Tracking Environmental Purchases
To assist you in keeping track, you may wish to use the following form developed by the Minnesota Department of Administration. A list of codes for environmental products - which is also used for electronic tracking by the Department of Administration - follows.
Department of Administration Tracking
In August 2001, the Minnesota Department of Administration introduced changes for Authority for Local Purchase (ALP) buyers. The department no longer requires submission of the quarterly purchasingThe act and the function of responsibility for the acquisition of equipment, materials, supplies, and services. In a narrow sense, the term describes the process of buying. In a broader sense, the term describes determining the need, selecting the supplier, arriving at a fair and reasonable price and terms, preparing the contract or purchase order, and following up to ensure timely delivery. report. Instead, ALP buyers will electronically code their purchase orders through the Minnesota Accounting and ProcurementThe combined functions of purchasing, inventory control, traffic and transportation, receiving, receiving inspection, storekeeping, and salvage and disposal operations. System (MAPS). MAPS now requires users to enter an environmental code at the line item on orders. These codes are listed below.
Note that if not ordering from a state contractA solemn agreement between parties, usually written, with binding legal and moral force, usually exchanging goods or services for money or other consideration., the buyer must obtain the information for the appropriate environmental code from the vendor during the solicitation process.For more information about changes to the electronic tracking process, visit the Minnesota Department of Administration website.
Model Tracking Form
|Phone No.||Fax No.|
and Year of Report
(by fiscal year)
|ALP Dollar Level|
Environmentally Responsible Acquisitions
|Order Number or Contract No.||Category
Environmental Codes for Tracking Purchases
|EE =||Energy Efficient||A product that uses less energy (either electricity or fossil fuelAn organic substance, such as coal and petroleum, found underground in deposits formed in a previous geologic period and used as an energy source and raw material for manufacturing products.) to accomplish its task relative to a comparable product by the same manufacturer.|
|LT =||Less Toxic||A product containing a smaller amount of toxic substances relative to a comparable product or a product reformulated to be less toxic.|
|PB =||Plant-Based||A product derived from renewable resources, including fiber crops (such as kenafPronounced kuh-NAFF From the family Hibiscus cannabinus, a fast-growing annual plant that has been cultivated throughout the world as a source of fiber, which is similar to jute.); chemical extracts from oilseeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables (such as corn and soybeans); agricultural residues (such as wheat straw and corn stover); and wood wastes generated from processing and manufacturing operations. These products stand in contrast to those made from fossil fuels (such as petroleum) and other less renewable resources (such as virgin timber).|
|RB =||Rebuilt||A product refurbished to a level less than a total remanufacture. The warrantyThe representations, either expressed or implied, that a certain fact regarding the subject matter of a contract is presently true or will be true. Not to be confused with "guarantee," which means a contract or promise by one person to answer for the performance of another person. is by the rebuilder, and may be different from the same product when new or remanufactured. Also called reconditioned or refurbished.|
|RC =||Recycled ContentThe portion of a product that is made from materials diverted from the waste stream, usually stated as a percentage by weight.||A product containing materials recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream after consumer use ("post-consumer").|
|RK =||Reduced Packaging||A product presented for use with less packaging or alternative methods of packaging or shipping.|
|EM =||Remanufactured||A product restored to its original condition by extensive rebuilding, usually given an equal or better warranty than a new product.|
|RE =||Repair||A product that has had a defect corrected and can again serve its original function. Repairing is a less comprehensive process than either remanufacturing or rebuilding.|
|US =||Used||A product used or owned before without further maintenance.|
|WC =||Water Conserving||A product that requires less water to operate or to manufacture than a comparable product, or a different version of the same product from the same manufacturer.|
|MU =||Multiple Codes||A product that has several significant environmentally responsible characteristics, and could be classified under more than one code, but not one code is predominant|
|TO =||Other||A product having environmentally responsible characteristics that does not fit into any of the categories listed above.|
Looking for Information on a Particular Material?
Using the Symbols
Less HazardousProducts containing hazardous chemicals can pose health risks to employees and the public, as well as threaten the environment. In addition, hazardous products often require special and costly waste disposal methods. Buy products that are labeled with none of the following signal words or those with the lowest level of hazard possible (but that still get the job done).
- Caution: mild to moderate hazard
- Warning: moderate hazard
- Danger: corrosive, extremely flammable, or highly toxic
- Poison: highly toxic
If less-hazardous alternatives are not readily available, use the least amount of a hazardous product needed to accomplish a task. Use up all of the product before throwing the container or packaging away.
Conserves EnergyReducing energy use is important because most energy production contributes to problems such as carbon dioxide emissions (tied to global warming), mercury releases, acid rain, volatile organic compounds, and nuclear waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy developed the Energy Star label to help purchasers identify energy-efficient products. These products reduce utility bills and help the environment.
Recycled ContentRecycled-content products save energy and resources, while also keeping waste out of landfills and incinerators. Recycled-content products can be made with post-consumer content, pre-consumer content, or a mix of both. Products made with post-consumer recycled content support our recycling programs at home and at work. If people do not buy products with post-consumer recycled content, manufacturers will no longer want the paper, cans, glass, or plastic we separate from trash. Pre-consumer content comes primarily from manufacturer scrap, and as such does not directly support such recycling efforts.
Prevents WasteMinnesota generates over 5 million tons of municipal solid waste annually, and this amount is increasing every year. Much of this waste comes from disposable and over-packaged products. Preventing waste can conserve natural resources and avoid the need to build new, expensive waste disposal facilities. You prevent waste when:
- Reducing the amount of material you buy to accomplish any task;
- Reusing a product in its original form; or
- Using repairable, refillable, or durable products.
Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)VOCs evaporate ("volatilize") easily at room temperature and often have a sharp smell. They are contained in many products, such as office equipment, adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood products, paints, solvents, pesticides, and cleaning products. Some VOCs can cause cancer in certain situations, especially when they are concentrated indoors. When VOCs hit sunlight, they create ozone, an air pollutant harmful to both people and plants. Many low-VOC versions of products reduce risks to human health and the environment.
Conserves WaterLess than 1% of the Earth's water is available for human consumption. There is no "new" water on Earth. Dry spells have reminded us that our water supply can be threatened - even in the Land of 10,000 Lakes - resulting in watering bans in some municipalities. Choosing products and services that conserve water, such as automatic flushers and low-flow faucets and toilets, can conserve this vital resource while reducing water and sewer bills.
End of Life ManagementWhat happens to a product after we use it? Some materials cannot go in the trash because they are hazardous in some way and therefore need separate - and sometimes expensive - special management. Some products are more easily recycled than others that do the same job. Making wiser buying choices can prevent a disposal concern at the end of a product's useful life, keep hazardous materials out of the environment, and expand options for recycling and reuse.
Rollover to learn more or view the complete symbols list.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guide published by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board, 4/00. The SWMCB includes members from the Minnesota metropolitan counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington, with ex-officio members from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.Last Revised September 29, 2009 - 11:32am