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Sustainable Marketplace: Greener Products and Services

Final Guidance on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

On September 14, 1998, former President Clinton signed Executive Order (EO)13101, entitled "Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling and Federal Acquisition." Executive Order 13101 (EO 13101) supersedes EO 12873, Federal Acquisition, Recycling and Waste Prevention, issued on October 20, 1993, but retains a similar requirement for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop guidance to "address environmentally preferable purchasing." (Section 503, EO 13101) The Final Guidance that follows is based on EPA's September 1995 Proposed Guidance on the Acquisition of Environmentally Preferable Products and Services (60 FR 50721, September 29, 1995) and comments received on that Proposed Guidance as well as lessons learned from pilot projects conducted to date.

The Final Guidance below is designed to help Executive agencies meet their obligations under EO 13101 to identify and purchase environmentally preferable products and services. Section 503 (c) of EO 13101 directs Executive agencies to "use the principles and concepts in the EPA Guidance on Acquisition of Environmentally Preferable Products and Services, in addition to the lessons from the pilot and demonstration projects to the maximum extent practicable, in identifying and purchasing environmentally preferable products and services" and "modify their procurement programs as appropriate." Furthermore, Section 23.704 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation requires agencies to "affirmatively implement" the objective of "obtaining products and services considered to be environmentally preferable (based on EPA-issued guidance)."

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