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Pre-Award Strategies to Ensure Successful Delivery of Sustainable Products and Services

Product Information

Ensure the solicitation instructions include direction on if the offeror is required to self-declare that the offered product meets the applicable standard(s) or if the offeror must submit product documentation verifying compliance with sustainability requirements. Some sustainability standards (see the Procurement Info under Product Details in the GPC and Resources for Verifying Sustainable Products) require the product to be third- party certified and maintain a database listing compliant products. As a general guideline, give preference to products with detailed information regarding their sustainable attributes (for example, environmental product declaration, multi-attribute sustainability ecolabel) or products providing independent verification of sustainable attributes, but the manufacturer can also document which sustainability requirements the product meets. While material safety data sheets (MSDS) may contain information regarding sustainable attributes, these documents are usually not designed to capture specific sustainability requirements.

Waste Management Reports

If waste management is included in the statement of work (for example, janitorial contracts, construction or demolition contracts), ensure language is included requiring documentation showing compliance with all waste diversion requirements (for example, management hauling receipt, certificate of recycling). Consider requiring third-party certified construction or demolition waste recyclers. Required waste management documentation should be identified in the contract so contractors understand the reporting procedures in order to maintain compliance. For accurate waste diversion measurement, require the waste hauler to provide weights (and not volumes) of materials disposed and recycled. See the Sample Janitorial Services Contract on the GPC for sample language.

Construction Administration/Management Services

On construction projects, specify in the scope of work for construction administration/management services that the contractor must verify compliance with sustainable product requirements during the construction phase of the project. Including such language will reduce the verification burden on the government project team during the post-award phase.

Project Submittals Naming Convention

Project teams can establish a naming convention that specifies how project submittals (for example, product documentation) will identify if products are sustainable according to the contractual requirements. For example, project teams could require that contractors add the suffix “-sustainable” at the end of every sustainable product submittal.

Contractor Source Selection

When using best value source selection, consider incorporating past performance and/or management plan criteria into the evaluation so that the contractor’s previous performance in complying with sustainable requirements or the contractor’s plan for providing sustainable products and services is reflected on the current procurement. Selecting a contractor that has implemented sustainability requirements well in the past or provides a good plan for providing sustainable products and services on the current procurement helps ensure sustainability requirements will be successfully implemented. When considering other sustainable practices, you may want to require that offerors respond to an environmental questionnaire or submit a narrative addressing specific environmental concerns. However, if you ask for certain information, be sure that you have a clear understanding of how it will be used in the evaluation process. Don’t ask for information that will not be used to evaluate and select the successful offeror. For examples of sustainable product and other sustainability source selection criteria, see the Procurement Info under Product Details in the GPC.

Social Sustainability Requirements

See the Responsible Business Conduct page for the Best Practices in Pre-Award Procurement Actions.

Other Requirements

Use information obtained through market research to determine when an acquisition can include other performance requirements or product specifications. Several examples include:

  • Perform off-site (as opposed to commuting to a government location);
  • Conduct meetings with the government via teleconference;
  • Take back excess products or packaging at the end of useful life (e.g., electronics, appliances, recyclable or reusable packaging, printer cartridges, etc.); or
  • Implement a waste recycling or minimization program.
  • Requiring the submission of a climate change risk management plan to address climate related risks for successful performance or delivery.
  • Packaging that includes recycled content, uses biodegradable materials, that is reusable or recyclable, or uses bulk packaging.
  • Delivery considerations:
    • limit overnight delivery
    • include electronic deliverables
    • uses alternative fuel vehicles
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