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Sustainable Acquisition

As with all agencies there are many environmental, energy, transportation and economic considerations affecting the acquisition process at DOE. DOE is committed to achieving excellence in "Green Purchasing" by acquiring products with the most environmental attributes possible. Federal agencies are required to give preference to products that are energy efficient, water efficient, made from biobased or recycled content, are non-toxic or less-toxic than conventional alternatives, and registered with the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sustainable Acquisition Program serves to ensure the purchase of more sustainable products by working with DOE sites to help them integrate Program requirements and objectives into operations by:

minimizing consumption and making re-use the first source of supply;


To help navigate the large and in some cases, overlapping set of Federal purchasing requirements, DOE's Sustainability Program, in coordination with the Acquisition and Project Management Program, launched the GreenBuy program in 2010 to recognize its sites for excellence in "green purchasing" that extends beyond minimum compliance requirements.

The GreenBuy Program recognizes DOE sites for purchasing products that save energy, conserve water, and reduce health and environmental impacts. By participating in the GreenBuy Program, DOE sites leverage the Federal government purchasing dollars to achieve mission goals while improving the marketplace for greener products and reduce the overall impact of the Department's operations.

The Priority Products list serves as the backbone of the recognition program by identifying products that demonstrate strong sustainability attributes and are frequently purchased by DOE facilities. The GreenBuy Program incentivizes DOE sites to identify, purchase, and track their use of sustainable products on the Priority Products List. This list was developed by DOE's Sustainable Acquisition Working Group following extensive research and review of multiple green attributes and standards. Products on the list support sustainable purchasing, reduce environmental impact, and substantially exceed current compliance requirements. In particular, the Priority Products attributes were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Lower health and environmental impacts
  • Are purchased regularly and a significant part of DOE spending
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Reduce waste management costs
  • Perform and are readily available
  • Reinforce behavior change
  • Are covered by standards or labels reflecting multiple attributes (preferably third-party certified)
  • Conform to the Federal Guiding Principles for High Performance and Sustainable Buildings
  • Support LEED or other third-party green building certifications
  • Support Federal sustainability program goals, such as the Federal Green Challenge and FEMP
  • Commit to Efficiency Campaign goals

The DOE Sustainable Acquisition Working Group is comprised of environmental, energy and acquisition professionals from across the DOE complex. Green purchasing requirements, integration of sustainable acquisition in Environmental Management Systems, successful purchasing approaches, and available tools and resources, are among a vast array of topics that are regularly covered at the meetings.

To learn more about the GreenBuy Program, Priority Products, and to see all the winners, click here: