The following are most frequently asked questions in regard to sustainable procurement. The SPC aims to provide you with up-to-date, clear, and concise information for sustainable procurement and products. If you do not see your question answered here, please Contact Us directly in regard to your inquiry!
What are sustainable products?
Although a formal definition for “sustainable products” currently does not exist, sustainable products are considered items that are environmentally preferable. The DoD’s Green Procurement Program (GPP) defines “environmentally preferable” as…
“...products or services having a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services serving the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or product or service disposal.”
The DoD’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP) lists products that contribute to the sustainable procurement goal. These products include: energy-efficient (Energy Star or Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated), water-efficient, bio-based, environmentally preferable (e.g., certified by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), non-ozone depleting, containing recycled content, and/or are non-toxic or less-toxic alternatives.
Why should I use sustainable products?
The DoD defines sustainability as “the ability to operate into the future without decline – either in the mission or in the natural and manufactured systems that support it. DoD embraces sustainability as a means of improving mission accomplishment.” Using sustainable products not only contributes to fulfilling DoD’s sustainable procurement goals, but also supports and enhances the mission by using resources wisely. Procuring energy efficient products lessens DoD’s reliance on fossil fuels and reduces energy costs. Procuring non-toxic or less-toxic alternatives protects the health of DoD personnel, the warfighter, and the surrounding community. The SPC also works diligently to ensure that sustainable products perform just as well or better than traditionally used ‘brown’ products. Enhanced product performance supports the DoD’s mission, reduces total life cycle costs, and improves the workplace environment.
How do I know that sustainable products will meet my commercial and/or military technical requirements?
The SPC evaluates the performance of sustainable products in operational environments at DoD installations. Prior to conducting sustainable product demonstrations, the SPC identifies applicable Government/Military/Commercial technical requirements and verifies that the demonstration products meet these requirements. This is achieved by working closely with manufacturers and owners of technical requirements.
How do I know if sustainable products perform well?
The SPC demonstrates the performance of sustainable products. The purpose of sustainable product demonstrations is to ensure that sustainable products perform well and meet end users’ needs before being included in federal procurement systems. During the sustainable product demonstrations, the project team closely monitors product performance by soliciting user feedback. The project team uses this information to select the top performing products for inclusion in DLA and other federal procurement systems. During some demonstrations, the project team worked with manufacturers to redesign products for enhanced performance.
How do I find and purchase sustainable products?
Information about how to purchase sustainable products can be found on the SPC website by Clicking Here.
Sustainable products are also available on DoD EMALL and can be identified by the ‘green tree’ logo. DoD EMALL also has the ability to search for products with the ‘green tree’ logo. Click Here for more information.
If the SPC website or DoD EMALL do not have the sustainable product you are searching for, please Contact Us. The product you are looking for may not yet be included in DoD procurement systems and could be eligible for a product demonstration.
What is the Sustainable Products Center (SPC)?
The SPC is an independent center facilitating the integration of sustainable products in support of DoD Mission for Green and Sustainable Procurement
- Provide awareness to sustainable product performance and availability
- Conduct independent sustainable and less hazardous product demonstrations at DoD installations to ensure product performance for DoD applications
- Host interactive exchange of product need areas, performance requirements and sustainable alternatives
- Share success stories from installations on the use of sustainable products and implementation of less hazardous products and processes
- Assist the DoD community in identifying sustainable alternatives for currently used ‘brown’ products and hazardous substances
- Facilitate the addition of new sustainable products into the DoD’s procurement systems to support DoD mission objectives
What value does the SPC provide?
The SPC serves as an online resource for everything sustainable procurement related. The SPC consolidates information on all federal and DoD sustainable procurement programs and policies. Those who visit the SPC website can quickly browse through all of this information to get a clear understanding of all sustainable procurement-related regulations and goals. The SPC is also unique in that it is the first venue to report on the performance of sustainable products. End users can visit the SPC find sustainable products to suit their needs; learn about the performance of sustainable products; submit any questions, reviews, and/or challenges in regard to procuring sustainable products; and initiate a sustainable product demonstration at their installation by Contacting Us.
How should I use the SPC?
The SPC serves a variety of needs. If you are searching for more information on sustainable procurement policies and programs, Click Here. If you are trying to find a sustainable product as an alternative for the product you are currently using, Click Here. If you would like more information on how to conduct a product demonstration at your installation, have a need area for a sustainable product, or have any questions, please Contact Us.
Who should I contact if I have questions about the SPC?
The SPC is dedicated to supporting DoD’s sustainable procurement goals that support the mission, help the warfighter, and reduce life cycle costs. Click Here to contact the SPC to learn more about sustainable products, sustainable procurement training, demonstrations, how to navigate the SPC, and sustainable procurement policies and programs.
DoD GPP and SSPP
What is the DoD Green Procurement Program (GPP)?
DoD's GPP strives to enhance and sustain mission readiness through cost-effective acquisition, reduce resource consumption, and minimize hazardous waste generation. The DoD’s GPP aligns with objectives and requirements of other Federal green procurement preference program. Objectives of DoD’s GPP include:
- Educate appropriate DoD employees on requirements, roles and responsibilities, and opportunities.
- Increase purchases of green products and services.
- Reduce the amount of solid waste generated.
- Reduce consumption of petroleum and increase use of alternatives.
- Increase in the use of renewable energy.
- Reduce the use of ozone depleting substances and hazardous and toxic chemicals.
- Improve the procurement of green electronic equipment.
- Increase the use of biobased products and reduce dependence on fossil fuel-based products.
- Reduce consumption of energy and natural resources.
- Expand markets for green products and services.
For more information on the DoD’s green procurement program hosted on Denix, Click Here.
What is the DoD Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP)?
First published in August 2010, the DoD’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP) establishes sustainability objectives, goals, and subgoals for the DoD. The SSPP fulfills the requirements of established by EOs 13514 and 13423. Updated annually, the SSPP states the DoD’s definition of sustainability:
“The Department’s vision of sustainability is to maintain the ability to operate into the future without decline either in the mission or in the natural and manufactured systems that support it. DoD embraces sustainability as a means of improving mission accomplishment.”
What is the difference between the DoD GPP and SSPP?
The SSPP is broader in scope than the GPP and comprises many of the GPPs goals and objectives. In the SSPP, Sub-Goal 7.1 calls for 95% of procurement conducted sustainably. Sub-Goal 7.1 lists types of sustainable products and refers to Federal green procurement programs. Many of the products and product categories described in Sub-Goal 7.1 are also discuss and recommended for procurement in the DoD’s GPP.
Does the DoD report progress toward meeting SSPP goals?
Yes. The DoD must annually report to OMB the progress made toward fulfilling the SSPP objectives and goals. To see the DoD’s sustainability scorecards, Click Here.
How can I help the DoD meet its SSPP goals?
You can help the DoD meet its SSPP goals by actively pursuing the procurement of sustainable products. To learn more about sustainable products, the SPC provides a green product database, demonstration information, and resources for training. Any of these resources can assist you in identifying a sustainable product that will meet your needs and provide guidance on how to procure those item(s). Please share these resources with others to promote the procurement of sustainable products. This information is for the entire DoD community including end users, procurement personnel, and environmental officers. If you have any additional questions or would like to procure a sustainable product that is not listed in any of the above resources, please Contact Us.
Sustainable Product Demonstrations
How are sustainable product demonstrations executed?
A sustainable product demonstration is a coordinated effort between sustainable product manufacturers, installation personnel, and a project team that operates as the third party expert to evaluate the sustainable products. When a product ‘need area’ is identified, the project team works with installation personnel to gather all technical requirements for a particular product. The project team will then identify all sustainable product alternatives and evaluate the sustainable products against technical requirements. This process can involve outreach to standardization preparing activities, engineering authorities, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Once several sustainable products that meet the technical requirements are identified, the project team works with sustainable product manufactures to acquire items for demonstration. During the demonstration, installation personnel get to use the products and evaluate their performance. The project team collects feedback from end-users and will, on occasion, work with manufactures to redesign products so that they meet the military’s needs. If a sustainable product meets all performance and technical requirements, the project team works with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to incorporate the product into the DoD supply and procurement systems. This enables future procurement of the sustainable product.
What is the value of a sustainable product demonstration?
A sustainable product demonstration allows installation personnel to try sustainable products without having to identify products that meet technical requirements. All of the upfront research, evaluation, and coordination are conducted by the project team. Installation personnel simply have to try the products and provide feedback regarding performance to the project team. When a sustainable product performs well, the project team works with DLA to incorporate the sustainable product in the supply systems so that installation personnel can order the sustainable product in the future. Sustainable product demonstrations are design to alleviate the burden of sustainable procurement from installation personnel.
Who funds sustainable product demonstrations?
Product demonstrations are typically a joint effort between the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the National Defense Center for Energy and the Environment (NDCEE), the host installation, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine headquarters, the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense -Installations and Environment (DUSD(I&E)), as well as industry stakeholders. Contact Us if you would like to pursue a product demonstration. The SPC has extensive experience planning sustainable product demonstrations, which includes identifying and including the appropriate stakeholders.
What kind of sustainable products are eligible for demonstration?
Any sustainable product is eligible for demonstration. Previous demonstrations have including hydraulic fluids, sorbents, and biobased penetrating lubricants. Contact Us if there is a sustainable product that you would like to demonstrate.