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EPP Program - Environmentally Preferable Products and Services on Statewide Contracts

There are thousands of EPPs available for purchase to state agencies on Statewide Contracts, such as recycled copy paper, green cleaning products, and alternative fuel vehicles.

Table of Contents

Information Technology (IT)

Electronics production has significant environmental impacts, including the consumption of natural resources, contributions to climate change, and the exacerbation of e-waste issues. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has identified the electronics industry as a major contributor to global emissions. Institutional buyers, who procure substantial quantities of information, communication, and technology products and services, have the capacity to shape demand and promote the adoption of environmentally and climate-friendly electronics. This webpage provides information and resources to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in IT procurement. 

OSD Statewide IT Contracts:  

OSD Statewide Contracts offer a wide range of products and services, including IT Hardware and Software, Data and Cybersecurity Services, Security Systems, Cellular and Network Services, IT Project Services, and more. These contracts leverage negotiated pricing and benefits by the Commonwealth.  

Environmental and climate preferable opportunities within these contracts include choosing third-party certified products, in addition to identifying and choosing vendors that foster a sustainable approach to conducting their operations.    

Third Party Certifications Required in OSD Statewide Contracts:  

OSD mandates third-party certified products for many IT contracts. Energy Star™ focuses on energy efficiency, while the Electronic Procurement Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) and TCO are multi-attribute certifications that encompass sustainability criteria beyond just energy conservation. These certifications help purchasers select products with verified sustainability claims. Buying entities should verify that products chosen actually meet the requirements outlined in the OSD statewide contract. 

General Guidance to Include Additional Sustainability Requirements in RFRs or RFQs:  

Below are additional resources for public IT product and service purchasers to consider in either bidding out an RFR or incorporating additional sustainability specifications or questions into an RFQ.  This includes encouraging product demand reduction and efficiency, as well as identifying sustainable business practices of vendors that actively consider sustainability, and plan and measure their sustainability goals. Ultimately the Commonwealth would like to do business with carbon neutral businesses, meaning those that publicly report Scope 1-3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions, sets Science-Based Targets (SBTi), and develops plans for reducing their emissions.  

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Environmental Considerations:  

See the GEC guide for Purchaser Guide for Sustainability and Cloud-Service Procurements for a list of additional sustainability bidder questions to consider for SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.   

Take Back/Recycling/Management of E-Waste:  

Addresses the return of unused hardware to vendors. Executive Department surplus property must be reported to the State Surplus Property Office.   Surplus property then becomes available for transfer to departments, municipalities, or non-profits, with the remainder auctioned to the public.  

OSD mandates e-waste management vendors to be e-steward certified or meet the R2 Standard for responsible handling of e-waste.  See the Environmetnally Preferable Products and Services Guide for detailed information about e-waste recycling services and to find vendors.   

Remanufactured Toner Cartridges:  

The Joint Enterprise Printer Cartridge Acquisition Policy, issued by the Operational Services Division and the Information Technology Division on October 27, 2012, requires all Executive Department Agencies to purchase remanufactured laser print toner cartridges wherever they are available, and makes the same requirement for Non-Executive Department Agencies using Commonwealth Information Technology Capital Funds. See the EPP Remanufactured Toner Cartridges webpage for more information.  

Bulk Delivery and Alternate Packaging:  

Encourage innovative packaging to reduce weight and waste. Reusable materials, containers, and packaging configurations are promoted. 

Other Considerations:

Additional sustainability considerations include leasing, repairability, circularity, longer battery life, and responsible mining. 

PFAS Free Purchasing

Concerns are rising about a group of harmful chemicals known as PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. These are often referred to as "forever chemicals" because they are highly persistent and toxic. PFAS are used in various products to make them water-repellent, grease-resistant, and/or heat-tolerant. Common items like non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpet, waterproof clothing, and even firefighting foam may contain PFAS. 

These chemicals have been found in many everyday products, ranging from non-stick cookware to firefighting foam, refrigerants, and building materials. To help address this issue, the Responsible Purchasing Network has created a PFAS Free purchasing guide. This guide aims to make it simpler for state agencies and local governments to choose safer options when buying things from Statewide Contracts. 

The PFAS-Free Purchasing Guide

Key Actions   for PFAS Free Purchasing

Save Money with EPPs

The environmental and health benefits of “green” products are well known. What is less evident – but equally important – is that many environmentally preferable products (EPPs) save money, either right off the bat or over time. That’s because some EPPs reduce electricity or water bills, last longer, or have lower maintenance or disposal costs. 

View our resource guide to learn about green purchasing strategies that may save your organization money while protecting human health and the environment, and listen to and view the slides from the OSD webinar “Saving Money with EPPs”.

Save Money by Buying Green Resource Guide

Save Money with Environmentally Preferable Products webinar slides

Save Money with Environmentally Preferable Products webinar recording

Commercial Battery Powered Landscape Equipment

Converting from gasoline and propane to battery-powered landscaping equipment offers an opportunity to reduce the onsite combustion of fossil fuels and associated emissions from landscaping and lawn maintenance, while providing additional benefits to staff, the local community, and surrounding environment.

OSD offers many types of commercial-grade, battery-powered landscaping equipment, including mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers. This equipment has proven track records, performing as well as traditional equipment and meeting the gardening and landscaping needs of many state and municipal facilities across the Commonwealth. The following statewide contracts offer purchase of equipment, services from landscapers using battery-powered equipment, and management of spent batteries. 

  • FAC116 - Lawns & Grounds, Equipment, Parts, and Services Statewide, Category 13 has Commercial Grade Battery Electric Lawn Equipment. Check with vendors on battery recycling/disposal options before purchasing. 
  • FAC120 - Landscaping Services, Snow Removal, Tree Care and Related Services have vendors who use battery electric equipment as part of their service. Confirm with vendors before securing service. 
  • FAC110 - Hazardous/Universal, Medical, Electronic Waste Disposal and Emergency Response has vendors available for battery recycling.

Some Benefits to Switching to Battery Electric Equipment

  • Environmental benefits:
    • Helps the Commonwealth meet its environmental goals in climate change, clean air, and toxics use reduction.
    • Reduces carbon emissions, toxic exposure, air pollution, hazardous waste, and spills.
    • Reduces noise pollution and nuisance complaints.
    • Reduces wildlife and habitat exposure to toxic emissions, excessive noise, and ground-sourced particulates, and does not contribute to smog.
  • Health benefits:
    • Reduces worker exposures to toxic emissions, excessive noise, excessive vibrations, and ground-sourced particulates.
    • Reduces public exposure to toxic emissions, excessive noise, and ground-sourced particulates.
  • Cost benefits:
    • Avoided fuel costs.
    • Lower maintenance costs and reduction in maintenance chemicals
    • The possibility for extended work hour options and holiday operation due to lower noise levels

Reports/Guidance:

Other:

Quiet Communities
American Green Zone Alliance
OSD Buy The Way, “MassDOT’s Initiative to Reduce Carbon Emissions, Noise and Reap Long-term Savings”
UMass Lowell “Grounds Operations Manager Erik Shaw Finds Innovative Ways To Keep Campus Green”

Green Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies

Introduction

Statewide Contract (SWC) FAC118 was issued to offer a broad selection of environmentally preferable cleaning products, intended to replace commonly used harsh chemical cleaners. The contract, which is a multi-state contract available to Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Rhode Island, includes environmentally preferable chemicals and janitorial paper goods, safer sanitizers and disinfectants, janitorial supplies (e.g., mops and brooms, sponges, etc.), certain personal protective equipment, hand soaps and sanitizers, trash and composting liners, entryway systems, powered janitorial equipment, and more.

Third-Party Certified: All of the green chemicals are required to be “Independently Third-Party Certified,” which means that the environmental claims, as well as the product’s performance, have been tested and certified by an established, legitimate, and nationally-recognized certification program. Contract users may be assured that the product will perform well.

Allowable Active Ingredients for Sanitizers and Disinfectants: All of the active ingredients for sanitizers and disinfectants have been approved by the Toxics Reduction Task Force, in addition to creating a list of prohibited active ingredients (e.g., chlorinated products such as bleach, and those containing Quaternary Ammonium Compounds).

Assistance: Vendors must be capable of assisting customers with the development and implementation of a green cleaning program based on the guidelines generated by cleaning industry and independent janitorial cleaning certification organizations. Vendors also must be prepared to provide guidance, training, and relevant materials that will enable customers to more easily make the transition to green cleaning products and practices and track their progress and success

Policies and Guidance

  • FAC118 Contract User Guide: This guide provides a general summary of the contract, outlines pricing and purchasing options, includes a vendor list, and reviews the benefits and cost savings associated with the contract. 
  • Approved Green Products List for FAC118: This is an Approved List of Green Cleaning Products that includes the products offered on SWC FAC118:Green Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies. The purpose of this list is to assist users in finding and comparing green cleaning products, supplies, and equipment. The link will take you to the Master MBPO for FAC118 in COMMBUYS where all contract documents are located, and choose the file titled “FAC118 Approved Products List.”
  • Attachment A: Mandatory Specifications and Desirable Criteria for FAC118: The FAC118 Strategic Sourcing Services Team (SSST) developed mandatory specifications and desirable criteria for all products offered on FAC118. For a product to be on the Approved Products List, it must meet the criteria listed in this document.

Case Studies and Fact Sheets

  • Cleaning The Bathrooms: This fact sheet was created by the Toxics Reduction Task Force for the purpose of providing clear and simple guidance as well as additional resources on cleaning and disinfecting restroom facilities. 
  • Bradley Palmer State Park: This case study reviews the Bradley Palmer State Park success in using green cleaners.

Resources:

Furniture, Environmentally Preferable

Many traditional office and school furniture products contain harmful chemicals in the adhesives, finishes, foams, fabrics, and other materials that impact indoor air quality.  They may also use a large amount of virgin resources, from wood to plastics. As the industry has matured, it is now easier to ask for and find greener alternatives that are comparable in performance, style, and price.  Many manufacturers of commercial and institutional furniture are actively competing on environmental and health attributes for their products. 

OSD’s Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement (EPP) Program has worked with existing vendors to identify climate and environmentally preferable furniture on Statewide Contract OFF52: Office, School and Library Furniture, Accessories & Services. This contract requires vendors to disclose whether the product has an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), Health Product Declaration (HPD), Third-Party Certification or other environmental standards allowing buyers to find products with reduced indoor air emissions, toxics, and recycled content.  In addition, the contract offers Category 9: Refurbished and Reused Furniture.  For more information visit:

Additional Resources   for Furniture, Environmentally Preferable

Remanufactured Toner Cartridges

Executive Order 515 requires the purchase of remanufactured and other environmentally preferable products (EPPs) wherever they are available. The Joint Enterprise Printer Cartridge Acquisition Policy, issued by the Operational Services Division and the Information Technology Division on October 27, 2012, requires all Executive Department Agencies to purchase remanufactured laser print toner cartridges wherever they are available, and makes the same requirement for Non-Executive Department Agencies using Commonwealth Information Technology Capital Funds.

The Commonwealth’s goal is to ensure that a minimum of 80% of all laser printer toner cartridge purchases by Executive Departments are remanufactured.  In addition, all other Commonwealth entities are encouraged to adopt, at a minimum, policies and requirements to support this policy. 

There are multiple cartridge manufacturers making a wide range high quality, third-party certified products for most equipment models. Remanufactured cartridges must be guaranteed to meet Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) standards, and be certified to meet all test methods developed and used by the printer cartridge industry. All vendors offer cartridge recycling at no cost to customers and some may offer rebates on the cartridges.

Policies and Guidance

  • ITC80 Contract User Guide: This guide provides a general summary of the contract, outlines pricing and purchase options, includes a vendor list, and reviews benefits and cost savings associated with the contract.
  • ITD Enterprise Printer Cartridge Acquisition Policy (10/27/2012): This Policy (located on the EPP Program Policies page) establishes requirements for the purchase and recycling of laser printer toner cartridges aimed at increasing the purchase and use of remanufactured laser printer cartridges throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department agencies by 40% during Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) and by a minimum of 10% annually thereafter. 
  • ITC66 Remanufactured Toner Cartridge FAQs : This Frequently Asked Questions reviews some of the most asked questions regarding the ITD Enterprise Printer Cartridge Acquisition Policy.
  • Remanufactured Printer Cartridge Resolution Guidance  :  Developed jointly by ITD and OSD, this guidance reviews steps agencies can take to resolve issues when using remanufactured toner cartridges.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

The demand for alternative fuel vehicles, particularly those that run on electricity, continues to grow across the Commonwealth as agencies and communities look to reduce their carbon footprint. OSD provides numerous Statewide Contract options for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), as well as products/services to build the infrastructure needed to power them. These include:

  • VEH102 - Advanced Vehicle Technology Equipment, Supplies and Services provides options for EV supply equipment, such as charging stations, idle reduction technologies, and after-market conversion technologies. See the VEH102 Technologies to Green Your Fleet flyer for a broad range of information, including funding sources.
  • VEH110 - Purchase of Vehicles: This contract features a range of electric vehicles (EVs), including battery electric (BEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and those that have options to run on compressed natural gas, biodiesel, and flex fuel, which includes a portion of ethanol. 
  • VEH111 - Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Road Maintenance and Construction Equipment: This contract has some all-electric vehicles and upfits available, including busses and truck chassis.
  • FAC112 - Equipment Rental : This contract includes a number of battery powered offerings. 

Why Switch to Electric Vehicles?

  • Save on fuel costs;
  • Reduce maintenance/operational costs:
  • Battery, motor, and electronics require little maintenance when compared to internal combustion engine vehicles;
  • Fewer fluids required;
  • Regenerative braking reduces wear and tear;
  • No tailpipe emissions or particulates – cleaner fuel source versus gasoline and diesel;
  • There are hundreds of publicly available charging stations in MA, and the number is growing!

Guidance:

Commonwealth Fuel Efficiency Standards
Biodiesel for Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Electric Vehicle Charging Information
Clean Cities Coalition Network-Massachusetts
Alternative Fuels and Electric Vehicles 101
Department of Energy Resources, Leading By Example Clean Transportation Initiative

Incentives:

State and Federal Electric Vehicle Funding Programs
US Department of Energy - Massachusetts EV Incentives
Utility Make Ready Programs (for Charging Stations) 

Other:

MassEvolves: Zero Emission Vehicles Resource

  • 2021 Electric Vehicle Purchase Challenge - spotlights new EV acquisitions for fleets, offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership, and helps entities gain additional recognition for on-the-ground efforts to reduce environmental impacts. 

Massachusetts Decarbonization Roadmap

Additional Resources   for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Recycle and Buy Recycled – Close the Loop!

As published in the Massachusetts Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) Procurement Program Annual Report, Commonwealth buyers diverted an estimated 13,049 tons of waste from disposal to recycling in FY21 using resources on Statewide Contract (SWC).

Our contracts enable buyers to recycle a vast number of items and offer tools to develop your own recycling program, effectively helping to minimize waste and work towards a circular economy. SWC vendors are available to assess organizations’ needs, make cost-effective recommendations, and provide employee assistance. Our recycling guidance document reviews contracts to keep top of mind and it includes a list of recyclable items, such as electronic waste, paints, scrap metal, mattresses, and large appliances, along with the supporting SWC.

In addition, the Commonwealth closes the recycling loop by including many products on SWC’s that are made with post-consumer recycled content, often referred to as PCRC.  This term means that a product has been made using reprocessed materials that have been recycled from a consumer recycling program (i.e., aluminum, cardboard boxes, paper, and plastic bottles, etc.) and these products are considered environmentally preferable. PCRC specifications in SWCs may be found in the EPP Program’s Minimum Environmentally Preferable Products and Services Specifications Guide.

Other benefits of recycling and purchasing products with PCRC:

  • Saves energy by reducing the need to extract and process new materials, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Saves disposal capacity;
  • Conserves natural resources (timber, water, minerals), requires less energy, and prevents pollution from manufacturing products from recycled materials. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that using recycled materials reduces energy and emissions, even when accounting for the transportation of materials;
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials; and
  • Recycling creates jobs!

Support Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Purchasing

OSD signed on as an advocate for the Government Recycling Demand Champion Program run by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) in partnership with the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR). The initiative encourages state, local, and regional government entities to support recycling efforts by purchasing products that contain PCR plastic. The Program offers free technical assistance and training, recognition, and tools.   

Find products on SWC with PCRC Plastic

PCRC Paper

OSD offers many paper products with PCRC.  Since 1994, Massachusetts has required most copy paper and envelopes to have a minimum PCRC of 30% (unless a particular paper type is only available with a lesser percentage), including options for 50% and 100% PCRC, as well as various tree-free options. In addition, janitorial paper products, food service papers, and other office products are required to include PCRC.

The quality, performance, and availability of the products are equal to their virgin counterparts. Recycled content paper is competitive with virgin paper and may be less expensive when considering the long-term impacts and life-cycle cost of the product.

Other Resources

 

EPP Clothing

Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement Program Case Study about Performance Shell Jackets & Fleece Made From 100% Recycled Plastic.

Additional Resources   for EPP Clothing

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