SF Environment researches products based on the Green Purchasing Priorities List (formerly called the Targeted Product Category List). These priorities are mandated by the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance (Environment Code, Ch. 2) and by Executive Directive 08-02. Priorities are updated every three years with input from City departments and the public based on the:
- Scoresheet for Evaluating Product Categories
- Green Purchasing Pilot Program Report and Product Reviews (1999-2003)
Performance: Does the product work well? Is it durable? Does it make efficient use of resources?
Impact: Does the product have impacts on the environment, worker health, or public health?
Cost: Considering all the alternatives - and the full life cycle of the product - is it cost-effective?
SF Environment primarily determines impacts, but facilitates conversations among City end users and the Purchasing Department to address performance and cost issues (see diagram).
Suggested products that City Depts. are encouraged to try have been screened for impacts, but may not have not been fully evaluated for cost or performance.
Products that City staff are required to buy have met all three goals and are on a citywide contracts.
- Existing literature: Alternatives analyses, life cycle assessments (LCAs), risk assessments by regulators, weight-of-evidence determinations, purchasing guidelines, scientific review papers or other resources that have already been developed. If these are inadequate, SF Environment sometimes conducts its own alternatives analyses.
- Existing standards/certifications/ecolabels/specifications
- Performance data and performance issues
- Number of certified products available in the local area
Product Screening Process
For Suggested products, SF Environment:
- Surveys current products used by the City.
- Research and selects the best available standards, certifications, or ecolabels.
- Collects green product reviews from City staff.
For Required products, SF Environment completes steps above:
- Conducts more surveys and consultations with City end users on product performance (e.g., pilot testing).
- Works with the Purchasing Department to identify cost issues.
- May work with the Purchasing Department, potential vendors and end users to incorporate standards/certifications/ecolabels into citywide term contracts.