Sustainable Acquisitions

XBD200908-00745-25.TIF Our mission is to promote and support greater awareness of sustainable acquisitions by selecting and acquiring sustainable products and services, optimizing performance standards and minimizing environmental impacts.

Our vision is to lead the Berkeley Lab community by playing a significant role in the sustainable acquisition process that supports and cultivates a sustainable Berkeley Lab.

Our goal is to balance environmental, social and financial responsibilities in every purchasing decision to achieve the associated environmental benefits.

Sustainable Acquisition Program Requirements

Berkeley Lab is committed to sustainable environmental stewardship. Sustainable or “Green” Environmentally Preferable Products (EPPs) and services must be specified when requesting the acquisition of products and services for Berkeley Lab unless a specific exception applies. General exceptions to the requirements and other resources to determine applicability are provided below.

The following federal and UC policies and/or programs applicable to sustainable procurement must be considered when purchasing products or services:

  • Recycled Products – Products containing recovered material designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs).
  • Energy Efficient Products – Electronic products that are ENERGY STAR® certified or DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated products.
  • Biobased Products – Products meeting the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) content requirements under the BioPreferred® program.
  • Non-Ozone Depleting Products – Products using acceptable chemicals and manufacturing processes listed under EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.
  • WaterSense® labeled (water efficient) products and services.
  • Safer Choice-certified products (products that contain safer chemical ingredients).
  • Products and services that meet or exceed EPA Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels including the EPEAT, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool for the information technology (IT) sector.
  • UC Sustainable Procurement Policy & Guidelines ban the purchase of foam products, requires the reduction of single-use products, and requires electronic waste recycling by e-Steward Certified recyclers and states the Laboratory prioritize waste reduction in the following order: Reduce, reuse, and then recycle and compost.
  • The In-Use Off-Road Diesel-Fueled Fleets Regulation requires in-use off-road diesel fueled fleet owners to report off-road diesel vehicle inventories and actions taken to reduce vehicle emissions to the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  In accordance with this regulation, Berkeley Lab is required to obtain certificates from potential subcontractors and vendors using or offering equipment or fleets exceeding 25 total horsepower (HP) demonstrating compliance for Laboratory-related work in the State of California prior to award.  A fleet is defined as one or more vehicles collectively exceeding 25 HP.

Exceptions to Acquisition Requirements:

In accordance with E.O. 14057 Implementing Instructions, Sustainable acquisition requirements are practicable unless the following conditions apply:

For recovered (recycled) content and biobased products, the Laboratory cannot:

  1. Competitively acquire a product or service within a reasonable performance schedule or critical need;
  2. acquire a product or service that meets reasonable performance requirements; or
  3. acquire a product or service at a reasonable price (the price is not considered reasonable if it exceeds 110% of the price of alternatives).

For more detailed information on exceptions, see the Customer Guide – Berkeley Lab Sustainable Acquisition Program in the Customer Guides within the ePro section of the Procurement & Property website.

Identify Compliant Products and Services

Requester should consult the Green Procurement Compilation or SFTool – Product Search in the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) SFTool website to identify products subject to federal sustainability requirements and look for products offered that are compliant.  Requesters must review the RPMs Sustainability Standards for Operations and Sustainability Standards for New Construction and Major Renovations for additional project-specific requirements with respect to sustainable acquisitions.  Requesters may also consult with the sustainable procurement representative (SPR) ( for additional information.

If the requester and procurement specialist determine the product(s) being requested is (are) subject to sustainable acquisition requirements but is (are) non-compliant and an exception applies, the procurement specialist and requester must complete an Exception Justification for Other Than Sustainably Compliant Products form. The form must be reviewed and accepted by the sustainable procurement representative (SPR). The procurement specialist completes Part I of the form to identify the product being purchased and which program applies and the requester completes Part II of the form providing details justifying why the purchase of a non-compliant product or service should proceed in accordance with one of the listed exceptions. Specific information must be presented that provides evidence that a valid exception exists.

eBuy Ordered Products Should Also Be Sustainable

When ordering items on eBuy, users should look for green alternatives by checking the Green Procurement Compilation or SFTool – Product Search in the GSA’s SFTool website to identify products subject to federal sustainability requirements and look for products offered by eBuy suppliers that are compliant.