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Green Building Supplies

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RPN's Green Building Supplies Project helps government agencies, public institutions, and businesses identify and purchase environmentally preferable hardware supplies. Product categories addressed by the project include ENERGY STAR-certified lighting equipment and appliances; rechargeable batteries; certified low-toxicity cleaners, floor maintenance chemicals, hand soap,s and paint; recycled-content trash bags, recycling bins, and janitorial paper products; water conservation devices; and other facility maintenance products that offer environmental and/or health benefits.

RPN kicked off the project in 2013 by creating a set of Green Hardware Supplies fact sheets and hosting a webinar on this topic with support from the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). These resources highlight products with legitimate — and often third party-verified — green claims that are available from three major institutional vendors of Facilities Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) Supplies: Grainger, Fastenal, and MSC Industrial Supplies.

RPN is working to “green” these Facilities MRO contracts because thousands of public agencies and institutions across the United States purchase hardware supplies from one or more of these vendors — often by using price agreements developed by the WSCA-NASPO Cooperative Purchasing Organization or another cooperative purchasing organization.

The Facilities MRO contracts offer some products that enable government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses to conserve energy and water, reduce toxic exposures to facility staff, and create markets for recyclable materials. At the same time, these contracts offer a much wider array of competing products that are less efficient, contain ingredients known to cause cancer or asthma, or are made without sustainable materials.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to use our collective purchasing power to convince vendors of hardware supplies to offer a more robust supply of certified low-toxicity and energy-efficient products and to more clearly label these 'green' items so they can be more easily identified by purchasing agents,” explained Alicia Culver, RPN’s Executive Director. “We also want hardware suppliers to stop offering competing products that are not certified by the ENERGY STAR Program, Green Seal, UL Environment, or other third-party verifiers of environmentally preferable products,” she added.

RPN Resources

NASPO MA report

NASPO Technical Assistant Grant to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Final Report: Environmentally Preferable Product Specifications for Facilities Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Contract - June 2016

As part of a technical assistance grant from the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), RPN helped the Commonwealth of Massachusetts develop recommendations for environmentally preferable product (EPP) specifications and sustainability-related language to include in its Facilities Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) statewide contract.

Much of the work assembled for this grant helped to successfully add environmental specifications to the Commonwealth’s Participating Agreement (PA), in addition to integrating environmental specifications and a green market-basket products into the final ValuePoint Facilities MRO Request for Responses (RFR) that is currently being bid in June 2016 with the Lead State of Nevada.

The PA can be used as a model for other states wanting to further green their ValuePoint Facilities MRO contract. In addition, the green specifications and market basket (core) list may be used by other states bidding their own facilities MRO contracts.

Download the report


Fastenal fact sheet

MRO Fact Sheets - March 2014

With support from the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), RPN developed a set of fact sheets highlighting the environmentally preferable products offered on three NASPO/WSCA contracts for Facilities Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) supplies: Fastenal, Grainger, and MSC.

These national cooperative contracts offer a wide array of green hardware supplies such as:

  • Energy Star-rated appliances, light bulbs, and HVAC equipment;

  • Certified low-toxicity cleaning products, hand soaps, and paint; and

  • Recycled content trash bags and janitorial paper products.

Download the Fastenal Fact Sheet

Download the Grainger Fact Sheet

Download the MSC Fact Sheet


 

Additional Resources

Fastenal

Fastenal Green Product Website and Catalog

Green product categories include:

  • Energy Conservation

  • Green Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Waste Reduction

  • Water Conservation

View the website

Download the catalog


Grainger

Grainger Green Product Website and Catalog

Green product categories include:

  • Energy Management

  • Water Conservation

  • Waste Reduction

  • Indoor Air Quality

View the website

View the online catalog


MSC

MSC Green Product Website and Catalog

Green product categories include:

  • Green Cleaners and Fluids

  • Energy Conservation

  • Water Conservation

  • Renewable Energy Source

  • Energy Star

  • NEMA Premium

  • Recycled Products

  • Low VOC

  • Greenhouse Gas Free

View the website

View the online catalog


 

Webinars

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RPN Webinar: Greening Facility MRO Contracts - April 19, 2017

This webinar highlighted how Massachusetts recently used NASPO Green Technical Assistance funds to add sustainability standards to several Facility Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) contracts with the help of RPN's technical team:

  • Hear recommendations for incorporating sustainability language into your bid specifications for paint, construction materials, lighting equipment, and other green building products.

  • Learn how Massachusetts and RPN created an expanded vendor sustainability survey -- and a larger core list of healthy and environmentally preferable building supplies.

  • Discuss how your jurisdiction or organization can use a model "Participating Agreement" to green your contracts for Facility MRO products.

This webinar featured:

  • Julia Wolfe, Director of Environmental Purchasing, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN

Download the slides

Download the video


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RPN Webinar: Green Hardware Supplies - Sept 10, 2014

With support from the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), RPN developed a set of fact sheets highlighting the environmentally preferable products offered on three NASPO/WSCA contracts for green hardware supplies: Fastenal, Grainger, and MSC.

Webinar attendees learned what constitutes a "green" hardware supply and how these products can yield environmental, health, and economic benefits to their operations. They heard first-hand from representatives of three major green hardware suppliers on how to find green products on their websites and purchase them at discounted prices through cooperative price agreements.

This webinar featured:

  • Michael Roth, Director of eCommerce, MSC Industrial Supply Co.

  • Jeff Rehm, Senior Manager of Corporate Facilities and Global Sustainability, Grainger

  • Melissa Puchalla, Director of Product Compliance and Certifications, Fastenal

  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN (moderator)

Download the slides

Download the video


laptop

RPN Webinar: Green Purchasing for Existing Buildings - Sept 28, 2011

Existing buildings are a major contributor to Americans' environmental impact. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to producing 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, existing commercial buildings in the public and private sector:

  • Consume almost 40 percent of all electricity

  • Use at least 850 million gallons of water a day

  • Can harbor dangerous chemicals that contribute to poor indoor-air quality

However, with procurement choices and smart operations, building owners and occupants can dramatically improve their environmental footprint.

The webinar covered:

  • An introduction to green purchasing

  • A review of the environmental impacts of products commonly purchased for the maintenance of existing buildings

  • An overview of how to identify greener alternatives for paint, janitorial products, lighting, and other product categories and how greener choices can help increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, improve indoor air quality, and in many cases, produce cost savings

  • "Greenwashing" and how to avoid misleading product claims

  • The third-party standards and "eco-labels" that exist to help purchasers make greener choices

  • How to incorporate environmental criteria into bid specifications and RFPs

  • LEED EBOM

This webinar featured:

  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN

  • Marcus Rivas, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Protection Agency

  • Phillip Kobernick, Manager, RPN (as moderator)

This webinar was offered as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Regional Pollution Prevention Program Offices' Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program.

Download the slides

Download the video