Buy Clean California

In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB262 into law, enacting the Buy Clean California Act. To “Buy Clean” means to spend California taxpayer money in a way that helps cut the pollution that causes climate change. It means that suppliers’ emissions performance will be taken into account when an agency is contracting to buy steel, flat glass, and mineral wool (insulation) for infrastructure projects.

Manufacturers who operate the most polluting plants will no longer be given a “free pass” for their pollution – and manufacturers who have invested in reducing their pollution will see the returns. By including suppliers’ emissions performance in procurement decisions, the state can influence business decisions among the many suppliers who want to provide goods to public agencies.

The Buy Clean approach allows California to help clean businesses and industries maintain their position as strong, global leaders on climate action. It creates additional motivation for suppliers to reduce their climate pollution. The state’s substantial purchasing power already makes it an attractive market for firms across the United States, and around the world.

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USGBC-LA is proud to assist manufacturers of steel, flat glass, and mineral wool insulation through the Buy Clean Incentive Program by offering incentives of up to $15,000. The incentive can be used to acquire their Environmental Product Declaration and green their own supply chain and manufacturing processes. The key dates have been updated for when the EPDs will be required by the state for procurement on new projects.  The key dates are:
  • January 1, 2019 – EPDs will be requested by the state.
  • January 1, 2020 – EPDs will be required by the state.
  • January 1, 2021 – DGS publishes the maximum acceptable GWP for eligible materials.
  • July 1, 2021 – EPDs will be required and used to gauge GWP compliance of eligible materials.

(Reference: DGS)


*The Governor has granted additional time: The act requires an awarding authority, on and after July 1, 2019, to require a successful bidder for a contract to submit an environmental product declaration for each eligible material and to include in a specification for bids that the facility-specific global warming potential for any eligible material does not exceed the maximum acceptable global warming potential for that material, and prohibits a bidder for a contract from installing any eligible materials on the project until a facility-specific environmental product declaration is submitted.
This bill would instead make those provisions applicable to contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2021, and would make those provisions inapplicable to an eligible material for a particular contract if the awarding authority makes a specified determination or in cases of emergency or other specified circumstances. The bill would direct an awarding authority, from January 1, 2019, until January 1, 2020, to request, and, from January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021, to require, that a successful bidder for a contract submit a current facility-specific environmental product declaration.