Presentation on theme: "How to Purchase Green Office Supplies Green Office Fair December 1, 2009 Debra Taevs, Deputy Director Pollution Prevention Resource Center."— Presentation transcript:
How to Purchase Green Office Supplies Green Office Fair December 1, 2009 Debra Taevs, Deputy Director Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Northwest’s leading source of high quality, unbiased pollution prevention (P2) information. Works collaboratively to promote environmental protection through pollution prevention. Believes that environmental and economic vitality go hand in hand, and that both are necessary to protect the high quality of life enjoyed in our region.
What is a green office supply?? Photo from Flickr by PhotoCharlie! PhotoCharlie!
You know you are purchasing a green office supply when it… Has a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. Conserves energy and other precious resources. Minimizes negative environmental effects. Benefits may occur through raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance or disposal of the product or service.
What isn’t… Green∙wash (gren’wosh’,-wôsh’) – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.
Beware the seven deadly sins of…. Greenwashing from Scot Case at TerraChoice Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off — claims that suggest a product is "green" based on a single environmental without attention to more important, environmental issues (such as the energy, climate, water, or forestry impacts of paper). This was the most frequently committed "sin," made by 57% of all environmental claims examined. Sin of No Proof (26% of all claims examined) — any claim that couldn't be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information, or by a reliable third-party certification. TerraChoice determined there to be "no proof" if supporting evidence was not accessible at either the point of purchase or at the product website. Sin of Vagueness (11% of all claims examined) — any claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the intended consumer, such as "chemical free" or "all natural." Sin of Irrelevance (4% of all claims examined) — claims that may be truthful but are unimportant and unhelpful for consumers, such as CFC-free products, since ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons have been outlawed since the late 1980s. Sin of Lesser of Two Evils (1% of all claims examined) — environmental claims that may be true, but that risk distracting the consumer from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole, such as organic tobacco or green insecticides. Sin of Fibbing (less than 1% of all claims examined) — claims that are simply false, typically by misusing or misrepresenting certification by an independent authority, when no such certification had been made. Sin of Worshiping False Labels A product that, through either words or images, gives the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement exists; fake labels, in other words.
“Green office supply” basics Recycled Non or less toxic Durable Less or no packaging Re-usable Long lasting Recyclable
Where do you start? Purchasing offices may deal with thousands of products. How do you get the biggest bang for your buck? How do you insure that you’re program will really make a difference? How do you get buy in from management?
City of Seattle Sets a limited number of commodity specific goals Use verifiable 3rd party standards Goals measure what can be rated by each standard; greenhouse gas reductions, recycled contents, water savings, toxics reduction, solid waste, energy consumption or embodied energy Get buy-in at top levels, and at the user level to make sure that products work for the people that use them for the “top down, bottom up” approach. Seattle has set EPP goals for: Office supplies- 40% with “green” product Paper- 100% post-consumer recycled /30% reduction of use
King County Buy environmentally preferable products “whenever practicable” Rather than setting EPP goals for specific products, they take advantage of new products and new standards as they become available Help client-agencies learn about emerging standards of environmental preferability Participate in processes that help create consensus around what EPP means as well as helping develop standards.
Toxic Solvents in Office Products Adhesives, cleaners, and inks contain chemical solvents. Common solvent names are: ▫* Acetate * n-Butanol ▫* r-Butyrolactone * n-Propanol ▫* Ethanol * Diacetone alcohol ▫* 2-Methoxyethanol * Xylene ▫* 1-Methoxy-2-propanol Inhaled or absorbed through your skin. Short-term effects may include headaches or intoxication. Once in your body these chemicals may affect your blood, liver, or kidneys. Prolonged use can affect the nervous system and may cause cancer or harmful reproductive effects. From Tips for Reducing Toxic Chemical Use at SPU 2008
TYPES OF PRODUCTS: Dry Erase Markers Permanent Markers CRT and Copier Cleaners White Board Cleaner Correction Fluids Rubber Cement & Other Adhesives From Tips for Reducing Toxic Chemical Use at SPU 2008
Safer Office Products Keeney’s Office Plus 2008 Expo low odor dry-erase markers, AP non-toxic Correction tape (instead of correction fluid) Roll’n Glue liquid glue, AP non-toxic Avery Permanent Glue Stics, AP non-toxic Office Depot Products, 2006-2007 Green Book Catalogue Foray dry erase, odorless, AP non-toxic Expo low odor dry-erase markers, AP nontoxic Crayola markers for flipcharts, AP non-toxic Correction tape Complete Office Supply Products, 2008 Catalogue Expo low odor dry-erase markers, AP non-toxic Bic Great Erase dry-erase markers, AP nontoxic, low-odor Avery Permanent Glue Stics, AP non-toxic Universal Permanent Glue Stick, AP non-toxic Quartet Dry-Erase Board Wipes, water-based cleaning formula, AP non-toxic Correction tape From Tips for Reducing Toxic Chemical Use at SPU 2008
Conclusion Don’t be intimated to begin an EPP program Start small and grow Qualitative goals with continuous improvement are great in the beginning Verifiable 3 rd party standards can be cornerstones for the program
Verifiable 3rd party standards and resources include: American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) http://www.astm.org/cgi- bin/SoftCart.exe/index.shtml?E+mystore5 Design for Environment “Find Safer Products” http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/formulat/formpart.htm Ecologo http://www.ecologo.org/ Energy Star http://www.energystar.gov/ EPEAT for Desktop computers http://www.epeat.net/ Green Seal for office supplies http://www.greenseal.org/ Green Shield http://www.greenshieldcertified.org/http://www.greenshieldcertified.org/ Environmental Defense Fund, Paper Calculator http://www.edf.org/papercalculator/ Scientific Certification Systems http://www.scscertified.com/ Terrachoice http://www.terrachoice.com/
Contact info: Debra Taevs PPRC 1402 Third Avenue, Suite 1420 Seattle, Washington 98101-2195 Main: 206-352-2050 firstname.lastname@example.org www.pprc.org EPP Page http://pprc.org/research/epp/http://pprc.org/research/epp/