United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway AdministrationSkip to content FHWA Home Feedback

DOT logo
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

FHWA Green Procurement Guide

April 2010


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear herein only because they are considered essential to the objective of this document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Table of Contents

Green Procurement Planning – A Sustainability Tool

The Federal Government is one of the largest purchasers in the world. Federal agencies spent more than $600 billion for goods and services, including $25 billion for small purchases via purchase cards. This translates into an obligation and an opportunity to leverage such purchasing power to be a responsible environmental steward by choosing green products.

Stewardship of the Nation’s resources is the primary reason to purchase green products and services. FHWA personnel involved in acquisition planning should consider the purchase and use of green products. Program offices will develop requirement specifications to include green standards, per Executive Order (E.O.) 13423.

This should be done during the acquisition planning stage to enhance FHWA’s procurement of designated recycled content products, energy- and water-efficient products, bio-based, environmentally preferable products and services, alternative fuel vehicles and alternative fuels, non-ozone depleting substances, and EPA priority chemicals.

For example, standards or specifications unrelated to performance or presenting barriers should be revised or eliminated when reviewing or drafting procurement specifications. Specifically, a preference should be expressed for the aforementioned products and items to the maximum extent practicable.

For example:

Key Environmental Programs

Recovered Materials and Bio-based Products

What is the authority for these requirements?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, (RCRA), section 6002, requires Federal agencies to procure Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated recycled content composed of the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable consistent with maintaining a satisfactory level of competition. In developing plans, drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product descriptions, agencies will consider, as appropriate, a broad range of factors including: elimination of virgin material requirements; use of bio-based products; use of recovered materials; reuse of product; life-cycle costs; recyclability; use of environmentally preferable products; waste prevention (including toxicity reduction or elimination); and ultimate disposal.

The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA, also known as the “Farm Bill”) establishes a bio-based products purchasing program. Bio-based products are commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that are composed in whole or in significant part, of biological products or renewable domestic agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials) or forestry materials. They are made from a renewable resource and, with some exceptions; they generally do not contain synthetics, toxins or environmentally damaging substances. Bio-based products provide markets for U.S. farm products and they also reduce dependence on fossil energy (particularly imported oil), so their use contributes to our energy, economic, and environmental security.

E.O. 13423Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Managementdirects Federal agencies to conduct their environmental, transportation, and energy-related activities under the law in support of their respective missions in an environmentally, economically and fiscally sound, integrated, continuously improving, efficient, and sustainable manner.

More specifically, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 23.4 establishes a number of specific requirements implementing the requirements outline above. These requirements include:

How does this impact FHWA purchases?

Purchases of printing and writing paper: 100 percent of all FHWA purchases of printing and writing paper must meet or exceed 30 percent of post consumer materials. See FAR 11.303 for additional details. Additionally, FAR 4.302 requires most contractor submittals should be submitted on double sided paper, and should include 30-percent post consumer materials. Some minor exceptions apply.

Recovered Materials Designated Products: If you are buying an item identified on the EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) list, and the total purchase cost for this item is greater than $10K, you must follow the EPA’s CPG for the purchase (unless one of the other exemptions applies).

If you are buying an item identified on the EPA’s CPG list, and the Agency has determined that it purchased more than $10K for this item, in aggregate, for the previous fiscal year, you will be required to apply EPA’s CPG guidelines (unless one of the other exemptions applies), regardless of the value of your individual purchase. In this case, the Agency will have developed an affirmative procurement program that includes your designated item.

As of the date of this publication, neither the Department nor the FHWA has established an affirmative procurement program for any designated items. Specific affirmative procurement programs will provide further requirements for tracking designated products.

Below is a summary of the EPA CPG product categories and items. Additional details regarding the EPA CPG products can be found at: www.epa.gov/cpg/products.htm. The Web site contains detailed recycled content requirements and recommendations on a product by product basis. Agencies are required to purchase designated products with the highest recycled material content practicable.

EPA CPG Designated Product Categories

Construction Products
Building insulation products
Carpet and carpet cushion
Cement and concrete containing coal fly ash, ground
granulated blast furnace slag, cenospheres, or silica
Consolidated and reprocessed latex paint
Floor tiles
Flowable fill (backfill)
Laminated paperboard
Modular threshold ramps
Non-pressure pipe
Patio blocks
Railroad grade crossing surfaces
Shower and restroom dividers/partitions
Structural fiberboard

Landscaping Products
Compost made from yard trimmings or food waste
Garden and soaker hoses
Hydraulic mulch
Lawn and garden edging
Plastic lumber landscaping timbers and posts

Non-Paper Office Products
Binders, clipboards, file folders, clip portfolios, and
presentation folders
Office furniture
Office recycling containers
Office waste receptacles
Plastic desktop accessories
Plastic envelopes
Plastic trash bags
Printer ribbons
Toner cartridges

Paper and Paper Products
Commercial/industrial sanitary tissue products
Miscellaneous papers (tray liners)
Paperboard and packaging products
Printing and writing papers

Park and Recreation Products
Park benches and picnic tables
Plastic fencing
Playground equipment
Playground surfaces
Running tracks

Transportation Products
Delineators and flexible delineators
Parking stops
Traffic barricades
Traffic cones

Vehicular Products
Engine coolants
Rebuilt vehicular parts
Re-refined lubricating oils
Retread tires

Miscellaneous Products
Awards and plaques
Bike racks
Blasting grit
Industrial drums
Manual-grade strapping

Bio-based Products:

If you are buying an item identified on the USDA designated list, and the total purchase cost for this item is greater than $10K, you must follow the UDSA’s guidelines for the purchase (unless one of the other exemptions applies).

If you are buying an item identified on the USDA’s designated list, and the Agency has determined that it purchased more than $10K for this item in the previous fiscal year, you will be required to apply USDA’s guidelines (unless one of the other exemptions applies), regardless of the value of your individual purchase. In this case, the Agency will have developed an affirmative procurement program for your item.

As of the date of this publication, neither the Department nor the FHWA has established an affirmative procurement program for any designated items.

Below is a summary of the designated bio-based products listed by the USDA. Additional details regarding the UDSA’s bio-based programs and designated items can be found at http://www.usda.gov/biopreferred.

Bio-Preferred Designated Items - March 2010
Construction and
Min. Bio-
Food Service Min. Bio-
Carpets 7% Disposable Containers 72%
Chain and Cable Lubricants 77% Disposable Cutlery 48%
Composite Panels: Disposable Tableware* 72%
Acoustical 37% Food Cleaners 53%
Interior Panels 55% Facility Operations and
Plastic Lumber 23% 2-Cycle Engine Oils 34%
Structural Interior Panels 89% Corrosion Preventatives 53%
Structural Wall Panels 94% Diesel Fuel Additives 90%
Concrete and Asphalt
Release Fluids
87% Dust Suppressants 85%
Expanded Polystyrene
Foam Recycling Products*
90% Fertilizers 71%
Forming Lubricants 68% Gear Lubricants 58%
Fluid-Filled Transformers General Purpose De-Icers 93%
Synthetic Ester Based 66% Greases:
Vegetable Oil Based 95% Food Grade 42%
Hydraulic Fluids: Multipurpose 72%
Mobile Equipment 44% Other 75%
Stationary Equipment 44% Rail Truck 30%
Industrial Cleaners 41% Track 77%
Metalworking Fluids: Heat Transfer Fluids* 89%
General Purpose Soluble,
Semi-Synthetic, and
Synthetic Oils
57% Ink Removers and Cleaners* 79%
High Performance
Soluble, Semi-Synthetic,
and Synthetic Oils
40% Mulch & Compost
Straight Oils 66% Multipurpose Lubricants* 88%
Parts Wash Solution 65% Penetrating Lubricants 68%
Plastic Insulating Foam for
Residential and
Commercial Construction
7% Sorbents 89%
Roof Coatings 20% Turbine Drip Oils* 87%
Water Tank Coatings 59% Janitorial
Wood and Concrete
Adhesive and Mastic
Membrane Concrete Sealers 11% Bathroom and Spa
Penetrating Liquids 79% Carpet and Upholstery
Miscellaneous General Purpose 54%
Bedding, Bed Linens, and
12% Spot Removers 7%
Firearm Lubricants 49% Films:
Hand Cleaners 64% Non-Durable 85%
Hand Sanitizers 73% Semi-Durable 45%
Lip Care Products 82% Floor strippers 78%
Office Paper* 95% General Purpose
Household Cleaners
Topical Pain Relief
91% Glass Cleaners 49%
  Graffiti and Grease
Laundry Products:  
General Purpose 34%
Multipurpose Cleaners 56%

*Proposed product categories to be added in 2010.

Are there exemptions to these requirements?

Yes. If you are required to purchase a designated item under the EPA’s CPG, as outlined in FAR 23.400, exemptions under all circumstances can be granted on a case-by-case basis if price, performance, or timeliness issue exists. If you are seeking an exemption, FAR 23.405 requires the contracting officer to place a written justification in the contract file if an acquisition of EPA-designated products, above the micro-purchase threshold, does not meet applicable minimum recovered material content recommended by EPA guidelines.

The contracting officer will base the justification on the inability to acquire the product competitively within a reasonable period of time, at reasonable prices, or at reasonable performance standards in the specifications, provided a written determination by technical or requirements personnel of the performance standard's reasonableness is included with the justification. The technical and requirements personnel must base their determination on National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines, if available.

The program office should use OST GPP Request for Waiver Form (Attachment No. 1) to document an exemption to the purchase of CPG covered products. The request for waiver should be included in the PRISM Procurement Request package, as an attachment, prior to submission to the contracting office.

For the purpose of this GPP, a product is “unreasonably priced” if it costs more than a comparable non-recycled or bio-based product. EPA’s intent (as stated in a Federal Register Notice, August 28, 2001) is for purchasers to choose products having the best environmental performance. EPA noted that procuring agencies are not required to purchase a product containing recovered materials if it is only available at an unreasonable price. This is a judgment call for which no written policy exists. If a product is more expensive, but has environmental or operational benefits, the purchaser is not required to claim the “reasonable price” exemption, but should exercise sound judgment weighing the environmental benefits against any additional costs.

No written justification is required for a waiver under the USDA bio-based program.

What if there is a conflict and a product is listed on both the EPA CPG and the USDA bio-based designated product list?

Where there is a conflict between these two programs, the EPA CPG list and requirements take priority.

What if my product is listed on one of the two lists, but does not meet the dollar threshold for it being a required purchase?

The lack of an affirmative purchasing program not withstanding, requirements officials and contracting officers should pursue acquisition strategies that maximize the use of products using recovered materials and bio-based products to the extent practical and cost effective. Just because your purchase is not required, by dollar value, does not mean that you should not choose the designated items and their more environmental friendly versions. It just means that you are not required to do so, and you do not need to document why you did not.

More information about the EPA CPG and bio-based products:

EPA CPG Program:

EPA developed the CPG to implement RCRA. The CPG is a list of products that are made with recovered materials, are technologically and economically feasible to produce, and will conserve raw materials and reduce the solid waste stream. The CPG list is the result of scientific analysis followed by a formal EPA rulemaking process. This is a recurring activity. The first CPG list was issued in 1995 and the list continues to grow as EPA issues subsequent CPGs. EPA also issues guidance for buying recovered material products in their “Recovered Materials Advisory Notices” (RMANs). The RMANs recommend recovered material content ranges for CPG products based on current information about commercially available products. RMAN levels are updated by EPA as marketplace conditions change.

Bio-Based Program:

The responsibility for developing this program belongs to USDA. On March 16, 2006, USDA published a Federal Register Final Rule designating six categories of bio-based content products. This program is similar to the “buy-recycled” program managed by the EPA but contains significant differences. The first is applicability. Bio-based product requirements will only apply to Federal agencies’ direct purchases, since Section 9002 does not authorize extending the guidelines to State and local agencies using appropriated Federal funds to procure qualifying bio-based items, or to persons contracting with such agencies with respect to work performed under such contracts. USDA also has the authority to establish a bio-based product labeling program. More information can be found at: www.ofee.gov/gp/bioprod.asp.

Energy and Water Efficient Products

What is the authority for these requirements?

Section 104 of the Energy Policy Act of 1995 requires that all acquisitions for energy consuming products and all contracts that involve the furnishing of energy consuming products require acquisition of Energy Star® or Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated products.

More specifically, FAR 23.2 –Energy and Water Efficiency and Reviewable Energy establishes a number of specific requirements for implementing the requirements outlined above. Generally, it is the Government’s policy to acquire supplies and services that promote energy and water efficiency, advance the use of renewable energy products, and help foster markets for emerging technologies. This policy extends to all acquisitions, including those below the simplified acquisition threshold.

How does this impact FHWA purchases?

When purchasing energy consuming products requiring officials should consult that Energy Star® and FEMP designated product lists. If the product they are purchasing is included on the list, the Agency is required to purchase an available Energy Star® or FEMP designated item. The most common purchases for FHWA in this area involve computer and electronic equipment. A more comprehensive list of Energy Star® covered product categories is presented below:

Energy Star®/FEMP Designated Product Categories
Building Products Computers & Electronics
Home Sealing - Insulation & Air Sealing Battery Chargers
Roof Products  
Windows, Doors and Skylights Computers
Commercial Appliances Displays
Commercial Clothes Washers  
Vending Machines Enterprise Servers
Water Coolers External Power Adapters
Commercial Food Service Equipment  
Commercial Kitchen Package Imaging Equipment
Commercial Dishwashers  
Commercial Fryers Heating & Cooling
Commercial Griddles Air Conditioning, Central
Commercial Hot Food Holding Cabinets Boilers
Commercial Ice Machines Fans, Ventilating
Commercial Ovens Heat pumps, Geothermal
Commercial Refrigerators & Freezers Light Commercial Heating & Cooling
Commercial Steam Cookers Lighting
Plumbing Commercial LED Lighting
Water Heater, Gas Condensing Light Bulbs (CFLs)
Water Heater, Heat Pump Light Fixtures
Water Heater, High Efficiency Gas Storage  
Water Heater, Solar
Water Heater, Whole Home Gas Tankless

In addition to the Energy Star® products, FHWA requiring officials should consider the purchase of EPA’s WaterSense labeled products, identified as part of the FEMP program, and choose contractors who are certified through a WaterSense labeling program. These requirements would specifically apply to purchases in support of FHWA-owned and operated facilities.

Are there exemptions to these requirements?

Yes. The requirement to purchase Energy Star® and FEMP designated products is set aside if no Energy Star® or FEMP designated product is reasonably available that meets the functions requirement of the Agency, or no designated product is cost effective over the life of the product taking energy cost savings into account. This determination must be made in writing and approved by the Head of the Agency.

More information about the Energy Star® and Federal Energy Management Programs (FEMP):

Logo: Energy Star

Energy Star® is a Government endorsed program that recognizes the most energy efficient of these products. Products that are in the top 25 percent for energy efficiency are eligible for the Energy Star® rating. However, products do not automatically get the rating—it must be applied for by the manufacturer, and their participation in Energy Star® is optional. This means that an Energy Star® rating guarantees that a product has high energy efficiency, but a product does not have to be Energy Star® rated to be highly efficient.

Energy Star® ratings have been awarded to building construction products (roof products, windows, doors, skylights); residential and commercial appliances; and HVAC and lighting products. There are also Energy Star® ratings for whole buildings, in addition to individual products. Commercial buildings can earn Energy Star® labels by performing in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide. Energy Star® qualified homes are independently verified to meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the EPA. These homes are at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code, and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20-30 percent more efficient than standard homes.

The Energy Star® program was designed to assist businesses and citizens to protect the environment by encouraging the production of superior energy efficient merchandise. Below is a listing of more than 50 product categories eligible for the Energy Star® program.

For more information visit www.energystar.gov.

Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)

FEMP establishes energy efficiency performance criteria for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems; commercial and residential appliances; construction products; pumps, motors, and transformers; lighting products; and office equipment. For each product, FEMP identifies the efficiency levels needed to meet the requirements for procurement of energy-efficient products and provides a cost-effectiveness example.

While energy efficiency measures the energy consumption of products in use, standby power measures the energy consumption of products that are turned off or in “sleep” mode. E.O. 13423 requires Federal agencies to purchase products that meet low-power standby mode requirements (less than one watt in standby mode). FEMP also sets the criteria for this part of the program. Standby power requirements have been established for a variety of electronic equipment types, including common office equipment such as computers, monitors, printers, copiers, and fax machines.

Logo: EPA Water Sense

Water efficiency is also an integral part of every comprehensive energy management program. This is because water requires a significant energy input for treatment, pumping, heating, and process uses. FEMP’s water efficiency program has established ten best management practices for water conservation at Federal facilities. FEMP’s Water Conservation Guidance can be found at www.epa.gov/watersense.

The Department of Energy is responsible for managing FEMP. Additional information can be found on FEMP’s Web site at www.eere.energy.gov/femp/procurement/.

Alternative Fuels and Fuel Efficiency

What is the authority for these requirements?

Energy Policy Act (EPACT) requires that of the total number of vehicles acquired by a Federal fleet after 1999, 75 percent will be Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs). It also requires that alternative fuels must be used in duel fuel vehicles unless granted a waiver. It also requires Federal agencies to arrange for refueling of AFVs at commercial fueling facilities that offer alternative fuels for sale.

Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) establishes the goal of enhancing our Nation's energy security and improving environmental quality. It addresses all aspects of energy supply and demand including energy efficiency, alternative fuels and renewable energy, as well as more traditional forms of energy such as coal, oil, and nuclear power.

E.O.13423 Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management directs Federal agencies to conduct their environmental, transportation, and energy-related activities under the law in support of their respective missions in an environmentally, economically, and fiscally sound, integrated, continuously improving, efficient, and sustainable manner.

How does this impact FHWA purchases?

The FHWA leases all Government-owned vehicles under agreements with the General Services Administration (GSA). Where practical and consistent with mission needs, the FHWA will coordinate with the GSA to lease appropriate AFVs. FHWA should arrange for refueling of leased AFVs at commercial fueling facilities that offer alternative fuels for sale where practicable.

More information about the alternative fuels and fuel efficiency:

Alternative fuels are defined by the EPACT and subsequent legislation, and include biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane. The Defense Energy Support Center provides the Department of Defense and other Government agencies with comprehensive energy solutions in the most effective and economical manner possible, which includes Web-based tutorials on alternative fuels. Additional information can be found at: www.desc.dla.mil/default.asp.

The Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program coordinates efforts between Government and industry to accelerate the use of alternative fuels and expand the AFV refueling infrastructure. The Alternative Fuels and Advance Vehicle Data Center is a comprehensive resource for alternative fuel and vehicle information needs. This site has more than 3,000 documents in its database, an interactive fuel station mapping system, listings of available alternative fuel vehicles, links to related Web sites, and much more. The Center’s Web site is located at: www.eere.energy.gov/afdc.

The Clean Cities Web site also offers information about Advanced Technology Vehicles (ATVs). These are vehicles that use advanced technologies such as fuel cells or hybrid drive trains. Although ATVs are not considered to be AFVs as described in the EPACT, their purchase is still encouraged by the fuel efficiency requirements of E.O. 13423.

Non-Ozone Depleting Substances

What is the authority for these requirements?

Title VI of the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA), emphasizes the manufacturing and use of less harmful chemicals. The CAA also required EPA to establish a program to identify alternatives to Class I (CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, and HBFCs) and Class II (HCFC) ozone-depleting substances and to publish lists of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes. These lists are managed by EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. It is illegal to replace a Class I or Class II substance with any substitute which the EPA Administrator has deemed unacceptable.

More specifically, the FAR Part 23.8 – Ozone Depleating Substances establishes policies and procedures for the acquisition of items which contain, use, or are manufactured with ozone-depleting substances. Specifically, the FAR states that it is the policy of the Federal Government to implement cost effective programs to minimize the procurement of materials and substances that contribute to the depletion of stratospheric ozone, and to give preference to the procurement of alternative chemicals, products, and manufacturing processes that reduce overall risks of human health and the environment by lessening the depletion of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

How does this impact FHWA’s procurement?

FHWA will seek alternatives for products or services that may contain ozone depleting substances. These requirements may apply to procurements involving building construction/renovation and maintenance products; products for metals, electronics, and precision cleaning; and products used in fire suppression systems, which can all contain ODS. The SNAP Program covers refrigeration and air conditioning; foam insulation; cleaning solvents; fire suppressants; aerosol solvents and propellants; sterilants; and adhesives, coatings, and inks. The SNAP Web site identifies alternatives to ODS products and provides lists of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes. Before installing ODS substitutes in air conditioning and refrigeration systems, always follow the Original Equipment Manufacturer recommendations. Some substitutes may result in reduction in equipment capacities and changes in operating temperatures. Additional information is available at: www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/lists/.

Priority Chemicals

What is the authority for these requirements?

E.O. 13423 directed EPA to develop a list of priority chemicals "used by the Federal Government that may result in significant harm to human health or the environment and that have known, readily available, less harmful substitutes for identified applications and purposes."

More specifically, FAR 23.703 – Contracting for Environmental Preferable Products and Services requires agencies to eliminate or reduce the generation of hazardous waste and promote the use of nonhazardous materials.

How does this impact FHWA purchases?

FHWA should seek out alternatives to products that contain chemicals identified by the EPA. EPA has the complete list, and supporting facts, of priority chemicals, which can be viewed at: http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastemin/priority.htm

For immediate reference, the list of the EPA-designated priority chemicals is provided below:

Priority Chemicals
Chemical Name & Summary Fact Sheet CASRN
Organic Chemicals and Chemical Compounds
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene (PDF) (2 pp, 9K) 120-82-1
1,2,4,5-Tetrachlorobenzene (PDF) (2 pp, 9K) 95-94-3
2,4,5-Trichlorophenol (PDF) (2 pp, 8K) 95-95-4
4-Bromophenyl phenyl ether (PDF) (2 pp, 6xK) 101-55-3
Acenaphthene (PDF) (2 pp, 11K) 83-32-9
Acenaphthylene (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 208-96-8
Anthracene (PDF) (2 pp, 11K) 120-12-7
Benzo(g,h,i)perylene (PDF) (2 pp, 11K) 191-24-2
Dibenzofuran (PDF) (2 pp, 8K) 132-64-9
Dioxins/Furans (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) (considered one chemical
on this list)
Endosulfan, alpha (PDF) (2 pp, 11K) & Endosulfan, beta
(PDF) (2 pp, 10K) (considered one chemical on this list)
Fluorene (PDF) (2 pp, 12K) 86-73-7
Heptachlor (PDF) (2 pp, 11K) & Heptachlor epoxide (PDF)
(2x pp, 11K) (considered one chemical on this list)
Hexachlorobenzene (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 118-74-1
Hexachlorobutadiene (PDF) (2 pp, 9K) 87-68-3
Hexachlorocyclohexane, gamma- (PDF) (Lindane) (2 pp,
Hexachloroethane (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 67-72-1
Methoxychlor (PDF) (2x pp, 10K) 72-43-5
Naphthalene (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 91-20-3
Pendimethalin (PDF) (2 pp, 9K) 40487-42-1
Pentachlorobenzene (PDF) (2 pp, 9K) 608-93-5
Pentachloronitrobenzene (PDF) (Quintozene) (2 pp, 9K) 82-68-8
Pentachlorophenol (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 87-86-5
Phenanthrene (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 85-01-8
Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PACs) / PAH Group
(PDF) (2 pp, 12K) (as defined in TRI)
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) (PDF) (4 pp, 105K) 1336-36-3
Pyrene (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 129-00-0
Trifluralin (PDF) (2 pp, 9K) 1582-09-8
Metals and Metal Compunds  
Cadmium (PDF) (2 pp, 11K) 7440-43-9
Lead (PDF) (2 pp, 10K) 7439-92-1
Mercury 7439-97-6

Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP)

What is the authority for these requirements?

E.O.13423 Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management indicates that agencies shall give preference in their procurement programs to the purchase of environmentally preferable products and services, including Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool-registered products.

FAR Part 23.7 – Contracting for Environmentally Preferable Products and Services requires agencies to employ acquisition strategies that maximize the utilization of environmentally preferable products and services, based on EPA-issued guidance.

More specifically, FAR 23.703 outlines the following policy objectives under this section. These objectives include:

How does this impact FHWA perchases?

Purchasing environmentally preferable products should be considered in all FHWA purchases, including those below the micropurchase threshold. Agency personnel should seek to reduce the environmental damages associated with their purchases by increasing their acquisition of environmentally preferable products and services to the extent feasible, consistent with price, performance, availability, and safety considerations. Environmental factors should be taken into account as early as possible in the acquisition planning and decision-making process. This may include purchases from any of the programs discussed in other sections of the guide, such as the EPA CPG designated product list, or the USDA bio-based product list.

It is important to remember that environmentally preferable purchasing is a shared responsibility between both the program office and the procurement staff.

Additional Information:

EPA established five principles to help agencies identify and purchase EPP products. These principles are the foundation of their EPP acquisition guidance:

  1. Environment + Price + Performance = EPP - Includes environmental considerations as part of the normal purchasing process.

  2. Pollution Prevention - Emphasizes pollution prevention as part of the purchasing process.

  3. Life-cycle Perspective/Multiple Attributes - Examines multiple environmental attributes throughout the product and service's life-cycle.

  4. Comparison of Environmental Impacts - Compares environmental impacts when selecting products and services.

  5. Environmental Performance Information - Collects accurate and meaningful information about environmental performance of products and services.

The entire product life-cycle—from resource extraction through manufacturing, transportation, bureau/office, maintenance, usage, and final recycling or disposal—should be considered to the extent possible when evaluating the issues and deciding which product to purchase. Many of the impacts associated with a product come from its manufacturer and disposal—not from the product’s use; and, a life-cycle approach is especially important when making cost comparisons between “regular” and “green” products. The green product may have a higher up-front cost, but may become cost effective when the entire life-cycle is considered. An example would be decking or fencing made of plastic lumber from recycled materials. The plastic lumber initially costs more than wood, but it has a much longer lifespan and does not require painting or other maintenance.

A detailed discussion of these EPP principles and product alternatives is available at: www.epa.gov/epp/.

Resolving Conflicts Between Programs

The challenge in buying a product or selecting a service is to achieve a balance between various factors including cost, availability, resource conservation, environmental benefits, and the personal level-of-effort expended to find a product that best addresses all of these factors. Occasionally, conflicts may arise between the biobased and CPG requirements or other mandatory purchasing programs.

If products are included on both the EPA CPG list and the USDA bio-based items list, there is a choice to be made. The EPA CPG list takes precedence and should be your first choice.

Agency Goals

1. Annually, increase direct purchase of environmentally preferable products and services.

2. By 2011, ensure that requiring officials, purchase card holders, and contracting staff receive appropriate training in green purchasing and FPDS reporting requirements.

3. By 2011, conduct a review of FHWA purchasing programs to determine the need for affirmative procurement programs for recycle product content items.

4. By 2011, all new contracts for transportation, janitorial services, and other operations and maintenance shall include sustainability factors and objectives.

5. By 2011, ensure that all FHWA owned/managed facilities are stocked with recycled-content items including: bathroom tissue, paper towels, and plastic trash bags.

6. By 2011, all new appropriate service contracts contain requirements on sustainability.

Training, Tools, and Quick References

There are a number of on-line resources available in support of green purchasing initiatives. Below are two sources of on-line training that are available, and will support the green procurement training goal:

On-line Training:

Reference Materials:

Green Procurement Planning (GPP) Reference Materials

Key Web sites Related to GPP

Green Products Compilation created by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE), this is a compilation of the products for which EPA, DOE, and USDA have provided environmental or energy attribute recommendations. Requiring officials can use this database to find all of the designated products in an easy to use series of spreadsheets: http://www.fedcenter.gov/Documents/index.cfm?id=11767&pge_prg_id=20257

Environmentally Preferable Products (http://www.epa.gov/epp), including Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) - registered products: http://www.epeat.net.

Recycled Content Products - Environmental Protection Agency’s “Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines: http://epa.gov/cpg.

Energy Star® products identified by the Department of Energy and EPA, as well as Federal Energy Management program designated energy-efficient products: http://www.energystar.gov.

Water-efficient products - EPA’s WaterSense standards: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/.

Energy from renewable sources: http://eere.energy.gov/femp/.

Bio-based products - Department of Agriculture bio-preferred program: http://biobased.oce.usda.gov.

Alternative Fuel vehicles and alternative fuels: http://eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/.

OST GPP Request for Waiver Form

Instructions: This form is needed only if the item(s) being procured are subject to DOT’s Green Procurement Program (GPP).

This form is to be completed by the requirements official (program official) and the contracting officer (CO), as appropriate, when items subject to DOT’s GPP are not procured.

The requirements official and CO must check the appropriate justification(s), provide a written explanation, and sign and date the form.

The original form is maintained in the contracting office contract file.

The requirements official must submit a copy of the form to the responsible operations program official.

The contracting officer is responsible for forwarding a copy of each waiver form to the Agency’s Environmental Executive (M-1) within 30 days after contract award.

Procurement Request No. _______________

1. To Be Completed By Contracting Officer

Products containing recovered materials and meeting DOT’s preference standards for the following designated items:

Were not obtained because (FAR 23.405):

_________ Items/products could not be competitively acquired within a reasonable period of time.
_________ Items/products could not be obtained at reasonable prices.
_________ Items/products did not meet all reasonable performance standards in the specifications.

Contracting Officer


2. To Be Completed By Requirements Official

Products containing recovered materials and meeting DOT’s preference standards for the following designated items:

Were not obtained because (FAR 23.405):

_________ Items/products could not be competitively acquired within a reasonable period of time.
_________ Items/products could not be obtained at reasonable prices.
_________ Items/products did not meet all reasonable performance standards in the specifications.

Requirements Official's Signature


Best for printing: gppg041910.pdf (213 KB)

To view PDF files, you can use the Acrobat® Reader®.

FHWA Home | Directives | Orders | Feedback
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration