WEBINAR SERIES - Earth Day

The Green Spend Challenge - How to Balance Your Sustainability Budget

Apr 22, 2017

Every purchase leaves its mark. What if cities could help fight child labor while cleaning public buildings? Or protect endangered species while building new infrastructure?

The ProductBio team has been calculating just how effective cities can be at offsetting environmental, social, and fiscal impacts from millions of dollars in procurement spend just by updating their purchasing criteria found in Environmentally Preferable Purchasing policies.

In honor of Earth Day 2017, ProductBio analyzed the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing policies of 18 cities in North America to see how category-specific and product-level policies augmented by big data could help shift millions of dollars in purchasing power to offset sustainability impacts for thousands of product categories they purchase with taxpayer money.

Earth Week Webinar Thursday, April 20, at 10 a.m. PDT

Environmentally Preferable PurchasingPart 1: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: Promise and Performance across 18 U.S. Cities

Green SpendPart 2: The Green Spend Challenge: How to Balance Your Sustainability Budget

Webinar Video Summary:
SPEAKERS

Madeleine Futterman, B.A.
Sustainability Data Analyst
UC Santa Barbara - Environmental Studies

James Tull, Ph.D.
Data Engineer and Climate Scientist
Imperial College London; University of Oxford - Scientific Computing

Angela Chen, M.Phil
CEO, Ecologist and Product Architect
University of Cambridge; UC Berkeley - Systems Ecology

Environmentally Preferable PurchasingPart 1: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: Promise and Performance across 18 U.S. Cities

Participating Cities

In this 2017 Earth Day webinar, ProductBio data engineers and sustainability analysts discuss findings revealing top 10 U.S. cities with the strongest sustainable purchasing policies. We examine where cities are doing a good job of addressing their sustainability impacts, and also identify specific product categories, like paper, in which small changes in policy can lead to big gains in impact offsets.

The webinar brought together representatives from 26 different organizations including cities, counties, and universities to discuss sustainable procurement and embark on the Green Spend Challenge, a call-to-action for cities to enact upon the goals found in their green purchasing policies and realize the full potential of their purchasing power. The challenge is an initiative to help cities shift 20% of their operational spend towards sustainable products by Earth Day 2018.

To understand how government organizations can lead the way in sustainable procurement, each city's policy offset potentials were determined across environmental, social, and ficscal impacts along products and service value chains. Product category areas and impact targets where effective changes can be made to offset impacts that have yet to be addressed were also revealed.

Cities EPP Comparison

Green SpendPart 2: The Green Spend Challenge: How to Balance Your Sustainability Budget

Next the team highlighted momentum made by the City of Palo Alto, having already embarked upon its journey to shift $8M of its operational spend to more sustainable products using ProductBio policy building and procurement analysis and reporting tools.

Discussion centered around solutions that would appeal to different groups - finance, sustainability auditors, and procurement, and three ways to achieve balancing of sustainability impact budgets were covered:

ProductBio Application

While most cities still don’t have a workable plan for reducing the long-term deficit of procurement impacts, both spending cuts and better offsets will be needed, and stronger EPP purchasing rules would help members of procurement be more ecologically, ethically, and economically responsible.

Participants were encouraged to take advantage of this Green Spend Challenge in time for the next Earth Day 2018 and register their cities to schedule a demo and learn more about targeted areas in which their cities could improve sustainability reporting on target areas of spend, and a newly developed reporting mechanism called Benefits and Liabilities (B&L) was revealed.


Please reach out to support@productbio.com to learn more about the Green Spend Challenge.

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