Buying Green Goods

This page has been developed for price-based solicitations, where the lowest price that meets specifications is successful, such as an Invitation to Quote (ITQ). The applicable specifications / environmental certifications and standards identified on this page can be copied, edited (if needed) and pasted into the specifications for the goods being purchased.  Refer to Award to Lowest Price for guidance.

If using a scored solicitation process that is not an evaluation of price only (e.g. Short-form Request for Proposals, Request for Proposals or Request for Qualifications), adapt the suggested language as scored criteria by among other things, changing the “must” to “should” so that the level of compliance indicated by the vendor in its proposal or response to the solicitation can be evaluated and scored accordingly.  Refer to Award to Highest Score for guidance, or go to Ministry and Support Services Procurement Contacts for assistance.

This page features a list of goods that may have a reliable environmental standard, certification or specification associated with them.  Government buyers should, when appropriate, include the relevant specifications when describing the goods being purchased.

Click on the appropriate product type to find some or all of the following information:

  • description of primary relevant environmental consideration(s);
  • an environmental or sustainable certification or standard, and/or specification that can be copied and pasted into the requisition and Invitation to Quote and/or
  • recycling / disposal information.

Some of these products are available as Corporate Supply Arrangements (CSAs) in the Goods and Services Catalogue.  As per core policy (CPPM 6.3.2.a.1), ministries must purchase those goods and services through a CSA if one exists that meets the need.

These environmental specifications do not take price premiums or availability into consideration.  These products may not be equal in price to those that are not as green, and they may not be readily available throughout the Province of B.C.  The suggested specifications only address environmental considerations, which do not supersede performance or other business requirements.  Government buyers should include additional specifications to address their performance and business needs.  The Province of B.C. makes no endorsement, warranty or representation of any kind with respect to any environmental specifications or eco-labels provided by third parties that may be referenced on this or any associated webpage.

Environmentally friendly products as well as their standards, specifications and certifications are expected to change over time.  Please email suggestions to update the information found on this page.

 

Adhesives

Related keywords – glue, epoxy

Environmental Considerations:

  • Reduction of toxics and ozone depleting substances

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

Adhesives must be:

  • EcoLogo, Greenguard;or Green Seal certified or equivalent; or
  • Lowest volatile organic content (VOC) emissions available in adhesive type; and
  • Urea Formaldehyde free.

 

Appliances

Related keywords – refrigerator, freezer, stove, oven, washer, dryer, furnace

Environmental Considerations:

  • Energy conservation

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

Appliances must be:

 

Asphalt

Related keywords – pavement, road surface

Environmental Considerations:

  • Energy conservation.

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

  • Asphalt stockpiles must be tarped prior to production to reduce moisture content.

 

Batteries

Environmental Considerations:

  • Diversion of toxics from landfill.

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

  • None known

Greener Options:

  • Purchase rechargeable over disposable batteries to reduce waste.

Disposal Information:

 

Batteries - rechargeable

Environmental Considerations:

  • Diversion of toxics from landfill.

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

  • Rechargeable batteries should be EcoLogo certified or equivalent.

Disposal Information:

  • Recycle rechargeable batteries through Call2Recycle, or equivalent.

 

Books

Environmental Considerations:

  • Forest stewardship
  • Recycled/recyclable materials
  • Diversion from landfill

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

  • Books should be delivered online
  • Books must be printed on EcoLogo, FSC, or SFI or equivalent forest stewardship certified paper and cover stock, preferably post-consumer recycled stock.
  • Printing inks must be vegetable based or low VOC (volatile organic compounds).
  • Binding glues must be water based.

Disposal Information:

  • Donate good condition books to second hand stores.
  • Recycle soft cover books in a blue recycling bin.
  • Hard cover books have dense covers which can make them difficult to recycle. Some recycling depots accept them for recycling - to find locations that accept hard cover books, visit the Recycling Depot of BC’s on-line Recyclepedia. If recycling options for hard cover books do not exist, the covers can be removed and the inner pages recycled as mixed waste paper. 

 

Cleaning Supplies

Related keywords – Cleaning supplies, Paper Towel, Toilet Tissue, Liquid Soap, Napkins, Garbage Bags

Environmental Considerations:

  • Toxins
  • Packaging

Shop at Product Distribution Centre first for EcoLogo certified biodegradable cleaning products. If the product isn’t available there look elsewhere for EcoLogo or Green Seal cleaning products with the following packaging attributes:

  • Bulk packaging;
  • Soft plastic (LDPE) packaging over hard (HDPE); and
  • Packaging with post-consumer recycled content.

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

Cleaning products must be:

  • EcoLogo or Green Seal certified, or equivalent, where certification exists in the product type.

Packaging must:

  • Be soft plastic (LDPE); or
  • Contain post-consumer recycled content.

 

Computer Hardware

Related keywords – desktops, monitors, personal computers, lap tops, tablets

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT PURCHASERS

  • Government’s computer hardware is purchased and managed centrally.  For more information please refer to Workstation Services or the Computer Hardware Corporate Supply Arrangement.

OTHER PURCHASERS

  • The B.C. broader public sector has the option to purchase from the Corporate Supply Arrangements identified above.  Use the following information if purchasing outside the provincial arrangements.

Environmental Considerations:

  • Reduction of toxics and/or ozone depleting substances
  • Energy conservation
  • Recycled / recyclable materials
  • Packaging

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

Desktops, laptops and monitors must be:

  • Energy Star qualified or equivalent; and
  • EPEAT Silver certified or equivalent.

Packaging must be:

  • Retrieved and reused or recycled by the supplier or made of >50% post-consumer recycled content; and
  • Readily recyclable in BC.

 

Computer Software

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT PURCHASERS

  • Government’s computer software is purchased and managed centrally.  Software is purchased by license, and is electronically delivered.  For more information refer to Workstation Services or the Computer Software Corporate Supply Arrangements.

OTHER PURCHASERS

The B.C. broader public sector has the option to purchase from the Corporate Supply Arrangements identified above.   

 

Furniture (systems furniture, seating, case goods, filing)

Related keywords – case goods, chairs, desks, bookshelves, filing cabinets, panels

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT PURCHASERS

Furniture sold through the CSAs will be:

  • Independently third-party certified as compliant with the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard at level® 1, or
  • Certified C2C Silver.

OTHER PURCHASERS

  • The B.C. broader public sector has the option to purchase from the Corporate Supply Arrangement identified above.  Use the following information if purchasing outside the provincial arrangements.

Environmental Considerations:

  • Reduction of toxics and/or ozone depleting substances
  • Energy conservation
  • Recycled / recyclable materials
  • Packaging
  • Diversion of toxics from landfill

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

Where available in product type, systems furniture, case goods and seating must be:

 

Multifunction Devices

Related keywords – facsimile machine, fax, photocopier, printer, scanner

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT PURCHASERS

Core government organizations are required to obtain secure MFD services through the Managed Print Services Corporate Supply Arrangement.

BC PUBLIC SECTOR PURCHASERS

  • The B.C. broader public sector has the option to purchase from the Corporate Supply Arrangement identified above.  Use the following information if purchasing outside the provincial arrangements.

Environmental Considerations:

  • Energy and paper consumption
  • Hazardous Substances

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

Multifunction device must be EcoLogo certified and Energy Star qualified, or equivalent.

 

Paint (water based paint, oil based paint and related products)

Related keywords – alkyd paint, latex paint, stain, varnish

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT PURCHASERS

  • Painting of provincial government owned or leased premises is managed by Real Estate Services.  For all other paint purchases, the following guidelines can be used.

Environmental Considerations:

  • Reduction of toxics and/or ozone depleting substances

Specifications / Environmental Certifications or Standards:

All paints, sealers, stains must be:

  • Lowest VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions; and
  • MPI Green Performance standard products with highest E rating (1-3) available in product type; or
  • GreenGuard certified; or
  • EcoLogo certified;
  • or equivalent.
 

 

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