, the bid price will be reduced
by $0.10 (10 percent) and evaluated as though it had been
$0.90. If this bid results in a contact award, the price actually
contracted will be the bid price of $1.00 per unit.
Product Lifecycle - The attributes that affect a product
over its life span, including raw material acquisition, manufacturing,
distribution, use, maintenance, and ultimate disposal of the
product. (Compare with Lifecycle Cost.)
Recovered Materials - Waste materials and by-products
that have been recovered or diverted from the solid waste
Recyclable Product - A product that after its intended
end use can be diverted from the solid waste stream for use
as a raw material in the manufacture of another product.
Recycled Material - Material and byproducts that have
been recovered or diverted from solid waste and have been
utilized in place of raw or virgin material in manufacturing
a product. It is derived from postconsumer recycled materials,
manufacturing waste, industrial scrap, agricultural waste,
and other waste material, but does not include material or
byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an
original manufacturing process.
Refurbished Product - A product that has been completely
disassembled and restored to its original working order while
maximizing the reuse of its original materials.
Renewable Materials - Materials made from plant-based
feedstock capable of regenerating in less than 200 years such
as trees and agricultural products. Rapidly renewable resources,
such as grain-based feedstocks, regenerate in fewer than 2
SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) - An item designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for which EPA establishes approved alternatives to ozone depleting materials and which federal agencies, their contractors, and subcontractors must give preference to when purchasing.
Sustainable - Creating and maintaining conditions
under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony,
that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements
of present and future generations.
Sustainable Product/Material - product or material
that a life cycle analysis determines is ecological, economical,
Teratogen - A substance that adversely affects fetal
Upgradeable Product - The ability to increase a product's
performance or features without replacing the product.
USDA Biobased Content- An item designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for which USDA specifies the percent of biobased content by weight and which federal agencies, their contractors, and subcontractors must give preference to when purchasing.
Virgin Material - Any material occurring in its natural
form. Virgin Material is used in the form of raw material
in the manufacture of new products.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - Chemicals that
readily evaporate and contribute to the formation of air pollution
when released into the atmosphere. Many VOCs are classified
as toxic and carcinogenic.
Water Efficient - A product that is in the upper 25
percent of water efficiency for all similar products, or that
is at least 10 percent more efficient than the minimum level
meeting U.S. Federal government standards.
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