Responsible Purchasing Network

Responsible Purchasing Webinars

Webinar videos and presentations that are available to RPN members only are designated by RPN logo.

     climate-friendly food   

RPN/FOE Webinar: The Meat of the Matter: A Municipal Guide to Climate-Friendly Food Purchasing - December 13, 2017

Download Slides

Cities and counties can fight climate change by offering less meat and more plant-based meals in their institutional food service operations. Municipalities that already made this change have experienced a triple win: promoting health, protecting the planet, and saving money. This webinar highlights recommendations from The Meat of the Matter: A Municipal Guide to Climate-Friendly Food Purchasing, a new resource developed by Friends of the Earth and RPN.

This webinar covers:

  • Compelling environmental, health, and financial benefits of transitioning institutional purchasing towards more plant-based foods;

  • How to develop a climate-friendly food procurement policy and standards; and

  • How to design an implementation plan, conduct staff training, update bid solicitation language, and track progress.


  • Chloe Waterman, Senior Food Campaigner, Friends of the Earth

  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, Responsible Purchasing Network

  • Naomi Billups, Public Health Nutrition Manager, San Diego County, CA

  • Steve Cohen, Manager, Food Policy & Programs, City of Portland, OR

  • Sarah Church, Sustainability Project Manager, Alameda County, CA

     fork knife   

RPN/CEH Webinar: Toxic Chemicals in Disposable Food Service Ware - October 17, 2017

Download Slides

This webinar highlights new research confirming the presence of fluorinated, "non-stick" chemicals in a wide array of disposable plates, take-out containers, and food wraps. These toxic and persistent grease-resistant compounds can contaminate food, water, and compost. Presenters explain how to identify and procure food service ware products that are not only devoid of these chemicals of concern, but are also reusable, compostable, or easily recyclable.

This webinar covers:

  • Health and environmental risks associated with toxic chemicals in disposable food service ware and evidence they can migrate into food, water, and compost;
  • Why fluorinated chemicals are used to make some paper and molded fiber food service ware products resistant to grease;
  • A testing program to identify which food service ware products contain these chemicals of concern, including the results to date;
  • Which types of food service ware products are considered environmentally preferable; and
  • Policies, strategies, and resources to facilitate the purchase of safer food service ware products.


  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, Responsible Purchasing Network

  • Elizabeth Meer, Special Assistant for Pollution Prevention and Green Procurement, State of New York

  • Mark Strynar, Physical Scientist, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Exposure Research Laboratory

  • Judy Levin, Pollution Prevention Director, Center for Environmental Health


RPN Webinar: Learning to Clean With Safer Chemicals: How Baltimore City Public Schools is Developing a Districtwide Green Cleaning Program - May 3, 2017

Please note: The first few minutes of the webinar recording is cut off. We are working to re-record that section. Thank you!

Download Slides button

Hear first-hand how Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) -- with RPN's help -- has been creating a green cleaning program for nearly 180 school buildings. This webinar highlights the steps BCPS took to protect the health of students, teachers, and custodial staff by:

  • Evaluating and choosing certified low-toxicity cleaning products and safer disinfectants,
  • Conducting a green cleaning pilot test to evaluate product performance,
  • Securing lower prices by using a national cooperative purchasing agreement,
  • Starting to roll out the program districtwide,
  • Training its custodial staff and contractors, and
  • Adopting a Sustainability Policy and Green Cleaning Procedures.


  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN
  • Joanna Pi-Sunyer, Green Schools Coordinator, Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Kelly Panciera, RPN (moderator)


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

Download Slides button

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
  • Kelly Panciera, RPN (moderator)


RPN Webinar: How to Find the Best Rechargeable Batteries - Sept 28, 2016

Download Slides button

250 million pounds of batteries wind up in U.S. landfills each year, leaving behind toxic heavy metals and corrosive chemicals.

Single-use batteries are also expensive to purchase over and over. Now, more than ever, rechargeable batteries can be an important part of the solution.

Over the past year, RPN helped San Francisco create Charging Ahead: How to Find Powerful Rechargeable Batteries That Go On and On... and On. This report highlights the best rechargeable batteries (familiar AAA, AA,and D cells) based on several performance criteria.

Learn about the latest technological advances, what's available on the market, and important performance indicators to specify when buying rechargeable batteries.

This webinar featured:

  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN
  • Susan Kinsella, Senior Research Analyst, RPN
  • Chris Geiger, Municipal Toxics Reduction Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment (moderator)


RPN Webinar: Safer Seating: Finding Furniture Free of Flame Retardants, Formaldehyde, and Other Toxic Chemicals - Dec 15, 2015

Part 1: How to Avoid Furniture that Contains Highly Toxic Chemicals (Jean Hansen)

Part 2: Eliminating the Use of Unnecessary Flame Retardant Chemicals (Judy Levin)

Part 3: How an Insurance Company in Boston Purchased Flame Retardant-Free Furniture (Kyle Cahill)

Download Slides button

Furniture is often made with chemicals and materials that are hazardous to the people who manufacture it, use it, and recycle it. This includes substances that are linked to cancer, asthma, decreased fertility, or other diseases. Of greatest concern are formaldehyde, flame retardants, fluorinated stain resistance chemicals, antimicrobials, and vinyl.

This doesn't sit well with us.

Hear how purchasing agents and advocates are working together to identify the chemical hazards that are lurking in (and on) office chairs, couches, desks, and other types of furniture. And learn about new regulations and tools that are making it easier to find safer and healthier furniture products.

This webinar featured:

  • Jean Hansen, Sustainable Principal, HDR Architecture
  • Judy Levin, Pollution Prevention Program Director, Center for Environmental Health and author of Kicking Toxic Chemicals Out of the Office: An Easy Guide to Going Flame Retardant-Free
  • Kyle Cahill, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN and co-author of Green Purchasing Best Practices: Office and Dorm Furniture (moderator)

     bee on flower   

RPN Webinar: Strategies & Tools for Purchasing Products With Safer Chemicals - Sept 30, 2015

Download Slides button

The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production teamed up with the Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN), the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), and the Green Electronics Council to highlight steps institutional purchasers in the public and private sectors can take to identify and procure products made with safer chemicals and materials.

The webinar, hosted by SPLC, explored and built upon the findings of the recently released report Advancing Safer Chemicals in Products: The Key Role of Purchasing.

This information can help purchasers who are just getting started - by introducing them tools such as credible third-party eco-labels, which make it easy to find products that are among the safest in their class.

Learn about strategies you can use to determine which products are the most likely to contain toxic chemicals and how to use your purchasing power to encourage suppliers to provide you with products that are safer for the people who make and use them - and for the environment.

This webinar featured:

  • Amy Perlmutter, primary author of Advancing Safer Chemicals in Products: The Key Role of Purchasing
  • Colin Price, Oregon Environmental Council
  • Mary Dickinson, Perkins & Will
  • Alicia Culver, RPN
  • Sarah O'Brien, Green Electronics Council
  • Sam Hummel, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (moderator)

     bee on flower   

RPN Webinar: Saving the Pollinators - July 15, 2015

Download Slides button

State and local governments, school districts, colleges and universities, hospitals, and businesses spend millions of dollars a year on landscaping and pest management products and services. During the past decade, many of these organizations have saved money and reduced toxic chemical use through integrated pest management (IPM). In addition, some organizations have eliminated the use of neonicotinoid pesticides ("neonics") to protect bees and other pollinators. RPN and Friends of the Earth co-hosted this webinar on purchasing strategies government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses can take to protect bees and other pollinators.

This webinar covered:

  • The latest scientific findings about neonics and their impact on pollinators
  • What leading organizations are doing to make their landscape and pest management efforts pollinator friendly
  • How your organization can use its purchasing policies and practices to protect pollinators
  • Resources available to help organizations like yours take steps to adopt pollinator-friendly purchasing policies and practices

This webinar featured:

  • Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Food Futures Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
  • Chris Geiger, Ph.D., Toxics Use Reduction Program, San Francisco Department of the Environment
  • Rella Abernathy, Integrated Pest Management Coordinator, Boulder, Colorado
  • Ciannat Howett, Director of Sustainability Initiatives, Emory University
  • Scott Williams, Assistant VP of Quality Assurance and Environmental Stewardship, BJ's Wholesale Club
  • Susan Kegley, Ph.D., CEO, Pesticide Research Institute
  • Rebecca Calahan Klein, Strategist, RPN (moderator)

     hand shake earth   

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 has 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.

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 suppliers of green hardware supplies 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)

RPN Members: button Watch Online or Download Slides/Video
Non-Members: button Download Slides Only


RPN Webinar: Safer Disinfectants - May 14, 2014

Is your organization interested in transitioning to safer disinfectants? Listen to the RPN webinar that highlighted best practices for safer disinfecting strategies, complete with program recommendations.

This webinar covered:

  • Environmental and health risks associated with conventional disinfectants
  • Availability, benefits and efficacy of safer products
  • Strategies for purchasing and using safer disinfectants
  • Case studies of childcare centers and schools that have successfully transitioned to safer disinfecting methods

This webinar featured:

  • Chris Geiger, Green Purchasing Manager, San Francisco Department of the Environment
  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN
  • Karen Cohn, Program Manager, Children's Environmental Health Promotion Program, SF DPH

Access webinar recording here


RPN Webinar: Local and Sustainable Food Procurement: Best Practices of Northeastern State Governments - April 9, 2014

Download Slides button

Is your state government interested in expanding purchase of locally and sustainably farmed agricultural products? Creating markets for these products can contribute to the regional economy, preserve farmland and support a thriving, healthy food system.

Listen in to an RPN webinar supported by the John Merck Fund that highlighted best practices developed in the New England region to foster state government procurement of local and sustainable food.

This webinar covered strategies to:

  • Structure contracts to best encourage local offerings;
  • Work with vendors over time to increase local purchasing;
  • Support distributors that source produce from the region; and
  • Use policy to build greater vendor accountability.

This webinar featured:

  • Mark Curran, Black River Produce, Vermont
  • Mark Izeman, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York
  • Jane Slupecki, Department of Agriculture, Connecticut
  • Sarah Church, Research Analyst, RPN (moderator)


RPN Webinar: Best Practices: Tracking Recycled Paper - Nov 19, 2013

Learn about a new report by RPN that details several effective strategies for gathering, interpreting, and presenting information on recycled paper purchases. Hear how the State of North Dakota's procurement office and print shop are working together to put some of these best practices in place as part of their Greener Paper Project.

This webinar featured:

  • Susan Kinsella, Senior Research Analyst, RPN and Director, Conservatree
  • Chad Keech, Procurement Officer II, North Dakota Office of Management and Budget
  • Ken Hamel, Print Manager, State of North Dakota
  • Sarah Church, Research Analyst, RPN (moderator)

RPN Members: button Watch Online or Download Slides/Video
Non-Members: button Download Slides Only


RPN Webinar: Sustainability in a Cup: Institutional Procurement of Fair Trade - Oct 17, 2013

Is your jurisdiction or organization looking for sustainable products that are not only designed to protect the environment but are also produced in ways that provide fair wages and working conditions? This webinar highlights two fair trade purchasing guides that can help you fulfill your commitment to sustainability by sourcing products that are fair trade-certified by third party organizations. In partnership with Fair Trade Campaigns, RPN produced two guides tailored to two different audiences: 1) cities and towns; and 2) colleges and universities.

This webinar covered:

  • An overview of fair trade practices
  • An analysis of a fair trade supply chain
  • Relevant certifications and definitions
  • Recommended fair trade policy language
  • Model bid specifications, vendor questions and contract language for targeted commodities and food service agreements
  • Strategies for securing competitive pricing and a wide selection for fair trade goods – starting with coffee, tea, sugar and cocoa.

This webinar featured:

  • Courtney Lang, National Organizer, Fair Trade Towns
  • Sarah Church, Food Policy Specialist, RPN

RPN Members: button Watch Online
Non-Members: button Download Slides Only


RPN Webinar: Green Purchasing for Schools: Save Money and Reduce Your Environmental Footprint - Sept 11, 2013

Did you know that K-12 schools in the U.S. use about 6 million trees for the paper they buy? Or that K-12 schools are responsible for about 8% of U.S. carbon emissions? This back-to-school webinar from RPN and the Green Schools Initiative explains how schools can specify and find affordable products that will reduce waste and pollution, save energy and water, and safeguard health. The original broadcast was featured as a part of the Green Strides webinar series from the U.S. Department of Education.

The webinar highlights green purchasing best practices in categories such as cleaning and other building maintenance products, paper and other office supplies, computers, lighting equipment, art supplies, furniture, and food and cafeteria supplies. The presentation introduces a Healthy Purchasing for Healthy Schools guidance document that RPN co-authored, the Green Schools Buying Guide, and other resources.

This webinar featured:

  • Deborah Moore, Executive Director, Green Schools Initiative
  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN

RPN Members: button Watch Online or Download Slides/Video
Non-Members: button Download Slides Only


RPN Webinar: Advancing Safer Chemistry in Government Procurement - April 4, 2013

Download Slides button

Governments are among the largest institutional purchasers and can have a large influence in the marketplace for more sustainable products. Federal, state, and local policies are increasingly requiring government agencies to purchase less toxic products such as certified low-toxicity cleaners and paint, low-emitting furniture and building supplies, and low-mercury lighting equipment.

This webinar covered:

  • State and federal initiatives to integrate "green" chemistry into purchasing decisions
  • Policies that can promote the specification of low-toxicity goods and services
  • Tools that are being developed to identify substances of concern and safer alternatives
  • Opportunities for more effective collaboration in the future

This webinar featured:

  • Joel Tickner, Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production
  • Elizabeth Meer, New York Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Dana Arnold, U.S. General Services Administration
  • Edward H. Rau, Environmental Protection Division, National Institutes of Health
  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN (moderator)


RPN Webinar: Spotlight on EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Program - March 14, 2013

Download Slides button

Please Note: Due to technical issues, the recording of the webinar is not yet available. We are working on getting the recording posted as soon as we can. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For over 15 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) Program has worked with a broad range of stakeholders, including NGOs, product manufacturers, and chemical manufacturers, to help manufacturers choose the safest possible ingredients and to help consumers find safer products. Products that meet DfE’s stringent Standard for Safer Products are allowed to carry the DfE logo.

In this webinar, DfE staff described its standard development process as well as its product review, recognition, and labeling procedures, specifically addressing:

  • DfE’s Standard for Safer Products
  • DfE’s Criteria for Safer Ingredients
  • DfE’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List
  • Other DfE initiatives such as its Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative (SDSI),
  • Safer Disinfectants Pilot Project, and Alternatives Assessment Program
  • How the DfE label can be used by purchasing agents to specify and procure environmentally preferable products

Many of RPN’s members have posed questions to us about this program (e.g., how it compares to other similar program such as Green Seal and EcoLogo). This was an opportunity to hear first-hand from DfE staff about how their program works and ask them questions directly.

This webinar featured:

  • Libby Sommer, Environmental Scientist, U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment Program
  • Bridget Williams, Outreach Lead, U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment Program
  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN (moderator)


RPN Webinar: Public Procurement of Energy-Efficient Products: Lessons from Around the World- Feb 20, 2013

Download Slides button

Energy efficiency is arguably the most popular attribute public agencies seek when purchasing environmentally responsible products. This is largely because energy-efficient products often yield measurable environmental benefits and cost savings. In the U.S., ENERGY STAR is the most widely recognized eco-label, making the process of procuring energy-efficient products relatively easy.

Representatives from the World Bank, U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program and the District of Columbia’s procurement office discussed key elements of a successful program for procuring energy-efficient products, including product testing and labeling systems, policy drivers, educational strategies, and incentives to bring about behavior change, tracking and reporting systems, and more.

This webinar covered:

This webinar featured:

  • Jas Singh, Senior Energy Efficiency Specialist, World Bank (lead author of the report)
  • Una Song, ENERGY STAR Program Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Jonathan Rifkin, Green Purchasing Coordinator, District of Columbia Office of Contracting & Procurement
  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN (moderator and co-author of the World Bank report)


RPN Webinar: Saving the Planet, One Paper Towel at a Time - Dec 5, 2012

Download Slides button

Choices we make about paper towel and tissue purchases can protect forests and water quality as well as reduce energy consumption and pollution. Join the Responsible Purchasing Network for a webinar on responsible paper towel and tissue sourcing – to separate fact from "pulp fiction."

Representatives from World Wildlife Fund, Conservatree, the City of Santa Monica, and RPN will discuss key issues and practical solutions to help institutional purchasers identify greener paper towel and tissue products.

This webinar covered:

  • Overview of tissue production impacts
  • Paper “hotspots”: what global forest region is most threatened by timber harvest for tissue and towel products?
  • Market overview of environmentally preferable janitorial tissue products
  • Recommended specifications to promote source reduction, recycled content, chlorine free bleaching, and sustainable virgin fiber sourcing
  • Making sense of the range of environmental certifications available for tissue and towel products
  • Case study: City of Santa Monica: implementing a responsible tissue and towel sourcing program

This webinar featured:

  • Linda Walker, Global Forest & Trade Network Manager, World Wildlife Fund
  • Susan Kinsella, Executive Director, Conservatree and Senior Research Analyst, RPN
  • Karl Bruskotter, Environmental Programs Analyst, City of Santa Monica
  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN (moderator)


RPN Webinar: Office Products Roundtable - Oct 31, 2012

Download Slides button

Please Note: Due to a technical glitch, the entirety of the webinar was not recorded. We are working on re-recording that portion of the webinar and will make this available as soon as we can. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Representatives from some of the leading office supplies stores including Office Depot, Staples, and Independent Stationers discussed their efforts to help institutional purchasers identify green alternatives.

This webinar covered:

  • How each company identifies and chooses green products to offer their customers
  • What types of green products each company sells 
  • How each company communicates the availability, environmental criteria, and benefits of green products to their customers 
  • Special projects and/or case studies related to green purchasing for each company 

This webinar featured:

  • Jake Swenson, Director of Sustainable Products and Services, Staples
  • Scott Zintz, Sustainability Strategist, Independent Stationers
  • Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental Strategy, Office Depot
  • Kelly Panciera, Communications Manager, RPN (moderator)


RPN Webinar: New Member Orientation and Products That Save Money - Sept 19, 2012

Download Slides button

Whether you are a new RPN member or thinking about becoming a member, please check out RPN's orientation webinar plus a discussion on green products that save money.

We discussed all of the sustainable procurement resources available to RPN members and some basic strategies to get you started such as creating an environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) policy, setting up an effective green purchasing program, and prioritizing contracts that are likely to yield environmental and economic benefits.

This webinar covered:

  • An introduction to green purchasing and how to avoid greenwashing
  • How green products can save money - upfront and over time
  • Case studies of jurisdictions that have saved money by choosing products that last longer, lower utility bills, or reduce maintenance costs
  • Best practices for lowering the upfront costs of green products and negotiating agreements that offer the "best value"
  • An overview of RPN member benefits
  • How to use RPN’s website and resources effectively

This webinar featured:

  • Alicia Culver, Excecutive Director, RPN
  • Kelly Panciera, Communications Manager, RPN


RPN Webinar: Biobased Products in the U.S. - June 4, 2012

Hosted by the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative, Responsible Purchasing Network, and USDA BioPreferred Program, this live webinar explores biobased products procurement. Learn from experts how U.S. federal laws and regulations create demand for biobased products, including the very recent Presidential Memorandum. View existing purchasing specs for compostable food serviceware to see what questions purchasers should ask to find the most environmentally preferable choices. And hear from a government procurer about the variety of biobased products they purchase and how they balance their environmental wants with performance needs. 

This webinar covered:

  • How the USDA BioPreferred Program is driving federal and private markets For biobased products
  • Purchasing specifications for compostable food serviceware 
  • King County’s use of biobased products in everyday operations
  • Q&A

This webinar featured:

  • Ron Buckhalt, USDA BioPreferred Program
  • Alicia Culver, RPN
  • Karen Hamilton, King County


RPN Webinar: Cutting-Edge Eco-Labels: Green-e - March 8, 2012

The manufacturing of products using coal and other fossil fuels as a power source consumes significant amounts of non-renewable resources and emits a wide range of toxic pollutants, including “greenhouse gases” that can contribute to climate change.

Join RPN for our upcoming webinar to learn about an innovative program developed by Green-e that certifies products manufactured with 100% renewable energy such as solar or wind power. Green-e is a certification program run by the Center for Resource Solutions, which certifies renewable energy, carbon offsets, and companies and products that use renewable energy.

There will be an extended Q&A to allow ample time for purchasers and sustainability staff to ask questions about how to utilize this eco-label to identify and procure products with a reduced climate impact.

This webinar covered:

  • Sustainable purchasing and climate-change concepts
  • Overview of Green-e Marketplace certification
  • Other Green-e certifications for renewable energy, including Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
  • Q&A


RPN Webinar: Green Purchasing 101 and New/Prospective Member Orientation - January 19, 2012


Download Slides button

Whether you are already an RPN member or simply made a New Year’s resolution to purchase more environmentally responsible products for your organization, please check out RPN's Orientation Webinar and introduction to sustainable purchasing.

This webinar covered:

  • Strategies to help jump start or expand your sustainable procurement initiatives
  • A few case studies of jurisdictions that have saved money by choosing more efficient and long-lasting products
  • Membership and RPN website overview
  • Resources available to RPN members and how to use them effectively


RPN Webinar: Purchasing for Water Efficiency - November 8, 2011 RPN logo

According to the US EPA, commercial buildings in the United States use at least 850 million gallons of water per day! This demand puts tremendous stress on water supplies and distribution systems, threatening both human health and the environment. Water consumption also represents a significant cost to public agencies and other facilities. For example, the City of Houston, TX saved over $260 million through conservation measures that included educational outreach and retrofits.

The webinar covered:

  • A discussion of how water-efficiency improvements can not only lower water and sewer bills but also reduce energy costs
  • epa  
    An overview of EPA’s WaterSense Program and a preview of how it plans to expand its reach to institutional and commercial buildings
  • A look at how the City of Raleigh, NC developed their own water-efficiency specifications and achieved success with local water-efficiency rebates
  • A case study highlighting how the City of Seattle significantly improved the water efficiency of their facilities.

The webinar featured:

  • Tara O'Hare, Implementation and Recruiting Lead for WaterSense Program, US EPA
  • Cinnamon Black, Water Conservation Specialist, Public Utilities, Raleigh, NC
  • Shirli Axelrod, Senior Environmental Analyst, Seattle Public Utilities
  • Al Dietemann, Conservation Leader, City of Seattle, WA
  • Phillip Kobernick, Manager, RPN

RPN Members and organizations within EPA Regions 1, 4, 7, and 9 (see table below) can watch or download the presentation slides and recording. Please email RPN Manager, Phillip Kobernick to access the webinar recording if you do not already have an RPN login. Non-members may access the presentation slides only.

RPN Members and Organizations in EPA Regions (1, 4, 7, and 9): button Watch Online or Download Slides/Video
Non-Members: button Download Slides Only

Click here for additional answers to questions not covered during the webinar for timing reasons.

REGION 1:  Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont,
REGION 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
REGION 7; Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri,
REGION 9: Arizona, California, Hawai’i, Nevada

This webinar was offered as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Pollution Prevention Program Offices' Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program. Please visit for more information or to apply for project assistance.


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

Download Slides button

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.
  • “Green-washing” 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

The webinar featured:

  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN
  • Marcus Rivas, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Phillip Kobernick, Manager, RPN (as moderator)

RPN may be able to provide additional technical assistance to webinar participants in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest (EPA Regions 1, 4, and 7) who are working on results-oriented green purchasing projects for existing buildings. Please visit for more information.

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


RPN Webinar: Cutting-edge Eco-labels - UL Environment - June 17, 2011

Let the Responsible Purchasing Network help you stay on top of the latest developments with Underwriters Laboratories Environment (ULE). During this Webinar, participants learned more about the most extensive and fastest growing certification organization and how it can help purchasers find products with meaningful environmental attributes.

The Webinar covered:

  • Overview of the UL Environment program
  • ULE’s recent acquisitions of EcoLogo and GREENGUARD programs
  • What to expect in the future from ULE

The Webinar featured:

  • Scot Case, Director, Markets Development, UL Environment, Inc.
  • Phillip Kobernick, Manager, RPN (as moderator)


RPN - SBC Webinar: Compostable Service Ware - May 12, 2011 RPN logo

This comprehensive Webinar is geared to both experienced "green" purchasers and those just getting started and covered important aspects of a successful food service ware program from an environmental purchasing perspective, and explained how to conduct product performance testing. It will provided detailed purchasing specifications, useful resources, and successful case studies.   Compostable food service ware includes biobased bowls, cups, plates, clamshells, and cutlery.

The Webinar covered:
- An introduction to compostable biobased food service ware
- An overview of the importance of sustainable biomass feedstocks, toxic-free additives, and compostability  
- A description of recently created purchasing specifications (BioSpecs) for this product category
- A summary of important certifications and other useful resources for purchasers
- How to prepare for and conduct product performance testing for your organizations' needs
- Successful case studies from public and private sector organizations

Speakers included:
- Brenda Platt, SBC (
- Alicia Culver, RPN (
- Susan Kinsella, Conservatree ( and RPN

RPN and SBC are looking for partners to pilot test its new BioSpecs for Purchasers. For more information, please email RPN.

RPN Members can watch or download the presentation slides and recording.
RPN Members: button Watch Online or Download Slides/Video  


RPN Webinar: Sustainable Purchasing for Higher Education - May 4, 2011 RPN logo

The Webinar covered helpful resources that are available for purchasers from AASHE and RPN, how to track your sustainability progress with the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS), and also featured guest speakers from two successful programs.

Speakers included:
- Meghan Fay Zahniser, STARS Program Manager, AASHE
- Phillip Kobernick, Manager, RPN
- Chris O'Brien, Director of Sustainability, American University
- Laurie Cousart, Director of Sustainability, and Colleen Reardon, Strategic Sourcing Manager, the University of Pennsylvania

RPN Members can watch or download the presentation slides and recording.
RPN Members: button Watch Online or Download Slides/Video  

For more information:
University of Pennsylvania -
American University -


RPN Webinar: National Healthy Schools Day - April 13, 2011

Download Slides button

In this Webinar, Alicia Culver, Director of the Responsible Purchasing Network, helped schools learn how to spot false “green” marketing claims (“greenwashing”) and procure products that have substantiated environmental benefits. She also gave examples of schools that have reduced chemical exposures and saved money by pilot testing – and ultimately purchasing – certified “green” cleaning products and asthma-safe disinfectants. In addition, Virginia Hyatt, Purchasing Director of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District described steps it has taken to improve the environmental sustainability of the districts' facilities.

The Webinar featured:

  • Alicia Culver, Executive Director, RPN
  • Virginia Hyatt, Purchasing Director and Sustainability Coordinator, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District


RPN Webinar: New and Prospective Member Orientation and Sustainable Purchasing 101 - January 19, 2011

Download Slides button

Whether you are a new RPN member, or someone who is wondering how to purchase more green products for your organization, please join the Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) for our Orientation Webinar.

We will be discussing all of the green procurement resources available to RPN members and some basic strategies to get you started such as creating an environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) policy and how to prioritize green products.

This webinar covered:

  • Strategies for those getting started in green purchasing including how to recognize and utilize standards and certifications (also called "eco-labels")
  • RPN resources available to members
  • Membership and RPN website overview
  • How to stay in touch with RPN

The webinar featured:

  • Alicia Culver, RPN Director
  • Phillip Kobernick, RPN Manager
  • Christina Hug, RPN Marketing Manager


Purchasing for Climate Protection, featuring - December 10, 2010 RPN logo

Procurement practices often have global implications. Nowhere is this clearer than in measuring and reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the products we buy.

This webinar recording will help purchasing agents and policy-makers who are seeking to reduce their organization’s carbon footprint as well as their budget.

The Webinar covered:

  • Steps to meeting organizational climate protection goals through adoption of purchasing policies, and product categories that will help you get there faster.
  • How the new CarbonFree eco-label was developed and how it can be referred to when purchasing products for government agencies and businesses.


  • Alicia Culver, RPN
  • Dare Wenzler,
  • Phillip Kobernick, RPN (moderator)

RPN Members can watch download the presentation slides and recording.
RPN Members: Watch Online or Download Slides/Video  button


2010 Responsible Purchasing Report - NASPO Edition - September 15, 2010 RPN logo

The Webinar accompanies the release of the 2010 Responsible Purchasing Report for NASPO. Watch the webinar to learn how state purchasers are spending at least $3-6.9 billion on responsible products and services every year.  

The Webinar covered:
- Results from the 2010 Green Purchasing Survey, including annual spending on green goods, policies, product prioritization, tracking and reporting, and more.  
- RPN publications such as Responsible Purchasing Guides, calculators, the Model Responsible Purchasing Report and other resources and tips to assist environmentally preferable purchasing.

Webinar speakers included:
- Christine Warnock, Chief Procurement Officer from the State of Washington
- John Utterback, State Purchasing Director from the State of Colorado
- Alicia Culver, RPN
- Phillip Kobernick, RPN

Results from the 2010 Green Purchasing Survey have been developed into the "2010 Responsible Purchasing Trends Report - NASPO Edition," available to NASPO-RPN members here.

RPN Members have access to the entire Webinar recording.
RPN Members: Download Slides/Video  button

The 2010 Responsible Purchasing Report, which surveyed the sustainable purchasing among all RPN members is available here to RPN members and non-members for free.


ENERGY STAR Product Certifications Changes Q&A - May 6, 2010

Download now: Entire recording (WMV) Just slides

ENERGY STAR, an eco-label run collaboratively by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which certifies energy-efficient products, is widely recognized and used, according to a 2009 RPN Trends Report.  Any changes in this cornerstone eco-label are of interest to those looking to make more energy-efficient purchases.

This Webinar covered:

  • ENERGY STAR overview and new certification changes following a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
  • Speakers included:

  • Jonathan Cohen, Director, RPN (moderator)
  • Maria Vargas, Director, Strategic Partnerships and Brand Manager, ENERGY STAR program


  •      LED   

    Tracking and Reporting Responsible Purchasing - March 11, 2010 RPN logo

    According to the 2009 RPN Trends Report, less than a quarter of RPN Members publish a Responsible Purchasing Report. RPN advises its members to publish reports at least annually in order to communicate program successes.

    This Webinar covered:
    - The RPN Model Responsible Purchasing Report
    - How to track purchases
    - How to calculate costs and environmental benefits
    - How to convey environmental and social benefits in a report

    Speakers included:
    - Vincent Kitira, RPN Manager, to give details on the RPN Model Report and give an introduction on how to track purchases
    - Eric Nelson, King County Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program Manager, to discuss their award-winning EPP program and exemplary Annual EPP Reports
    - Sandra Cannon, U.S. Department of Energy EPP Program, will explain EPP tracking methods
    - Donna Chralowicz, City of San Diego Recycling Specialist, to discuss the work that goes into their EPP Program's Annual Report

    Non-members can download the Webinar presentation slides only.
    Download Slides button

    RPN Members have access to the entire Webinar recording, including presentation slides.
    RPN Members: View Online or Download Slides/Video  button


    RPN New and Prospective Member Orientation- January 21, 2010

    Slides from the January 21 Responsible Purchasing Webinar: New and Prospective Member Orientation are now available for download. The webinar featured the following speakers:

    Jonathan Cohen; Director of Workplace Programs, Center for a New American Dream Vincent Kitira; RPN Manager
    Phillip Kobernick; RPN Fellow

    The slides highlight the benefits of RPN membership, including:

    • Responsible Purchasing Guides
    • Product listings and cooperative contracts
    • Consulting opportunities
    • Publications and fact sheets
    • RPN communications
    • Speaking Engagements
    • RPN membership networking
    • Job and event listings

    Download now  


    Computers and Office Electronics - November 19, 2009 RPN logo

    This webinar covered new developments in the world of greener office electronics and computers. The webinar accompanied the release of the updates to two Responsible Purchasing Guides, Office Electronics and Computers.

    The webinar speakers consisted of:
    • Vincent Kitira, RPN Manager
    • Sarah O'Brien, EPEAT Outreach Director
    • Una Song, ENERGY STAR Program Manager
    • Alison Waske, Sustainability Manager, Warner, Norcross, and Judd LLP
    • Sharon Clanton, State of Illinois, Department of Children and Family Services

    Watch or download now  



    Bottled Water, University Edition - October 29, 2009

    Click here to access the presentation slides  

    This Guide provides schools with all the resources they need to eliminate bottled water and transition to municipal tap water with bottled water alternatives such as filters, fountains, bottle-less coolers and reusable containers.  The Guide also contains an extensive list of school’s that have expelled bottled water from their campuses and several policy samples.

    The webinar speakers consisted of:
    • Phillip Kobernick: RPN Fellow
    • Meghan Fay, Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)
    • David Jacks, The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)
    • John Stewart, Corporate Accountability International


    Cooperative Contracts: September 17, 2009

    This Webinar focused on the power of cooperative contracts and group purchasing consortia to lower transaction costs, aggregate purchasing power and shift the marketplace toward environmentally preferable products.

    The Webinar speakers consisted of:
    • Phillip Kobernick: RPN Fellow
    • Paula Levin: The Delta Institute
    • Mary Pelfrey: U.S. Communities

    Watch or download now  


    LED Lighting: August 19, 2009 RPN logo

    This webinar focused on LED Lights where participants learned how to: write and evaluate bid specifications for the most energy efficient LED products available , calculate cost and energy savings of LED products, recognize prevalent and reliable LED standards, understand the benefits and costs of different LED projects, and message your successes to stakeholders. Presentations include:

    • Responsible Purchasing Guide: RPN Purchasing Guide For LEDs: Exit Signs, Street Lights, and Traffic Signals - Vincent Kitira, RPN
    • LED Exit Signs and Street Lights- Alicia Culver, Green Purchasing Institute
    • Case Study: San Jose, CA LED Street Lighting- Amy Olay, City of San Jose

    Watch or download now  


    Carbon Offsets: July 29, 2009

    This webinar informs people why carbon offsets can be an important part of an institutional climate action plan and cover topics such as: evaluate and source different carbon offset providers, recognize prevalent and reliable carbon offset standards, understand the cost and supply of different offset projects, specify services needed from carbon offset providers, and message carbon mitigation strategies. Presentations include:

    • Best Practices for Purchasing Carbon Offsets: Paul Burman -, Christina Moretti - RPN
    • Carbon Offsets and Climate Legislation: Eric Carlson -
    • Climate Action Reserve: Joel Levin - Climate Action Reserve
    • Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard: Steve Panfil -
    • Virgin America Case Study: Dave Pflieger - VirginAmerica

    Download now  


    Food Services: May 27, 2009 RPN logo

    This webinar offers a cornucopia of strategies and resources for establishing an institutional green dining program, reducing waste, and sourcing local and sustainable food .Presentations include:  

    • Michel Wetli, General Manager and Peggy Barlett, Goodrich C White Professor of Anthropology - Emory University’s Sustainable Dining Program Case Study
    • Cheryl Baldwin, Vice President of Science and Standards - Green Seal’s Standards for Food Services, Food Packaging, and Paper Products used in Food Preparation
    • Meghan Fay, STARS Program Manager - AASHE’s STARS program for Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)

    Download now  

    Responsible Purchasing Trends and Pioneers 2009: May 12, 2009

    This webinar featured the findings from the RPN 2009 Responsible Purchasing Trends Report and best practices and case studies by four of the country’s leading responsible purchasing pioneers. Presentations include:

    • Creating cutting edge sustainable procurement policy - Jeff Baer, Director, Bureau of Purchases, City of Portland Oregon
    • The Devil’s in the Details: Researching Product Specifications - Alicia Culver, Principal, Green Purchasing Institute
    • Partnering with Suppliers – Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy, Office Depot
    • Communicating Progress with an Annual Report - Eric Nelson and Karen Hamilton, King County EPP Program

    Download now  


    Cleaners: December 9, 2008

    This webinar provided up to date information and recommendations on responsible use and purchasing of office cleaning products and will feature relevant case studies. Presentations include:

    • Green Seal and Green Cleaning Standards - Mark T. Petruzzi, Green Seal
    • Responsible Purchasing Guide to Cleaners - Christina Moretti, RPN
    • Green Cleaning Program - University Operation Services, Harvard University

    Download now  


    Think Outside the Bottle: August 26, 2008

    This webinar teaches the environmental impacts of bottled water and the responsible strategies that institutions can use to reduce and replace bottled water procurement with case studies from organizations that have eliminated bottled water procurement and made the switch to bottle-free alternatives. Presentations include:

    • The Social and Environmental Impacts of Bottled Water - Mark Hays, Corporate Accountability International
    • Bottle-less Water Coolers- Nancy Read and Nelson Nieves, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
    • San Francisco's Phase-Out of Bottled Water - Chandra Johnson, City of San Francisco
    • Bottled Water Alternatives - Courtney Godwin, RPN

    Download now  


    Copy Paper: July 22, 2008

    This webinar covered topics including how to reduce environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle of copy paper, best practices, example procurement policies and bid specs for copy paper. Presentations include:

    • Minimizing Paper Impacts - Susan Kinsella, Conservatree
    • Standards: Copy Paper - Mary Jo Snavely, RPN
    • Portland's Paper Experience: Buying Recycled - Jeff Baer, City of Portland, OR

    Download now  


    Toner Cartridges: June 10, 2008 RPN logo

    This webinar provided information on remanufactured toner cartridges with emphasis on quality control techniques, leading industry standards, and case studies from leading institutions. Presentations include:

    • Remanufactured Toner Cartridges - Problems and Solutions - Matt Kittell, RPN
    • Texas Department of Transportation's Experience with Using Toner Cartridges - Samuel Reyes, Texas DOT
    • The Toner and Inkjet Cartridge Remanufacturing Industry - International Imaging Technology Council (IITC)

    Download now  

    Computers guide cover

    EPEAT Computers: May 6, 2008 RPN logo

    This webinar teaches best practices for computer purchasing, use, end-of-life, and EPEAT certification. Presentations include:

    • Greening Office Equipment - Chris O'Brien, RPN
    • EPEAT Computers - Sarah O'Brien, Green Electronics Council
    • San Jose Case Study - Linden Skjeie, City of San Jose
    Watch or download now  

    Green power guide cover

    Green Power: April 8, 2008 RPN logo

    This webinar provided information on responsible electricity use and procurement, with emphasis on purchasing grid-delivered green power and renewable energy certificates (RECs). Presentations include:

    • Green Power Guide Overview - RPN
    • Environmental Problems with Electricity Production - RPN
    • Renewable Energy - Think Energy
    • Standard and Certification - Green-E Energy
    • Green Power Purchase - Wisconsin
    • Green Power Purchase - Pennsylvania
     Watch or download now  

    Tires guide cover

    Tires and Wheel Weights: March 18, 2008 RPN logo

    This webinar included an update on the low-rolling resistance (LRR) tire marketplace, an explanation of retread tires, and the King County DOT's experience in using lead-free wheel weights. Presentations include:

    • Tire and Wheel Weight Overview - RPN
    • Low Rolling Resistance Tires - NRDC
    • Retread Tires - TRIB
    • Lead-free Wheel Weights - King County, WA
    Watch or download now 

    Fleet guide cover

    Climate Neutral Fleet: August 21, 2007 RPN logo

    This webinar instructed on greenhouse gas management by fleets. Participants learned how improvements in fuel economy, fleet management, and procurement can reduce emissions, improve energy security, and save money. Presentations include:

    • Resources and Tools for Reducing GHGs - RPN
    • Reducing GHG Emissions in the Transportation Sector - ICLEI
    • Carbon Neutral Fleet Management - Environmental Defense
    • Green Fleets Case Study - Ann Arbor, MI
    Watch or download now  


    Green Fleet: March 29, 2007 RPN logo

    This webinar covered: leading trends in purchasing and managing responsible fleet vehicles and fuels; best practices, model policies, costs, and environmental performance issues; and fleet case studies of biofuels and hybrid vehicles. Presentations include:

    • Responsible Purchasing Guide - Matt Kittell, RPN
    • Ethanol and Biodiesel - Darwin Burkhart, Illinois EPA
    • Hybrid Vehicles - Windell Mitchell, King County Fleets
    Watch or download now  

    Fluorescent lighting guide cover

    Fluorescent Lighting: November 5, 2007 RPN logo

    Participants learned about lighting equipment procurement policy and ENERGY STAR's current CFL standard. New York City's successful implementation of a responsible lighting program was the case study. Presentations include:

    • Responsible Purchasing Guide: Fluorescent Lighting - Chris O'Brien, RPN
    • How to Develop a 'Green' Lighting Policy - Alicia Culver, Green Purchasing Institute,
    • City of New York and Lighting: Bright Ideas Moving Forward! - John Katsorhis, NYC Mayor's Office of Contract Services
    • ENERGY STAR Qualified CFLs - David Ryan, D&R International
    Watch or download now  

    Office electronics guide cover

    Purchasing Responsible Office Electronics: July 24, 2007 RPN logo

    This webinar covered the latest information on best practices and standards for socially and environmentally responsible office electronics, including: copiers, printers, fax machines, scanners, and multifunction devices (MFDs). Presentations include:

    • RPN Office Electronics Purchasing Guide - Matt Kittell, RPN
    • ENERGY STAR - Kate Lewis
    • EcoLogo - Scot Case
    • Massachusetts - Dmitriy Nikolayev
    Watch or download now