EFC9 in conjunction with the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Area Green Business Programs (GBP) have been studying EPP as an incentive for businesses to participate in the GBP. Much of our work has focused on printers--this is a service you didn't mentioned which is used by local government. Also, many uniformed employees such as police officers, use dry cleaning services.
With funding from US EPA PPIS grant to the CIWMB, the Bay Area Green Business Program prepared a report entitled "A Review of Current Practices in Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: With Considerations on How to Move from EPP to Service-Based EPP Program" published in February 2002. For an e-mail copy, send your request to Ceil Scandone Ceils@agab.ca.gov
I assume you already know about the Center for the New American Dream (http://www.newdream.org/), which encourages consumers (including government) to shop more responsibly.
Burton Hamner wrote:
Thanks Eric. Speaking of very practical issues in Env Purchasing I have a question for the listserv. I have been exploring the potential of the Green Star model of sustainable business promotion for local governments. I think it has great potential for more widespread application. It is quite successful in Alaska and has been replicated in King County, Boulder, San Francisco and even in a few other countries. A key element of this model is public recognition of participating companies, in hopes that they will get more local sales in the community as a result. A key point is that the Green Star is not awarded for the environmental quality of the products and services, but rather for the environmental performance of the organization itself such as water conservatoin, energy conservation, waste minimization etc. Green products are also recognized but of course that takes more mature development of the greening process. Now, the local governments themselves are often among the biggest purchasers of LOCAL goods and services. This raises an interesting question and opportunity. Can we use the purchasing power of local goverment to motivate local companies to be greener? Companies might be motivated to participate in a Green Star program if they felt they could get more sales to the local government, which would use Green Star criteria as one element of their LOCAL purchasing. So the question is, Does anyone have data about how much LOCALLY produced goods and services tend to be purchased by local governments? And of what kinds? My first pass at this comes up with construction services, and some construction products (bricks maybe?), vehicle repair shops and fuel stations, hotels and restaurants, janitorial and cleaning services, other mechanical services, etc. I guess that the potential for buying manufactured products locally is directly related to the size of the community. Most small towns dont have many factories. EPP for paper, for example, is not relevant in this context to most towns since the paper is not produced locally. So I am interested to know 1) what would be a common set of locally produced products and services that almost Every local government buys, 2) how much of they buy and what proportion of sales they create for the providers, 3) could enviro labelling of local companies be included in local govt purchasing of their goods and services, and 4) would this be something that would motivate local companies to join in a green star type of program. This is all about using the market to create demand for improved enviro performance in business, but there is a real need for more data. I will be grateful for any ideas, I am trying to push this concept along in several countries at the moment (Peru, Thailand and Philippines, as if I dont already have enough frequent flyer miles.) Thanks! Burton Hamner