General Environmental Requirements

Learn about compliance with environmental rules & regulations

The requirements outlined in this section apply to all product categories contained in this bid.

  1. Measure D Requirements:
    It is the objective of the County to purchase products with the lowest overall environmental impact from manufacturing through end of life and to procure services that achieve this same objective. To meet this objective, environmental factors and product attributes are evaluated in the procurement process. The County is mandated under Measure D to divert at least seventy five percent (75%) of material from landfill through recycling and source reduction and to encourage markets for environmentally preferable goods through its procurement process.
  2. Regulatory and Environmental Compliance:
    Manufacturers and service providers will be in compliance with all local, state, and federal environmental and worker health and safety regulations that apply to their operation.
  3. Recycled Content:
    All products for which the EPA has established minimum recycled content standard guidelines, such as those for printing and janitorial papers, construction, parks and recreational materials, etc., will contain the highest post-consumer content practicable, but no less than the minimum recycled content standards established by the EPA Guidelines. See the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/tools/cpg/index.htm for a list of recycled content guidelines.
  4. Environmentally Friendly Packaging:
    Alameda County is an environmentally responsible employer and seeks all practical opportunities for waste reduction and recycling. The County, therefore, encourages its contractors to reduce waste volume and toxicity by using environmentally friendly packaging material whenever possible. Options may include backhauling product packaging to the supplier for reuse or recycling, shipping in bulk or reduced packaging, using soy bean-based inks for packaging printing, using recycled product packaging or using recyclable or reusable packaging material. The County encourages all bidders and contractors for goods and services to adhere to these principles where practicable.
  5. Source Reduction and Packaging (only applicable when products are furnished):
    The County has a strong commitment to source reduction, minimizing waste generation, and reducing the County’s expenditure on waste disposal and recycling. Bidders shall provide bulk packaging, reusable, or minimal packaging in providing products to the County. Packaging will be both made from recycled materials and be recyclable. Contractors should explore and provide opportunities for the reuse of packaging materials. In the bid response, Bidders shall include a written summary of their planned efforts to minimize the amount of packaging and shipping materials and should describe the post-consumer recycled content of those materials.
    Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium has been intentionally introduced. The sum of the concentration levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium shall not exceed one hundred (100) parts per million by weight. Packaging is discussed further in the “Technical and Performance Specification” section.
  6. Pallets and Large-Volume Packaging:
    Pallets and large-volume packaging materials will be taken back by the Contractors. The County encourages the use of pallets that meet the EPA’s minimum post-consumer recycled content guidelines for pallets that can be found at http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products/pallets.htm. In the case of large-volume packaging, the County prefers that the vendor reuse or recycle the material.
  7. Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins:
    In January 2002, the County passed a resolution “to encourage the reduction and where feasible, the elimination of [persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemical] (PBT) emissions…” The United States Environmental Protection Agency has established a list of twelve priority PBTs including dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury and its compounds, lead and others. The most current list can be found at the EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/opptintr/pbt/. Additionally, PBTs are listed in the CCR in Section 66261.24.
    Contractors must provide products and services that allow the County to comply with the PBT Resolution and must complete the certification statement included in the Attachments. The Resolution requires that the County eliminate and reduce the procurement of products and services which contain or cause the generation and release of PBTs into the environment during their manufacture, use, or destruction/disposal. Bidders should provide products that do not contain, use, or generate PBTs. If no alternative materials are available, Bidders should notify the County in writing prior to providing such materials to the County or using these materials when providing services to the County.
  8. Usage and Environmental Performance Reporting:
    The County requires regularly scheduled usage reporting from vendors for the purposes of tracking environmental purchasing performance. Requirements are discussed in greater detail in the section titled, “Deliverables/Reports.” The County will work with the successful Bidder to finalize the content and timing of these reports. It is highly desirable for vendors to provide annual environmental performance reports describing the vendor’s environmental performance of their products and operations.
  9. Green Building:
    The County passed a green building ordinance in the year 2002 that requires County construction projects to be built to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Silver standard and diversion of construction materials from landfill. Procurement of materials used in the construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings as well as furniture, fixtures, and other interiors will emphasize purchasing of recyclable, durable, energy-efficient and low-environmental impact products.
  10. Energy Reduction, Global Warming:
    In order to reduce the generation of global warming gases, as well as the County’s operating costs; contractors are expected to provide energy-efficient products to the County. All products for which the EPA Energy Star certification is available shall meet Energy Star certification. When Energy Star labels are not available, energy-efficient products that are in the upper twenty five percent (25%) of energy efficiency as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program are required. In addition, the County encourages contractors to implement energy reduction measures in their respective operations.
  11. Ozone Depleters:
    Many products contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), known depleters of ozone in the atmosphere. Under the U.S. Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, CFC production for use in industrialized nations were to be totally phased out by January 1, 1996. There are still many products on the market that contain CFC’s or are made with CFC’s. Contractors must identify products made with or containing CFC’s and must provide alternative products whenever practical and possible.
  12. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s):
    MSDS’s for all hazardous substances must be included with each shipment.

For Additional Assistance

For questions, contact:

GSA Procurement & Support Services
Phone: (510) 208-9700