Environmentally Preferable Specifications in Contracts/Agreements
Check out your site's upcoming service contracts. If any of them involve products or construction materials, include specifications in your Requests for Proposal, Statements of Work, and resulting contracts that require environmental attributes, especially those required by acts of Congress (biobased, energy/water efficient, alternative fuels/vehicles,
non-ozone producing, and recycled content). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a broad spectrum
of template clauses that Federal agencies as well as states and cities are using.
The types of service contracts that might be affected are:
- Cleaning/Janitorial products or services
- Construction services
- Electronic Equipment
- Equipment maintenance
- Facility maintenance
- Food service
- Grounds products or service
- Office product supplies
- Service Contracts
- Vehicle maintenance
For credit card purchases, establish purchasing agreements with suppliers from whom your staff are allowed to purchase. Such purchasing agreements not only give you best customer pricing but give you the opportunity to specify which environmental attributes certain products must contain if your staff are to purchase them.
Much U.S. Department of Energy work is done through sub-contracts. The Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR 970.2304-2) specifies that "If the contractor subcontracts a significant portion of the operation of the Government facility which includes the acquisition of items designated in EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, the subcontract shall contain a clause substantially the same as that at 48 CFR (DEAR) 970.5223-2. …. Examples of such subcontracts would be operation of the facility supply function, construction or remodeling at the facility, or maintenance of the facility motor vehicle fleet."
Flowing down our requirements to purchase products with certain attributes means writing the requirements in our sub-contracts and requiring the sub-contractor to report on the results. Some DOE sites have notified their construction sub-contractors, for instance, of their intent to purchase the most environmentally preferable materials available so they can prepare ahead of time to respond to a Request for Proposal specifying biobased carpet, recycled paint, and biobased and recycled insulation, for example.
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