Sustainable Procurement Program

Policy and Guidance

Federal Legislation

Comprehensive piece of legislation that covers numerous topics in the areas of energy and water conservation, alternative energy sources, reduction in fossil fuel use, and sustainable building design. It includes specific procurement requirements for energy efficient products and the increased use of cement/concrete with recovered mineral content.

Establishes 50% post-consumer content procurement requirement.

Establishes the USDA biobased product program. USDA designates biobased items for Federal agencies to purchase and provides recommendations for agencies purchasing these items with biobased content.

Requires the EPA to issue Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs) that list designated items that are or can be made with recovered materials. It also established some of the fundamental requirements for recovered material procurement including applicability, acceptable exceptions, certifications and estimations, and exclusion of specifications for virgin materials.

Section 141 of Public Law 110-140, “Energy Independence and Security Act Of 2007,” December 19, 2007

Establishes that items composed of recovered materials will be purchased to the maximum extent practicable.


Prescribes policies and procedures for acquiring energy- and water-efficient products and services, and products that use renewable energy technology.

Prescribes policies and procedures for acquiring EPA-designated products or USDA-designated items through affirmative procurement programs required by the RCRA of 1976 and E.O. 13423.

Prescribes policies and procedures for acquiring energy-efficient, water conserving, and environmentally preferable products and services.

The CPGs are published in 40 CFR Part 247 of the Federal Register. This part contains some general affirmative procurement requirements and the specific recycled content item designations.

Executive Orders

Establishes programs providing incentives for Federal employees to use mass transportation and vanpools.

Requires Federal agencies to purchase products that use no more than one watt in their standby power consuming mode. DOEs FEMP program develops lists of recommended products that meet this requirement.

Consolidated and strengthened several “Greening the Government” E.O.s. This E.O. addresses vehicles, petroleum conservation, alternative fuels, energy efficiency, renewable power, sustainable building, water conservation, procurement, toxic chemicals, and electronics management. Procurement practices have a role in each of these areas. The implementing instructions also require increased solid waste diversion and maintenance of cost-effective waste prevention and recycling programs in all facilities.

Sets sustainability goals for Federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy and economic performance. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days; increase energy efficiency; reduce fleet petroleum consumption; conserve water; reduce waste; support sustainable communities; and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.

Council on Environmental Quality, “Instructions for Implementing Executive Order 13423,” March 29, 2007

DoD Policies and Guidance

DoD Instruction 4105.72
Procurement of Sustainable Goods and Services

Defense Acquisition Guidebook
Designed to complement policy documents by providing the acquisition workforce with discretionary best practice that should be tailored to the needs of each program.

DoD Instruction 4105.67
Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) Procurement Policy and Procedure

DAU CLC 046 Green Procurement

CPG Items
CPG Items are listed through the EPA and currently include 61 items which can be purchased with recycled content, such as paper and paper products, construction products, re-refined oil, etc. The Agency must require that 100 percent of purchases meet or exceed EPA’s recycled content recommendations. A written justification/waiver is required for non-compliance.

DoD EMALL is an automated procurement system providing a simple method to purchase green products. The Defense Logistics Agency manages EMALL and procures common usage items for all military departments and DoD agencies. DLA also operates a web based Green Purchasing Report (GPR) tool

ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the EPA and the DOE helping to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is a system to help purchasers evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors based on their environmental attributes. EPEAT also provides a clear and consistent set of performance criteria for the design of products, and provides an opportunity for manufacturers to secure market recognition for efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products.

Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is a Department of Energy program that works to reduce the cost and environment impact of the Federal government by advancing energy efficiency and water conservation, promoting the use of distributed and renewable energy, and improving utility management decisions at Federal sites. Additionally, the FEMP provides information on how to buy products with low standby power.

Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers
Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers was developed by EPA, the Federal Environmental Executive, and the Whole Building Design Guide, to help Federal building project managers meet mandates established by statute and E.O.s, as well as EPA and DOE program recommendations. The specifications reference several North American forest certification standards and other information pertinent to green construction.

Recovered Material Advisory Notices (RMANs)
Recovered Material Advisory Notices (RMANs) are issued by EPA, and provide purchasing guidance and recommend recovered and postconsumer material content levels for designated items. RMAN recommendations are guidance and therefore are not codified in the CFR. The RMANs recommd-content ranges for CPG products based on current information on commercially available recycled-content products. RMAN levels are updated as marketplace conditions change.

USDA BioPreferredSM
USDA BioPreferredSM program is a resource for producers of biobased products, military departments and DoD agencies required to purchase them, and others interested in renewable products. The program includes information on submitting products for designation, instructions on meeting requirements to purchase biobased materials, and many other useful topics.