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Plano Launches Environmental Purchasing Policy

March 04, 2008

Source: City of Plano

RPN member Plano, Texas, is rolling out a new Environmental Purchasing Policy (EPP) that calls on City departments and divisions to “purchase and use materials, products and services that are economically responsible and reduce resource consumption and waste within federal, state and local laws.” With a rallying cry of “Do better today than we did yesterday,” the policy  “lays the ground work for Plano to be a leader in developing and implementing local government environmental preferred purchasing practices in North Texas.”

The EPP will take effect March 31, 2008 and is modeled after successful environmental preferable purchasing programs practiced by the Federal Government and various states, local and international governments. Purchasing Division Specification Analyst Bob Smeby also cited RPN as a valuable source: “I want to thank RPN and New American Dream for your interest in what we are doing to here in Plano. Being a member of your organization has provided me with a wealth of information and links to resources that I was able to draw from to develop this policy.”  RPN’s EPP video will be used by Smeby in a series of presentations introducing the policy to the city’s departments and divisions.
Through the EPP, the City of Plano will look at the following environmental, economic, and social factors to help guide purchasing decisions:

  • Pollutant releases
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Energy consumption
  • Depletion of natural resources
  • Waste generation
  • Recycled, recyclable content
  • General impact on the environment
  • Best value
  • Ability to leverage buying power
  • Staff time and labor
  • Technological advances 
  • Use of locally or regionally produced products and services to minimize transportation requirements
  • Health and safety
  • End of life disposal

To help insure successful implementation, the City of Plano Purchasing Division will, among other things, research and evaluate information on environmentally preferable products and services, provide technical assistance in policy implementation, create a reference guide for EPP’s services, and monitor and revise contracting procedures to include these products and services where practicable.  The Purchasing Division will also help promote the involvement of other North Texas purchasing agencies in the use of EPPs.

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