Green Procurement

The NIH Green Procurement Program involves the selection and acquisition of products and services that most effectively minimize negative environmental impacts over their life cycle of manufacturing, transportation, use and recycling or disposal.

NIH has procedures in place to ensure that solicitations and contracts comply with the policy at Federal Acquisition Regulation 11.002(d) procurement of biobased products, products containing recovered materials, environmentally preferable products and services, nontoxic or low-toxic alternatives, ENERGY STAR and FEMP-designated products, renewable energy, water-efficient products and non-ozone depleting products. 

In addition, when making purchases, NIH considers whether there is a requirement to purchase recycled content and biobased products which meet or exceed the minimum recycled or biobased content of an EPA or USDA designated product.  Additionally, sustainable acquisitions plans are mandatory submittals for all energy solicitations and contracting officers are trained to evaluate these plans prior to awarding contracts.  There is also a database for the systematic collection of green purchasing data to track NIH progress in achieving sustainable acquisition goals.

In developing plans, drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product descriptions, the NIH shall consider, as appropriate, a broad range of factors including:

  • Elimination of virgin material requirements;
  • Use of recovered materials;
  • Reuse of product;
  • Life cycle cost;
  • Recyclability;
  • Use of environmentally preferable products;
  • Waste prevention (including toxicity reduction or elimination); and
  • Ultimate disposal, as appropriate

These factors should be considered in acquisition planning for all procurements and in the evaluation and award of contracts, as appropriate. Program and acquisition managers should take an active role in these activities.

Click here for more information on the 2016 NIH Sustainability Plan and the HHS Acquisition Planning and Affirmative Procurement Programs

For more information on green alternative chemicals, please consult the Substances of Concern.
If you would like more information about this program, please contact Ray Dillon.

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