Webinar: Sustainable Acquisition: Biobased Requirements in the New Executive Order 13693

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (ET) by live streaming on your computer or by satellite downlink
Register at http://seminar.us.com/course/seminar_registration.php?orgCode=USDABIO&courseID=201501

Get the latest on the requirements for mandatory federal purchasing of biobased products.

BioPreferred related Implementing Instructions for the new Executive Order 13693;

  • Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade
  • Demonstrating Progress in Meeting BioPreferred Requirements
  • It Matters: Recent Report on the Impact of Biobased Products on the U.S. Economy and U.S. Jobs

Green Classroom Tips for Back to School Success

Read the full post from the Green Schools National Network.

The month of August is often known as the “dog days of summer.” For parents and their students, August is also that time when thoughts turn to back to school and the long list of supplies needed to start the school year off on the right foot.

Shopping for school supplies is not just an annual activity for students. Teachers are drawing up their own lists of supplies to restock their classrooms for the busy year ahead. Options abound, but planning for supplies that fit in a green classroom can be a challenge.

10 questions to ask about wood and paper-based products

Read the full story at Treehugger.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – a CEO-led organization of innovative companies based around sustainability and business – sees forest loss and degradation as a global priority requiring immediate and concerted action: “It is critical we find ways to ensure that more of the world’s forests and plantations are sustainably managed and that forest products are used and reused wisely.”

And with that in mind, the group recently issued a statement, which, among other things, recognizes and supports a group of independent forest certification and associated chain-of-custody systems, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. In addition, the WBCSD, with the World Resources Institute (WRI), released guidance to help procurement managers make informed choices. In it, they list 10 key questions to consider when buying wood or paper-based products.

5 steps to build the business case for sustainable procurement

Read the full post in GreenBiz.

Pressures and demands around sustainability and transparency are growing, and the supply chain is perhaps the largest risk, and also the biggest — albeit unwieldy — lever of opportunity for becoming a more sustainable business. The question is, how do you get it going? Launching or accelerating a sustainable supply chain/responsible purchasing initiative with a large company’s procurement team is a challenge for even the most visionary and passionate.

Fortunately, many companies already are forging a path towards this transformation, as well as a growing number of surveys, studies and supporting research. This five-step guide summarizes the key tips: quantifying the business case; competitive elements; internal signals; stakeholder demands; and internal momentum building.

This guide is intended to inspire and provoke your thinking, so you can make the most convincing case possible for your boss, your team and your company to launch on the sustainable procurement journey.

Product ecolabels: To certify or not to certify?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

With 201 ecolabel certifications in the U.S. and 459 globally, it is no wonder that businesses are confused about their value. Putting aside the important question of choosing among the multiple overlapping eco-certifications, how should a business answer the threshold question of whether to seek eco-certification in the first place?

The answer depends on your business facts and point of view. Are you most interested in bolstering the credibility of your environmental claims? Or do you view eco-certification as a way to increase sales or enhance your business reputation?

Think about your primary motivation when you read the following list of key considerations:

EPA introduces new Safer Choice labels and recognizes five Chicago area partners

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman today highlighted the benefits of the Agency’s new Safer Choice label and congratulated five Chicago area Safer Choice award-winners at an event at the Loyola University Chicago Searle Biodiesel Lab.“EPA’s new Safer Choice label helps people choose products that are safer for safer for families, pets, communities and the environment,” Hedman said. “Our Safer Choice Partners of the Year are demonstrating that safer chemicals are also good for business.”

This summer, EPA’s new Safer Choice label began appearing on consumer products such as household soaps and cleaners. To qualify for the Safer Choice label, a product must meet stringent human and environmental health criteria.

In the first year of the Safer Choice Partner of the Year awards, the Chicago area has more winners than any other part of the country. The local award winners include:

  • AkzoNobel (Chicago)
  • ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (Northbrook)
  • Jelmar, LLC (Skokie)
  • Loyola University Chicago, Institute of Environmental Sustainability (Chicago)
  • Stepan Company (Northfield)

Nationwide, 21 entities won EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year awards. Currently, the Safer Choice program has nearly 500 formulator-manufacturer partners that make more than 2,000 products for retail and institutional customers.

For more information about the Safer Choice program: http://www2.epa.gov/saferchoice

Webinar: Protecting the Pollinators: Purchasing Strategies to Protect Bees and Other Pollinators

Wed, Jul 15, 2015 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3671741382836935170

State and local governments, school districts, colleges and universities, hospitals and businesses spend millions of dollars a year on landscaping and pest management products and services.

During the past decade, many of these organizations have saved money and reduced toxic chemical use through integrated pest management (IPM). In addition, some organizations have eliminated the use of neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) to protect bees and other pollinators.

On Wednesday, July 15th, Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) and Friends of the Earth (FOE) are co-hosting “Saving the Pollinators”, a webinar on purchasing strategies government agencies, educational institutions and businesses can take to protect bees and other pollinators.

During this webinar, you will learn about: (1) the latest scientific findings about neonics and their impact on pollinators; (2) what leading organizations are doing to make their landscape and pest management efforts pollinator friendly; (3) how your organization can use its purchasing policies and practices to protect pollinators; and (4) resources available to help organizations like yours take steps to adopt pollinator friendly purchasing policies and practices.


  • Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Food Futures Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
  • Chris Geiger, Ph.D., Toxics Use Reduction Program, San Francisco Department of the Environment
  • Rella Abernathy, Integrated Pest Management Coordinator, Boulder, Colorado
  • Ciannat Howett, Director of Sustainability Initiatives at Emory University
  • Scott Williams, Assistant VP of Quality Assurance and Environmental Stewardship for BJ’s Wholesale Club,
  • Susan Kegley, Ph.D, CEO, Pesticide Research Institute


  • Rebecca Calahan Klein, RPN