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Director's Corner: Looking Back on 2009

December 17, 2009


The end of 2009 fittingly will close with RPN becoming one of the inaugural certified green businesses recognized by Montgomery County, Maryland, where we are based, and being invited to take part in the launch press conference. I say “fittingly” because the steps taken to become audited and certified relate to what our members undertake in the course of strengthening their responsible purchasing practices, and we have new found appreciation for what that entails.


Note that we are a nonprofit, but qualify under a broad definition of what constitutes a “business” for the certification program.


We also close 2009 with a look back at what has been accomplished this past year with the support and contributions of RPN’s members, funders, clients, and expert Steering Committee, which covers highlights like new members, publications, consulting, webinars, and speaking engagements:


Membership is the backbone of RPN—we would not be here without our members, and we are here to serve your responsible purchasing needs and build the field with your support, which has grown tremendously:


100 new RPN members in 2009, including:

  • A Colorado bulk membership that added 38 members, including 22 state agencies and 16 educational institutions
  • The Finger Lakes Environmentally Preferred Procurement Consortium, which consists of a truly unique multi-sector membership in its own right:
    Cornell University
    Ithaca College
    City of Ithaca
    Tompkins Cortland Community College
    Tompkins County governmentT
    Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
    Tompkins Seneca Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services
  • DeKalb County, Georgia
  • County of Los Angeles
  • Maryland Department of Environmental Protection
  • National Association of Educational Procurement
  • Purdue University
  • Port of Seattle
  • World Wildlife Fund

Responsible Purchasing Guides and Additional Publications:

  • Responsible Purchasing Guide on Bottled Water Alternatives, University Addition
  • Responsible Purchasing Guide on Carbon Offsets
  • Responsible Purchasing Guide on Food Services
  • Responsible Purchasing Guide on LED Exit Signs, Street Lights and Traffic Signals
  • Updated Responsible Purchasing Guide on Computers
  • Updated Responsible Purchasing Guide on Office Electronics 

 Other publications issued in 2009:

  • Cooperative Contracts Fact Sheet
  • Green Paper Standards Comparison Chart
  • Responsible Purchasing Trends Report as well as a NASPO Edition

Consulting clients included:

  • EPA Region 5§  EPA Region 8
  • City of Austin, Texas
  • Los Angeles County
  • Office Depot
  • State of Maryland

Communications highlights included:§ 

  • Monthly Responsible Purchasing Update Newsletters
  • Webinars on multiple topics that coincided with publication releases
  • First Annual RPN Awards

Speaking engagements included:

  • EPA Green Electronics Workshops, Great Lakes Region
  • NASPO Annual Conference, Lake Tahoe
  • Annual Governor’s Conference on the Environment, Lexington, Kentucky
  • International Conference on Green Purchasing, Suwon, South Korea
  • Colorado State Procurement Conference
  • Massachusetts Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Vendor Fair
  • How Green Is Your Town? Westchester, New York   


Thank you for a wonderful and very productive 2009 and we look forward to working with you to make 2010 even better as we start a new decade of responsible purchasing.

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