Responsible Purchasing Network

RPN's Green Building Initiative

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With support from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) is launching a new project to help public agencies, green building professionals, and facility managers shrink the environmental footprint of their existing buildings, while saving money!

Over the next year, RPN will be conducting online and in-person workshops designed to demonstrate how to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste and improve indoor air quality by purchasing “green” building maintenance products such as:

Purchasers in EPA Regions 1, 4, 7, and 9 (see table below) may also qualify for FREE technical assistance to help advance their high-profile green building initiatives. Qualifying projects must be likely to yield measurable environmental results in reducing energy, water, or pollutants. If your project is chosen, RPN’s staff will help you draft environmental specifications for green building supplies, facilitate cooperative contracting opportunities for green building products or services, or undertake another initiative designed to dramatically boost the use of green building maintenance products. 

ELIGIBLE EPA REGIONS

REGION 1:  Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire

REGION 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

REGION 7; Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa

REGION 9: Alaska, California, Hawai’i, Nevada

Technical assistance opportunities are limited and an application is required. Please download the application below to submit your proposal!


Technical Assitance Application:

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RPN Webinar: Purchasing for Water Efficiency - November 8, 2011 RPN logo

According to the US EPA, commercial buildings in the United States use at least 850 million gallons of water per day! This demand puts tremendous stress on water supplies and distribution systems, threatening both human health and the environment. Water consumption also represents a significant cost to public agencies and other facilities. For example, the City of Houston, TX saved over $260 million through conservation measures that included educational outreach and retrofits.

The webinar covered:

  • A discussion of how water-efficiency improvements can not only lower water and sewer bills but also reduce energy costs
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    An overview of EPA’s WaterSense Program and a preview of how it plans to expand its reach to institutional and commercial buildings
  • A look at how the City of Raleigh, NC developed their own water-efficiency specifications and achieved success with local water-efficiency rebates
  • A case study highlighting how the City of Seattle significantly improved the water efficiency of their facilities.

The webinar featured:

  • Tara O'Hare, Implementation and Recruiting Lead for WaterSense Program, US EPA
  • Cinnamon Black, Water Conservation Specialist, Public Utilities, Raleigh, NC
  • Shirli Axelrod, Senior Environmental Analyst,  Seattle Public Utilities
  • Al Dietemann, Conservation Leader, City of Seattle, WA
  • Phillip Kobernick, Manager, Responsible Purchasing Network

RPN Members and organizations within EPA Regions 1, 4, 7, and 9 (see table below) can watch or download the presentation slides and recording. Please email RPN Manager, Phillip Kobernick to access the webinar recording if you do not already have an RPN login. Non-members may access the presentation slides only.


RPN Members and Organizations in EPA Regions (1, 4, 7, and 9): button Watch Online or Download Slides/Video
Non-Members: button Download Slides Only

REGION 1:  Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire
REGION 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
REGION 7; Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa
REGION 9: Arizona, California, Hawai’i, Nevada

This webinar was offered as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Pollution Prevention Program Offices' Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program.


RPN Webinar: Green Purchasing for Existing Buildings - September 29, 2011


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Existing buildings are a major contributor to Americans’ environmental impact. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to producing 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, existing commercial buildings in the public and private sector:

  • Consume almost 40 percent of all electricity.
  • Use at least 850 million gallons of water a day.
  • Can harbor dangerous chemicals that contribute to poor indoor-air quality.

However, with procurement choices and smart operations, building owners and occupants can dramatically improve their environmental footprint.

The webinar covered:

  • An introduction to green purchasing
  • A review of the environmental impacts of products commonly purchased for the maintenance of existing buildings  
  • An overview of how to identify greener alternatives for paint, janitorial products, lighting, and other product categories and how greener choices can help increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, improve indoor air quality, and in many cases, produce cost savings.
  • “Green-washing” and how to avoid misleading product claims
  • The third-party standards and “eco-labels” that exist to help purchasers make greener choices
  • How to incorporate environmental criteria into bid specifications and RFPs
  • LEED EBOM

The webinar featured:

  • Alicia Culver, Director, Responsible Purchasing Network
  • Marcus Rivas, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Phillip Kobernick, Manager, Responsible Purchasing Network (as moderator)

This webinar was offered as part of  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Pollution Prevention Program Offices' Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program.