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Session 16: EPP Tools & Resources: Other Resources

Thursday, July 17, 1997
2:45 - 4:00 pm



In addition to life cycle tools and electronic tools, supply catalogues and other resources in the private sector are available to share information relevant to purchasing products with environmental attributes. These resources will be discussed along with additional opportunities to communicate and improve information to further the increased acquisition of EPP's.

The moderator introduced Steve Wrenn from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). She mentioned that the DLA in Richmond won the 1996 White House Closing the Circle Award for P2 Innovations for their Environmental Products Catalogue.

Speaker 1: Steve Wrenn, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)

Mr. Wrenn is the chief of product marketing at the Defense Supply Center Richmond, and inventory control point for DLA. Mr. Wrenn has been with DSCR for over 15 years, mainly in procurement. In the early 1990's he was an integral player in establishing the foundation of the marketing at DSCR. He holds degrees from VA Tech and Central Michigan University.

Steve Wrenn began his presentation by introducing the DLA, a part of the Department of Defense. Of the 5 million National Stock Numbers (NSN) issued by different agencies within DoD, DLA is in charge of 3.6 million. DLA has 5 inventory control points: the Defense Supply Center Columbus in Columbus, Ohio; the Defense Personnel Support Center and the Defense Industrial Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Defense Fuel Supply Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and the Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR in Richmond, Virginia. The DSCR has 40 FSGs, 226 FSCs, and 710,898 NSNs. They service the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and other customers. The DSCR's fiscal year 97 sales volume was 7,000 orders a day, with 1.4 million in annual sales.

Mr. Wrenn noted that DLA's Environmental Products (EP) Catalog is available via the DSCR Web site [http://www.dscr.dla.mil/] Exit Disclaimer. The rationale for putting together this catalogue comes from the Federal Facilities Compliance Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act, as well as seven Executive Orders mandating reductions in hazardous materials usage, increases in recycling, and phasing out use of ODCs. This catalogue covers more than 800 NSNs, 17 product categories, hundreds of potential alternatives to ozone-depleting and hazardous chemicals, and extensive point of contacts information.

DLA's Environmental Products Catalog includes information on:

Mr. Wrenn then reviewed the New Item process for Environmental Products. In order to be listed, new environmental products must employ one of the following:

New items must also already have a federal buyer. This demonstrates to DLA that there is a demand for the product and it is worth the cost of assigning a NSN. In order to do be listed in the Environmental Products catalog, either the vendor or the government buyer would have to contact the appropriate supply center and provide the following information (at a minimum):

In addition, the following types of items need approval from the entities listed below:

Other DLA supply centers can have different criteria based on specific product lines they manage. Mr. Wrenn stressed that just because an item has a NSN does not mean it will sell. Items available to federal buyers that are not standard items stocked by DSCR are coded as non-stocked items. Customers order from DSCR by NSN using MILSTRIP/FEDSTRIP. DSCR will then determine stockage and contracting method based on customer demand. DSCR does not market items. It is up to the vendor to market individual products. DSCR markets its services and catalog. The printed version of the catalog is updated yearly. The Internet version is updated once a month.

Mr. Wrenn provided a list of the following key DLA contacts:

Randy Smith, Defense Supply Center Richmond 804 279-3550
Colleen Pintar, Defense Supply Center Columbus 614 692-1858
Lois Altman, Defense Personnel Support Center 215 737-5794
Lindsey Hicks, Defense Fuel Supply Center 703 767-8359
Kurt Maute, Defense Industrial Supply Center 215 697-2377

He also mentioned that the DSCR runs two hazardous materials programs, Hazardous Technical Information Services (HTIS) and Hazardous Materials Information Systems (HMIS).

The moderator then introduced Fidel Reijerse. She emphasized his background in hazardous waste and superfund remediation as well as his work with ISO 14000.

Speaker 2: Fidel Reijerse, Innovative Management Solutions, Inc.

Mr. Reijerse specializes in green building design, environmental management systems and ISO 14000 facilitation, construction and demolition waste management, building material evaluation and procurement, development of specifications and on-site training. He is now an Associate with IMS Inc. and develops and manages projects dealing with integration of environmental issues and regulations within the construction and building industry.

Fidel Reijerse introduced the audience to Innovative Management Solutions, Inc.'s (IMS's) Sample Rooms displaying environmental building products. In order to be included in the sample rooms, products must have been recognized by a third party for their environmental merit in areas such as resource conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, and indoor air quality issues. Sample rooms are located in Ottawa and Toronto in Ontario, Canada.

Background work done by IMS included creating the following:

The purpose of the Sample Rooms is to:

In order to be included in the Sample Rooms, products must be recognized by an independent third party certification program, source book, or Internet site. IMS does not separately evaluate the "greenness" of products. Instead, they accept the following national or international certification programs:

They also include products listed in the following source books:

A number of Internet sites also rate products' environmental merit. IMS uses the following:

To set up the rooms, 250 "prequalified" manufactures were contacted. Profile sheets and labels were created for each product. Then the actual rooms were set up and information binders for each product were created.

The rooms focus on interior architectural materials including paints, carpets, drywall, furniture systems, acoustical products, adhesives, flooring, tiles, insulation, fabric wall coverings and fixtures. The rooms currently include over 250 products representing approximately 50 manufacturers and distributors.

Product profiles illustrate which criteria have been recognized as being environmentally improved. The criteria are quantitative and are grouped in terms of the following four life cycle assessment phases modified from CSA Z760-94.

Phase One -- Raw Materials Acquisition. Criteria listed: Renewable resources, recycled content, and remanufacturing.

Phase Two-- Manufacturing. Criteria listed: Toxicity.

Phase Three-- Use/Reuse/Maintenance. Criteria listed: Ozone depletion, energy use, water use, volatile organic compound emissions, formaldehyde emissions, anti-microbial treatments, reusable, refurbishable, and remanufacturable.

Phase Four-- Recycling/Waste Reduction. Criteria listed: Recyclable and degradable.

All of these criteria are tracked with an easy-to-read matrix that helps purchasers evaluate the benefits of a particular product. This matrix is divided into the above life-cycle phases.

The Sample Rooms are expected to grow and new products are encouraged. For these new products, the manufacturer or distributor completes a detailed questionnaire. IMS verifies the information provided, then develops profile sheets. Then, the product is labeled and included in the rooms.

In addition to expanding existing Sample Rooms, IMS plans to develop additional Sample Rooms. They also are working on a virtual Sample Room that would be accessible via the Internet.

Fidel Reijerse can be reached at 613 789-5832 or fidel@solutions.ca.

Speaker 3: Tom Daily, General Services Administration, GSA

Mr. Daily is with the Environmental and Engineering Policy Division within the Acquistion Management Center of the Federal Supply Service of GSA. Tom heads the group that is the Policy Contact for the Environmental Issues for the Federal Supply Service. In 1991 he was selected to be part of a newly formed environmental planning task force, which has evolved into the position he holds today as Chief of Environmental Programs.

Tom Daily began by noting that GSA is small when compared to DLA. Under the GSA umbrella are public buildings and all sorts of consumable items including paints, chemicals, office supplies, vehicles, and furniture. With the title of the session in mind, Mr. Daily said he would focus his remarks on the nitty gritty of purchasing.

One big message Mr. Daily wanted audience members to take away from the conference was the importance of the Internet. He also wanted to help vendors figure out how to access the GSA system.

Mr. Daily's presentation focused on a review of GSA publications that purchasers would find helpful and that vendors of environmental products would want to be listed in. Waste minimization, recycled content, and energy conservation are all environmental attributes tracked by GSA. GSA lists approximately 3,000 items that have some sort of environmental characteristic. One of their main ways GSA gets information out to purchasers is through publishing catalogs. GSA supply catalogs and other publications are available to federal agencies at no cost. GSA stocks items in high demand at a warehouse. Other items are listed in supply catalogs and federal purchasers can order them on an as needed basis.

GSA flags products with environmental attributes by printing them in green ink in their catalog and listing the particular attribute. Mr. Daily emphasized GSA's new item introduction schedule. He noted that it is helpful for vendors to have a contract through GSA. A GSA contract meets the government's competition requirements. Purchasers do not have to get additional bids for a desired item, but can simply order the item on contract through GSA.

Mr. Daily spoke about the GSA/EPA cleaning products pilot study. He noted how this publication used a matrix approach to address the issues of multiple product characteristics such as fragrances, dyes, and skin irritants.

Mr. Daily announced that GSA will soon have an environmental home page on the Internet, which anyone will be able to access. He drew the audience's attention to the GSA customer assistance guide and business services guide.

He emphasized that vendors need to establish the need for their item by showing proof of government purchasers before GSA will list the item. He also suggested that vendors become familiar with the appropriate commodity center for their product.

Questions & Answers:

Q: Would my energy be better spent educating individual agencies about my product or educating GSA?
A: (Tom Daily) Mr. Daily responded that both are important. When a vendor applies to get a contract, the more information they supply the better. It is particularly important to highlight the environmental information about the product both when meeting with an agency and when dealing with GSA.

Q: Do GSA representatives serve as counsel for purchasers?
A: (Tom Daily) Mr/ Daily responded that, generally speaking, GSA staff only take orders and let purchasers make their own decisions.

Q: Does GSA stick with 20 percent postconsumer content for paper?
A: (Tom Daily) He answered that GSA is complying with the Executive Order specifying minimum amounts of recycled content.
A: (Comment) An audience member pointed out that sometimes GSA has to stock items that are not environmentally preferable because people are dealing with outdated office equipment that will not accept the new products. 

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