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Case Studies

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A number of organizations have undertaken efforts to incorporate environmental considerations into their purchasing decisions. These general case studies highlight the accomplishments achieved by implementing environmentally preferable purchasing practices.

There are also many product-specific case studies that highlight projects incorporating environmentally preferable purchasing practices for specific products and services, by federal agencies:

General Case Studies

Federal Pioneers: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Stories from the Federal Government (PDF) (12 pp, 693 KB)
Booklet highlighting environmentally preferable purchasing projects in the federal government.

State and Local Government Pioneers: How State and Local Governments Are Implementing Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Practices (PDF) (68 pp, 2.3 MB)
This report highlights a number of state and local governments' environmentally preferable purchasing activities.

Private Sector Pioneers: How Companies Are Incorporating Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (PDF) (44 pp, 1.8 MB)
This report highlights some of the initial efforts of private sector companies to "buy green."

U.S. Air Force Reduces Hazardous Purchases
McClellan Air Force Base teamed with the General Services Administration and its suppliers to develop new contracts for unit-of-use purchasing and just-in-time delivery, in order to reduce the quantity of hazardous materials purchased.

Green Spending: A Case Study of Massachusetts' Environmental Purchasing Program (PDF) (23 pp, 1.9 MB)
This case study provides background information on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' environmental purchasing program, an overview of the program and its successes, and a discussion of the challenges and opportunities.

The City of Santa Monica's Environmental Purchasing: A Case Study (PDF) (31 pp, 723 KB)
This case study provides an in-depth look at the steps Santa Monica took to achieve its success in evaluating, purchasing, and using environmentally preferable products and services.

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Product-Specific Case Studies

Building & Construction

Department of Defense, Greening of the Pentagon
The Pentagon Renovation Program (PenRen) requires environmentally preferable products and services in the Pentagon renovation and other construction projects on the Pentagon Reservation.

Department of Defense, Painting the Town Green: Aberdeen Proving Ground's Paint Pilot Project (PDF) (32 pp, 1.1 MB)
This case study documents efforts by the U.S. Department of Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground to purchase environmentally preferable paint.

Department of Defense Partnership Results in an Energy-Efficient Office
The Department of Defense implemented energy efficiency upgrades in government-leased facilities using unique funding mechanisms to finance the upgrades.

Department of Defense Paving Materials Highlight Environmental Attributes
The Department of Defense (DOD) required their road maintenance contractor to use products with enhanced environmental attributes that also met DOD's traditional price and performance specifications.

Department of Energy, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plan (WIPP) renovated an engineering building with a variety of environmental products by identifying and evaluating environmentally preferable products.

Energy Savings Performance Contracts
The EPA and other federal agencies have successfully utilized Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs). An ESPC is a form of third-party financing that funds energy-saving upgrades using the savings from future utility bills.

EPA Region 3 Saves Money With GreenLease Rider
EPA Region 3, in cooperation with the General Services Administration, successfully included environmental criteria in its solicitation for remodeled office space in an existing building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in the process saved more than $900,000.

EPA Region 7 Builds Laboratory With Green Rider
EPA Region 7 issued a "Green Lease Rider," specifying a comprehensive set of environmentally preferable design considerations for a new 37,000-square foot laboratory in Kansas City, Kansas.

EPA Region 9 Purchases Renewable Power
EPA Region 9 purchases 100% green electricity for their laboratory.

EPA Region 10 Remodels With EPP
EPA Region 10 convened a "Green Futures Team" to evaluate and incorporate environmentally preferable products and services into an office building remodeling effort.

Leading by Example, Two Case Studies Documenting How the EPA Incorporated Environmental Features into New Buildings (PDF) (78 pp, 1.4 MB)
These case studies demonstrate the feasibility of cost-effectively incorporating environmental concerns into large building projects, and highlight differences in environmental concerns that arise from different projects.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Adds Energy Efficiency to Specifications
The Army Corps of Engineers incorporated Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) energy-efficiency recommendations into their guide specifications for construction products.

U.S. Coast Guard's Energy-Efficient HVAC Overhaul
The U.S. Coast Guard required energy efficient products in a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system overhaul of a 141,300-square-foot building.

U.S. Postal Service Showcases Green Building in Fort Worth
The U.S. Postal Service utilizes building materials and systems designed to promote a healthy indoor environment, water- and energy-efficiency, and environmental integrity of the local ecosystem.

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Department of Energy's Carpet Contract
The Department of Energy incorporated environmentally preferred qualities at both the manufacturing and disposal stages for purchased carpet, without sacrificing quality or value.


General Services Administration and EPA, Cleaning Products Pilot Project
EPA and the General Services Administration collaborated on the first environmentally preferable purchasing pilot project, which focused on cleaning products.

Cleaning National Parks: Using Environmentally Preferable Janitorial Products at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (PDF) (71 pp, 3.9 MB)
This report documents the process that the National Park Service and two consultants used at Yellowstone National Park to introduce environmentally preferable cleaning products.

Department of the Interior Focuses on Cleaning Products and Supplies
The Department of the Interior included environmental preferability as a significant factor in the selection of the new custodial services contractor, and included "greening" language in the contract solicitation.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Environmental Approach to Copiers
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) "cost per copy" contract allowed the inclusion of several environmental features important to NASA, including recycled paper and energy efficiency.


Defense Logistics Agency Offers Re-Refined Motor Oil
The Defense Logistics Agency procurement programs offer customers the option of purchasing various grades of re-refined motor oil, or closing the loop on motor oil use by having the vendor pick up their used oil in return for the re-refined oil.

Food Services

EPA Aims to Green the Cafeteria
EPA cafeteria focuses on recycling, reuse and composting of cafeteria products and materials.

Office Supplies

National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Recycled-Content Product Procurement
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Langley Research Center increased purchases of recycled-content office products by 500 percent.

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