EBOM-2009 MRc1: Sustainable Purchasing—Ongoing Consumables

  • EBOM_MRc1_Type3_Purchase Ongoing Consumables Diagram
  • Tracking purchases

    Credit achievement is based on the cost of environmentally preferable purchases compared to the cost of total, ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. purchased. All consumables (environmentally preferable and not) must be tracked.

    Tracking the environmental qualities of ongoing consumables is often a new process for project teams. Customize your tracking plan to accommodate unique product consumption and tracking needs.

    Once you have a tracking system in place and all the tenants have bought in to the process, the only hard part about the credit is keeping up with the product tracking. The more organized the tracking process, the easier the credit.

    Here’s what to track

    You can gain the credit point if 60% of your ongoing consumable purchases meet the following Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) criteria.

    Ongoing consumables for this credit include, at a minimum, these low-cost items:

    • paper (printing and copy paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes),
    • toner cartridges,
    • binders,
    • batteries,
    • and desk accessories.
    • It is optional to include additional ongoing consumables such as flatware, disposable dining ware, cardboard shipping boxes and any other consumable your tenant may use.

    The EPP criteria for this credit calls for products:

    • containing at least 10% postconsumer and/or 20% postindustrial material;
    • containing at least 50% rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). material;
    • containing at least 50% materials harvested, extracted, and processed within 500 miles of the facility;
    • consisting of at least 50% Forest Stewardship Council certified paper products;  
    • or rechargeable batteries.

    Builds on EPP policy

    This credit builds on the EPP policy developed as part of MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy. The EPP policy should have identified the project’s goals, such as the percent of environmentally preferable products the project want to targets and who should be involved in the process. Use this credit to add more detail to these goals and to create a working action plan.

    Purchasing environmentally preferable products for this credit should not add significant costs, as there are lots of competitive environmentally friendly product options on the market for items like paper, toner cartridges, and other ongoing consumables.

    Can be tough for multi-tenant buildings

    In multi-tenant buildings, purchases of ongoing consumables must be documented for all tenants. Purchase rates can be extrapolated for tenants who do not participate in tracking, but all estimated purchases are assumed to be non-compliant. That means that other tenants must raise their threshold of environmentally preferable purchases to help earn the credit threshold.

    If you have a large anchor tenant or an unusual level of tenant cooperation, you should be in good shape; otherwise, this credit may be more trouble than it’s worth.

    Consider these questions when creating an ongoing, consumable tracking program

    • Have specific, ongoing consumable sustainability criteria been addressed in your EPP policy developed for MRp1?
    • Does your project have existing purchase-tracking processes in place, or does a system need to be created? 
    • Can existing tracking processes be repurposed to track the product environmental qualities required by this LEED credit?
    • Who is responsible for purchasing—one person or a group of people? Does a centralized department manage procurement, or is each division separately responsible for procuring the materials they use?
    • What are the potential barriers to this project achieving sustainable purchasing?
    • How can you involve your existing and future vendors in supporting your sustainable purchasing goals?

    FAQs for LEED-EBOM MRc1

    We purchased hundreds of ongoing consumables items during our performance period. Do we have to enter each discrete purchase into the LEED Online credit form?

    Purchases of the same product can be aggregated into a single line item. (For example, if you made five purchases of XYZ Green Window Solution, Item #44556 at $8.99 per purchase, the product can be aggregated as $44.95 in the credit form). However, each different product must be listed in a separate line so that the review team can confirm that supporting documentation for at least 20% of products has been provided.

    Alternatively, a customized spreadsheet can be used in lieu of the form calculator. This spreadsheet should mimic the form as closely as possible in both format and content, and must be provided in a format that allows the reviewer to confirm the formulas being used (no PDFs!).

    Our organization has a centralized purchasing program that buys products for several buildings, including the one pursuing LEED-EBOM certification. It’s difficult to track which ongoing consumable goods purchases are used in the EBOM building versus the many other buildings in our organization. Do you have any suggestions?

    While the ideal solution is to develop a way to track items that are purchased and used within the scope of your LEED project boundary, some projects may find that this is not possible.  An alternative method for compliance you may consider attempting is to take an organization-wide approach to satisfying the credit requirements. To do this, thoroughly document the sustainability criteria met for total organizational purchases, and then extrapolate this performance to the project building. If most facilities within your organization have similar equipment needs, and your calculations are defensible and appropriate with clear documentation, you may be able to support achievement of this credit.

    Purchasing for our organization takes place in the EBOM project building, but not all ongoing consumable goods that are purchased end up being used there. Should we include all of the purchases in MRc1?

    Only ongoing consumable goods that are used within the scope of the LEED project boundary should be included in MRc1.

    We have multiple tenants in our building, some of which are nonresponsive to requests for purchasing records. Can we exclude their purchases?

    The LEED-EBOM 2009 rating system offers a 10% floor area exemption option for multitenant buildings. In instances where tenant data cannot be gathered, or the EBOM applicant does not have control over tenant operational practices, the project team may exclude up to 10% of the building’s gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.) for any prerequisite or credit. See page xxii of the Reference Guide for further information.

    For MRc1 specifically, non-participating tenants in excess of the 10% exemption must be included in the credit calculations. Project teams should assume that any tenant that does not provide data is 0% compliant with sustainable purchasing criteria. The total purchasing level of non-participating tenants must be estimated using the data collected from participating tenants. Estimated data can be extrapolated on a per-square-foot or per-occupant basis, or by using another appropriate calculation. The estimated purchasing level should then be aggregated into the data collected for the rest of the building to generate building-wide purchasing values. See the LEEDuser Documentation Toolkit and pages 264–265 of the LEED Reference Guide for additional calculations guidance.

    Does a signed letter from a product manufacturer that states the sustainability criteria met by a particular product count as acceptable LEED documentation?

    Yes.

    Do manufacturer claims about the average recycled content, etc. in all its products count as acceptable LEED documentation? For example, a toner cartridge website says that the average post-consumer recycled content is 90% across all its toner products.

    No, this type of claim does not adequately verify the level of recycled content in the purchased item because there could be a high level of variation across products.

    Lots of products we purchase seem like they could be tracked in two different purchasing credits. For example, toilet tissue seem like an ongoing consumable since it’s replaced frequently at a low cost per unit (MRc1), but it’s also used for our green cleaning program (IEQc3.3). Am I supposed to count it in both credits?

    Every item should be claimed in only one credit form; do not double-count any purchase. Make your best judgement about where an item falls, and be consistent.

    The credit language says we need to track paper (printing or copy paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes), toner cartridges, binders, batteries and desk accessories. Is that everything we have to track for this credit?

    No, any purchases that might be classified as an ongoing consumable based on the definition in the LEED Reference Guide need to be tracked. Other items that are commonly tracked in this credit include kitchen supplies like plates, cups and disposable flatware, and shipping supplies.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Before the Performance Period

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  • Getting Started


  • Identify and engage all purchasing entities in the building. These may include management, operations staff, and tenants.


  • Unless your project has a large anchor tenant or an unusually high level of tenant cooperation, you may have an uphill battle in pursuing this credit due to the challenge of getting multiple tenants to share their purchasing data.


  • In multi-tenant buildings this credit can be extremely difficult to achieve, as purchases throughout the building must be documented for all tenants. There are two common difficulties—getting tenants to participate, and then, if they do participate, aggregating purchasing information from a variety of individual tracking systems.


  • You can exclude 10% of the total building floor area from your tracking, to help accommodate for tenants who don’t participate.


  • You can also extrapolate purchasing data from other tenants to estimate purchase quantities for tenants who don’t provide data. However, all of those extrapolated purchases are assumed to be non-compliant for the purposes of LEED. That raises the percentage of purchases by participating tenants that must be compliant. (See example in the Documentation Toolkit.)


  • How many people are involved in procurement in your project building? If it’s only a small number of people, you’re likely to have an easier time establishing tracking systems and managing the transition to green products. If procurement is decentralized, it may take more time to coordinate with everyone who makes purchases.


  • Get buy-in from all purchasing decision-makers in the building. Holding a meeting with all purchasing agents and tenants to explain the intention of LEED certification and address specific concerns from individuals can help get the whole building on board. 


  • Setting Up a Program


  • To start your tracking plan, make a list of the ongoing consumables purchased in the building and, if possible, estimate the dollar amounts spent on each. You will have to track actual costs during the performance period, but estimating cost at this early phase will help inform you of where the most money is spent and where you should focus your procurement efforts.


  • Ongoing consumables for this credit include, at a minimum, these low-cost items:

    • paper (printing and copy paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes),
    • toner cartridges,
    • binders,
    • batteries,
    • and desk accessories.

  • Although not required, other additional ongoing consumables to consider tracking for this credit include:

    • disposable cafeteria flatware,
    • plates, and cups,
    • packaging and shipping supplies,
    • kitchen supplies,
    • and any other ongoing consumable that is specific to your project building.

  • To meet goals for this credit, start by assessing your most regular, or largest budgeted, ongoing consumable product purchases. For example, most office buildings spend a large portion of their ongoing consumables budget on paper products, so this is a good area to focus on switching to environmental purchases.


  • Use your project’s EPP policy to establish a purchasing program for ongoing consumables and set environmental purchasing goals for these products. Procurement goals should be reflected in the EPP policy developed for MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.


  • For products you purchase that don’t meet sustainability criteria, collaborate with purchasers and vendors to identify substitutes, and create a preferred products list.


  • Procurement staff can develop a list of ongoing consumables approved for purchase by researching new products to verify their efficacy. Require approval for purchase of any products not on the list. 


  • If you develop a list of approved items, try to offer several options in each product category, as cost and availability may vary over time.


  • Work with existing and new product vendors to help identify environmentally preferable products. They may already offer EPP options, thus making your product research easier.


  • Ask vendors to help track the ongoing environmental products purchased. This can make the tracking process much easier. For example, if you purchase all of your office products from one vendor, ask the vendor to flag green products on invoices—providing data that you can feed directly into your tracking system.


  • Recycled-content products are readily available for many types of products and are often comparable in cost to conventional products.


  • Collect and file the cut sheets of compliant products for LEED documentation. Ensure that the cut sheet specifically and clearly notes the sustainability criteria met by that product.


  • Design a system for tracking the ongoing consumables (sustainable and non-sustainable) throughout the performance period to help facilitate the process of organizing the required LEED documentation.


  • Plan on using spreadsheets or other computer software to track purchases during the performance period—and keep electronic files of product data sheets for all compliant products. See the sample tracking sheet in the Documentation Toolkit.


  • Tracking the environmental qualities of ongoing consumables may be a new process for your project team. Customize your tracking plan accommodate your project’s specific needs.


  • The success of a tracking program depends on project team commitment. Work closely with the team that will actually do the tracking to develop a usable system.


  • Consider purchasing all compliant consumables one week, and non-compliant products the next, to help manage the tracking process. This makes it easier to separate out the sustainable purchases from the non sustainable ones for each line item on each invoice.


  • Bulk purchasing of green products can bring down overall costs.


  • Products with the U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) label and products that claim to contain bio-based materials are not automatically approved in the LEED review process. If these products are important to your project, you can request a CIR  to help establish whether or not a particular product counts for sustainable purchasing credit. 

During the Performance Period

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  • Track all ongoing consumables purchases during the performance period, making sure to include purchases that do not meet the sustainability criteria. See the sample tracking sheet in the Documentation Toolkit.


  • Products which meet multiple sustainability criteria will count for more than their actual cost.  The cost value for these products will be automatically translated to a weighted sustainable cost in the LEED Online credit form.


  • Make sure to retain cut sheets that clearly quantify the product’s environmental benefits. Vague environmental claims do not make appropriate LEED documentation.


  • Make sure you are tracking all of your purchases or you may raise a red flag for LEED reviewers. For example, it is unusual to have no paper products purchased over even the shortest performance period in a commercial office building. If you didn’t include any paper purchases, your documentation would raise suspicion of being incomplete.


  • Monitor progress regularly during the performance period to make sure the target sustainable-product purchase rates are being met, and that all procurement staff are purchasing sustainable options when possible.


  • You can copy purchasing data from your tracking system into the LEED Online credit form on a regular basis to check ongoing credit compliance.


  • To complete required documentation, transfer all purchasing data that was collected throughout the performance period to the LEED Online credit form.


  • It may be easier to use your own tracking form during the performance period, but for the final LEED documentation, you must use the LEED Online credit form rather than submitting your own custom tracking sheet. The LEED Online credit form has a built-in calculator, and it is cumbersome for LEED review teams to ensure that a project-supplied spreadsheet is calculating all purchases exactly the way the LEED Online credit form does.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance

    MR Credit 1: Sustainable purchasing - ongoing consumables

    1 point

    Intent

    To reduce the environmental and air quality impacts of the materials acquired for use in the operations and maintenance of buildings.

    Requirements

    Maintain a sustainable purchasing program covering materials with a low cost per unit that are regularly used and replaced through the course of business. These materials include at a minimum, paper (printing or copy paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes), toner cartridges, binders, batteries and desk accessories. Food and beverages are excluded from this credit but are covered under MR Credit 5. Sustainable Purchasing - Food. For materials that may be considered either ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. or durable goodsDurable goods have a useful life of 2 years or more and are replaced infrequently or may require capital program outlays. Examples include furniture, office equipment, appliances, external power adapters, televisions, and audiovisual equipment. (see MR Credits 2.1 and 2.2), the project team is free to decide which category to put them in as long as consistency is maintained with MR Credits 2.1 and 2.2, with no contradictions, exclusions or double-counting. Consistency must also be maintained with MR Credit 7.

    A template calculator for MR c1 is available in LEED Online 3 as a credit submittal. One point is awarded to projects that achieve sustainable purchases of at least 60%, of total purchases (by cost) during the performance period. Sustainable purchases are those that meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • Purchases contain at least 10% postconsumer and/or 20% postindustrial material.
    • Purchases contain at least 50% rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). materials.
    • Purchases contain at least 50% materials harvested and processed or extracted and processed within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) radius of the project. Building materials or products shipped by rail or water have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) total travel distance of the project site using a weighted average determined through the following formula:

      (Distance by rail/3) + (Distance by inland waterway/2) + (Distance by sea/15) + (Distance by all other means) ≤ 500 miles [800 kilometers]

    • Purchases consist of at least 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts.)–certified paper products.
    • Batteries are rechargeable.

    Each purchase can receive credit for each sustainable criterion met (i.e., a $100 purchase that contains both 10% postconsumer recycled content and 50% of content harvested within 500 miles of the project counts twice in the calculation, for a total of $200 of sustainable purchasing).

    Ongoing consumables must be purchased during the performance period to earn points in this credit.

    Credit substitution available

    You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    When purchasing materials, supplies or equipment, specify those that meet one or more of the criteria.

Publications

FSC Certified Paper

This is a list of product manufactures that supply FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. certified paper.

Web Tools

U.S. EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines

This program is part of EPA’s effort to promote the use of materials recovered from solid waste. It provides comprehensive procurement guidelines and recovered-materials advisory notices, which recommend recycled-content levels for construction products, landscaping products, non-paper and paper products, and other items. It includes a searchable database of suppliers.


EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

Offers a database of green products and services and tools for managing the green purchasing process. An index makes it easy to find and evaluate information about green products and services, calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices, and manage green purchasing processes.

Organizations

Sustainability Purchasing Network

Learning resource for corporate, nonprofit, academic, public, and private organizations. It offers presentations on reducing purchasing-related carbon emissions, integrating sustainability into purchasing, and the business case for a sustainable procurement policy.

Tracking Purchases

Use this spreadsheet (with example provided) to track purchases of ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. during the performance period.

Sample LEED Online Form

This annotated LEED Online form for MRc1 demostrates how to document this credit, displaying sample data.

LEED Online Forms: EBOM-2009 MR

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

v06 forms:

v04 forms:

v03 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Extrapolation for Non-Participating Tenants

Purchasing and data tracking must cover the entire building, including tenant spaces, with the exception that teams may exclude purchases for up to 10% of your building's floor area if that area is under separate management. This sample calculation shows the impact of non-participating tenants on purchasing credit calculations.

96 Comments

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Nate Gillette Director Natura Architectural Consulting LLC
Jul 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
85 Thumbs Up

Follow Up: Restaurant Consumable Documentation

Tristan - simply stating, the examples and what is commonly referred to as an ongoing consumable did not appear to address restaurant consumables. If you believe that this is indeed the correct place to document, I can entertain that, but I just wanted you know why I was unsure: Sustainable Purchasing of Ongoing ConsumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories.

The term “ongoing consumables” refers to low-cost-per-unit materials that are regularly used and replaced through the course of daily business operations. These products may include, but are not limited to: printing and copying paper, notebooks, envelopes, business cards, sticky notes, paper clips, toner cartridges, and batteries."

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 14 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Nate, I would refer you to a few things. One, the language "may include, but are not limited to."

Two, the LEEDuser FAQ above under "The credit language says we need to track paper (printing or copy paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes), toner cartridges, binders, batteries and desk accessories. Is that everything we have to track for this credit?"

Three, the heading above, "Here’s what to track."

Basically, LEED recognizes that every project has different kinds of consumables, so it's not trying to limit you just to typical office items.

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Nate Gillette Director, Natura Architectural Consulting LLC Jul 14 2014 LEEDuser Member 85 Thumbs Up

Perfect, thank you Tristan!

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Gabriel Frasson Project Manager OTEC
Jun 30 2014
Guest
77 Thumbs Up

Packaging products

I was wondering if some packaging of products that adress IEQ requirements but also attend one or more MRc1 criteria can be used here, like soap packing.
Other question is, shampoo and/or band-aids packaging can be accept in MRc1 too?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 14 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Gabriel, for the examples you give I think I would focus on the products themselves—the soap and bandages—which would include the packaging, but not the packaging itself. That would be more addressed under the waste management credit.

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Vivek Singla
Jun 19 2014
LEEDuser Member
8 Thumbs Up

Sending toners/cartridges back to the remanufacturer

In the implementation part of LEED reference guide it is writen that buying a toner from a cartridge remanufacturer or an equipment supplier that will take spent cartriges back is considered a sustainable choice.

So, can we include the toners/cartridges that are sent back to the manufacturer as satisfying the criterion for sustainable purchasing - ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. for this credit even if they don't satisfy the following EPPEnvironmentall preferable products (EPP) are those identified as having a lesser or reduced effect on health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. criteria:
1. containing at least 10% postconsumer and/or 20% postindustrial material;
2. containing at least 50% rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). material;
3. containing at least 50% materials harvested, extracted, and processed within 500 miles of the facility;
4. consisting of at least 50% Forest Stewardship Council certified paper products;
5. or rechargeable batteries.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, USGBC LEED Faculty, LEED AP O+M, BuildingWise LLC Jul 15 2014 LEEDuser Expert 3898 Thumbs Up

Vivek. The simple answer is yes you can quantify the amount of toner cartridges sent back as part of your re-cycling content under MRc7. This credit is only interested in what is re-cycled not what is purchased, however we are always looking to purchase items that CAN be recycled and here the toner industry already has a good handle on what it takes to accomplish this with several prepackaged return to manufacturer options, several outside contractors who take cartridges back and refill etc. Obviously the weight of these cartridges is very small but at least you are counting them!

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David ESPAGNET Green Building project manager Bureau Veritas
Jan 29 2014
Guest
15 Thumbs Up

Can PEFC Certification replace FSC Certification

Hello everybody,

The main question is in the tittle. To sum up the operation, it is a logistics center in France whose pallets are PEFC certified and represent a great amount of the sustainable purchases. If PEFC certification is not accepted, the credit is lost.

Thank you by advance for the answer.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 09 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

David, LEED does not accept anything other than FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts.

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Feb 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1523 Thumbs Up

Hi David, you might consider excluding the pallets completely from the credit calculations, since they're outside the typical ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. material scope. There's a good discussion in this forum about materials purchased for business purposes versus the type of ongoing consumables covered by this credit.

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Bahareh van Boekhold Energy and Sustainability Planner Delaware Division of Energy and Climate
Nov 25 2013
LEEDuser Member
30 Thumbs Up

FSC Chain of Custody certification

We are pursuing the LEED EB O&M certification of our main campus and the paper product we purchase from Office Max is FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. Chain of Custody certified. LEED considers a purchase sustainable if it consists of at least 50% FSC certified paper products. Does the FSC Chain of Custody certification for paper products require minimum % from FSC sources? How can I verify if the paper gets the LEED credit for 50% FSC certified paper products?

Thanks, Bahareh

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 20 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Bahareh, the FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. Chain of Custody certification ensures that any FSC content in a paper or timber product is segregated from non-certified content throughout the production process, so that an FSC content label on the finished product is accurate.

If a paper product provides FSC CoC information, but no mention of FSC content, that it may simply be part of a producer's program, but not have any FSC content, and thus not contribute to this credit.

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Rachel Yocum Energy Resource Manager, State of Delaware Jan 31 2014 LEEDuser Member 3 Thumbs Up

If I am understanding this correctly, it is the FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. content % that is the important variable for achieving this credit - the COC would be less important. However, are they both required for paper purchases? For example, if we have the FSC content % but no COC, are we not eligible to take the credit?

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Aurélie Kazour Bellevue Medical Center
Aug 02 2013
Guest
17 Thumbs Up

Medical Supplies

I am working in a hospital trying to meet the Sustainable Purchasing standards. We have already looked into best practices for hospitals in terms of medical supplies & devices, and implementing those when possible. Due to various reasons, the targets are very difficult to meet if we include medical supplies. Can medical supplies be excluded from the tracking program of the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.-MR and still get the full credit? Any clarification in that regard would be very helpful.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, USGBC LEED Faculty, LEED AP O+M, BuildingWise LLC Aug 02 2013 LEEDuser Expert 3898 Thumbs Up

Sami. I want to commend you and your team for thinking 'outside the box'. Certainly the creation of standards that could be associated with medical supplies is a very noble action, however, as Susan Walter points out in her comments below, what is the dividing line between process and non-process. Originally USGBC were looking for 'consumables' as we would think of them in a commercial office environment...paper, cardboard, pens, pencils etc. Once we move outside of that type of environment, what falls under the term 'ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories.' is up for a great debate. Unless you can find precedent setting example from other 'process' scenarios do try to keep your list as short as possible. After all being careful of what you wish for (it might come true) and creating a 100 item list of what would be cast as consumables in a hospital environment may be difficult, impractical and down right mind numbing to quantify over a long period....such as on going re-certifications where 100% of the data will need to be collected.
You can also make a very good case that medical supplies can be discounted from your list as each hospital may have a completely different concept of what would be classed as 'on-going consumables'...yet you might all agree of a very short list which will no doubt start of with the original list...paper, cardboard, pens..pencils.

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Emmanuel Pauwels Owner, Green Living Projects s.l. Apr 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 2084 Thumbs Up

In a hotel project we are debating if items such as the soap used in the hotel rooms for the guests or similar items that are bought regularly for use by hotel guests have to be included? One could argue that these are "process" items, related to the business of running a hotel and as such would not to have to be included. Is that assumption correct?

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Apr 27 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1523 Thumbs Up

I think that's a fair assumption. Also, the credit language doesn't include sustainability criteria for the types of hotel process items you're describing, so it could be a bit tricky to even decide what qualifies as sustainable vs non-sustainable for those purchases.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect Wilmot/Sanz
Mar 22 2013
LEEDuser Expert
14198 Thumbs Up

Line between consumables and 'process' consumables

I'm wondering where to draw the line between consumables (which in my mind are things people use in the course of their business day) and the items used for the business (product raw materials, items used to deliver materials). Hospitals buy a lot of consumable items, many of which are difficult to green. For example, in order to give a patient a shot, the care giver dons latex gloves (consumable), opens a syringe (process?) fills it with medicine (process), swabs the injection site (consumable) gives the shot and puts a bandaid over the injection site (consumable). So they should track gloves, alcohol swabs and band-aids in this credit but not the syringe or the medication? Or should everything after the gloves be considered 'process'?

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Alexa Stone ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability Jun 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 2317 Thumbs Up

Hi Susan, I don't have an answer for you on the specific LEED interpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. but I do Encourage you to look at the Healthier Hospitals Initiative that addresses purchasing, reprocessing and greening of the supply chain for future.

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Leed 1
Feb 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
4 Thumbs Up

Owner Change from Electric Hand Dryers to Paper Towel Dispensers

I'm currently working on a mixed-use public/private institutional building which is nearing completion and is on target to LEED NC 2009 Platinum Certification. The Owner intends to pursue LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. (Gold or Platinum target) after the building opens.
As of last week, the Owner has asked whether the Dyson Airblade electric hand dryers that are currently installed in a majority of the restooms (about 20-30 units) can be replaced with standard paper towel dispensers. Will this impact any of the LEED EBOM credits they wish to pursue in the future? I'm not in favor of this change request as it fundamentally will just generate more waste, but I have not found anything specific yet in my research to take back to the Owner to say "No, you don't want to do this."
Has anyone else come across this before or can offer words of advice? I am much more familiar with LEED NC then LEED EBOM, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Alexa Stone ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability Feb 11 2013 LEEDuser Member 2317 Thumbs Up

Hi Leed 1,
You are not directly effecting compliance with any credits BUT by doing this will effect the waste stream and your diversion rate you are trying to achieve in MRc7 Ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories.. You can include these purchases of paper towels given they meet the above criteria in these credit calculations for MRc1. You will also increase the amount you have to shovel through in your waste audit for MRc6! : ) Good Luck!
Logistically, I recommend adding paper towels if the owner is insistent instead of outright replacing the air blades.

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Kay Sieck LEED-AP O&M Spokane Convention Center & INB Performing Arts Center Spokane Public Facilities District
Dec 05 2012
LEEDuser Member
215 Thumbs Up

FSC vs SFI

Why does LEED not recognize SFI products? We purchase products with that label such as our hanging folders and file folders. Does it count as and FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. product? Thanks for the help

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 06 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Kay, LEED has a long history of accepting FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. only. SFI and the forest products industry have fought that stance intensely, and continue to do so, but USGBC's membership has voted to maintain an FSC-only policy, based on studies showing that it is the stronger standard on an environmental and social basis. A lot has been written on on this topic—here's one article from Environmental Building News to get you started.

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American University Sustainability American University
Oct 23 2012
LEEDuser Member
867 Thumbs Up

Recycled Content % Not Specified as Pre- or Post-Consumer

Several of the toner cartridges that our buildings routinely buy claim to have recycled content, but their product documentation does not specify whether it is post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. or post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer." material. Would it be acceptable to assume that this blended rate is all post-industrial and thus need to meet the higher threshold (20% rather than 10% for postconsumer) to comply? Example product documentation: http://www.biggestbook.com/details.jsp?R=9375445. See "Product Details" tab. Many HP toner products have the same problem.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 23 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Emily, I think you should be safe claiming it as pre-consumer (i.e., post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer.") content.

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Jaida Holbrook Enivronmental Engineer, Skanska Sverige AB Aug 06 2013 Guest 725 Thumbs Up

Hey Emily,

I was wondering if your strategy was approved by the GBCI?

Or when you hear the feedback it would be great to know as well.

thanks!

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Simon S. SL+A International, Taipei
Aug 23 2012
LEEDuser Member
4613 Thumbs Up

FSC Certified Products - Documentation?

In some of our current EB:O&M projects we have considered pursuing the MRc1 and MRc3 purchasing credits, claiming credit for FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. certified materials.

The question is - What kind of documentation are we required to provide for these purchases? In the LEED Online form, it requests that "Documentation from Product Manufacturer's or Suppliers Verifying Product Compliance with the Specified Sustainability Criteria" should be uploaded. In many instances (purchasing copy paper for example) the "supplier" (a local paper store in Taiwan) is not entirely familiar with the FSC certification or the need to document these purchases.

For FSC certified products, there are a variety of routes we could take:
- Cutsheet calling out material as FSC
- Manufacturer's FSC Chain of Custody Certificate
- Product Specific FSC Certificate (Does this exist?)
- Invoice for products purchased, indicating FSC # (is this the COC or is there a different FSC # specific to each product?)
- Photo evidence of FSC labeling on packaging for purchased products with receipt of purchase

What is the BEST ~ also most efficient and realistic ~ way to document compliance for these FSC products? Has anyone had success achieving these FSC credits and what proof of compliance did you provide for review?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, USGBC LEED Faculty, LEED AP O+M, BuildingWise LLC Sep 03 2012 LEEDuser Expert 3898 Thumbs Up

You pose a very good question and I doubt that I have enough space here to fully answer, however should this basic reply not cover all your answers you can email me direct on barry@buildingwise.net.
Going back to basics the reason that FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. compliant materials is required is so that forestry operations can prove that the total ‘environment package’ has been supported through all the aspects of planting, growth, cutting, processing and final delivery to the customer. If what we were talking about was a single piece of 2’ x 4’ timber, then a letter (a ‘chain of custody’ document) would, in the basic vernacular, comply with the GBCI’s requirement for credit approval. Along with invoices showing the total FSC compliant materials used within the construction processes, the chain of custody letter then forms a package that the GBCI would expect to see. However, the timber doesn’t always arrive on site as a single piece of 2 x 4. In many cases that timber has been supplied to other manufactures to create another product…a sheet of laminated timber, ply wood as an example. Here the GBCI will require at least the plywood manufacturer to supply you with a letter of attestation that the plywood contains a certain percentage of FSC compliant timber. (A trip to the local timber yard may show these plywood panels with a stamp says, ‘contains FSC compliant lumber’. This stamp of course actually means nothing at all. From the supplier you will need to get a ‘compliant letter’ that gives the accurate amount of FSC percentage used within the board. [NOTE: this could be a minefield of what constitutes a compliant letter])
Should you be purchasing furniture, that also can contain FSC percentages…the same rules apply. Major manufacturers however are fully on board. To single out only one..Haworth, gives us no problems as their letters of attestation are fully compliant with LEED and, up to now, are totally accepted by GBCI.
This now leaves us with paper, and probably copy paper as the main question. In the US most manufacturers are compliant by providing on line documentation that complies with the FSC percentage as above, to date has been accepted by GBCI, but the core question (which at last I’ve got to) is how do you go about claiming FSC compliant copy paper when the manufacturer of the copy paper doesn’t have that designation.
In order to meet the requirement for GBCI, let’s first look at what’s in the US market place and try to create a plan for you to match up. This wording is taken from Office Depot’s website (this in no way picks OD as the main supplier, Staples and others do great work):
• Greener choice — contains 30% postconsumer recycled content.
• Meets the global standards of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Forest Stewardship Council US-0081. FSC Certification ensures responsible use of forest resources and provides assurance that the fiber in this paper comes from forests that are well-managed to protect biodiversity and the livelihoods of the people that depend on those forests.
• Green Seal®-certified to ensure lower impact on the environment and human health.

As you can see the FSC section is very detailed. Your supplier would have to investigate the wood pulp portion of the paper and clearly lay out the chain of custody of exactly where that pulp came from…right back to the tree! Once at the tree, the forest in which that tree was removed and the operations that are associated with forestry practices would need to meet FSC requirements, in their entirety. (This is too long to explain here)
So, finally, what is the best? Each component of construction materials, furniture and paper have a different piece of support material that will be accepted by GBCI:
2 x 4’s-Chain of custody letter
Furniture- Cutsheets, official/compliancy letter from the manufacturer (maybe even MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products sheets)
Paper- Official/Compliancy letter, MSDS (maybe)
So, yes, many of us have provided the data above to comply with MR c1 and c3

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Lori Winneshiek Sustainability Coordinator Transwestern
Aug 09 2012
Guest
53 Thumbs Up

EB:2009 - School Purchasing

I am working to certify a Primary school and can easily obtain the purchasing information the school and district make for the school staff and their classrooms, however, the teachers purchase many items all on their own to use in their specific classrooms. Do we need to include these personal purchases by the teachers?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Sep 03 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Lori, those purchases should be included, technically speaking. One possible way to handle this would be to assume that any such purchases are noncompliant.

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Alexa Stone ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability
May 25 2012
LEEDuser Member
2317 Thumbs Up

Kitchen Consumables

Does anyone have any experience or guidance regarding these products included in this credit for multi-tenant buildings? Large commercial kitchen supplies and consumables such as parchment paper, foil, food preparation products. Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 05 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Jeff, what kind of guidance are you looking for? Where to get sustainable versions of those products?

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Alexa Stone ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability Oct 10 2012 LEEDuser Member 2317 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan, Curious as to having to include ALL purchases with regard to commercial kitchen supplies to capture products when only a small portion are sustainable and do not have alternatives. Could I just track the service ware products such as plates, cups and disposable flatware instead of other supplies?

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Lauren Wallace LEED Project Reviewer, LEED AP BD+C, Senior LEED Specialist Certifications Department Manager, Epsten Group, Inc.
Feb 01 2012
LEEDuser Member
984 Thumbs Up

Mixed Use - Office/ Residential

My project contains 12 floors of commercial office space (95% occupied), a ground floor retail (100% occupied), and 30 stories of residential (30% occupied). As I understand it, we could easily go about the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. process by excluding the upper residential floors. But what if the upper residential floors were to be included in the certification? I am not sure how we could include them in any tracking credits, which would limit our opportunities for certification. And as they are more than 10% of the floor area, they couldn't be excluded. The MPRs do not address this. I understand that we could use tenant guidelines for all the policies, but is there any way to exclude them from the tracking credits base on ownership? Any advice would be great.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, USGBC LEED Faculty, LEED AP O+M, BuildingWise LLC Feb 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 3898 Thumbs Up

Unfortunately unless the residential can be 'separated' from the rest of the structure you will need to complete LEED EB v3 for the complete building. Separation 'could' take place because the residential is a separate segment to the side of the main structure or because it sits on top. However Vertically Attached Buildings and separate structures are covered in MPR's where you will find specific requirements of how to designate 'separate'.
Try: www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=7177
And search this website, LEED User, for guidance

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Lauren Wallace LEED Project Reviewer, LEED AP BD+C, Senior LEED Specialist, Certifications Department Manager, Epsten Group, Inc. Feb 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 984 Thumbs Up

Thank you for the quick reply. The building is able to be vertically separated. But that was not what I was specifically asking, if we do choose to certify the entire building as one, is there any way to exclude the residential areas from tracking?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, USGBC LEED Faculty, LEED AP O+M, BuildingWise LLC Feb 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 3898 Thumbs Up

"......if we do chose to certify the entire building as one"....then everything must be included. That is why we chose to make the specifics of vertical separation so detailed. Sounds like from your post that you can separate out the residential and that sounds the best course.

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Melissa Merryweather Director Green Consult-Asia
Oct 30 2011
LEEDuser Member
2087 Thumbs Up

soy based ink

Might seem obvious, but would soy-based inks qualify as rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less).? I haven't seen mention of this anywhere. The office I'm working on has 10x higher expenditure on printing ink than all other office supplies put together.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 30 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, I would definitely say that the soy content in inks would meet the rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). definition. I would check what percentage of the ink is actual soy content. (And I'm curious what the answer is if you find out.)

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Shin-Ja Kammann
Jun 16 2011
Guest
32 Thumbs Up

Purchase Tracking

The LEED certified building that I work in is a sports arena. The massive variety and quantity of our purchases, especially in ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. and food & beverage products is mindboggling. Are we required to track each individual item puchased? Or can we lump all non-sustainable purchases into one category, all regionally sustainable purchases in another and then track individual line items of suppliers that do not fall wholly into on category or the other? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, USGBC LEED Faculty, LEED AP O+M, BuildingWise LLC Jun 17 2011 LEEDuser Expert 3898 Thumbs Up

In an average building we would normally write down each item and provide the backup documentation to show that the purchase meets the requirements of LEED, however in your case start with the suppliers. Have them take the 90 days of purchases and lump the together (example would be copy paper, while the sports arena may well be taking a 2 tonne delivery of copy paper every third day have the supplier corrallate the purchases for the 90 days...that could be 20 tonnes of type x paper delivered, type x paper satisfies the LEED requirements, etc, etc...I know Office Depot will do this as I am sure Staples and others will)
However to get the % numbers required for LEED then you will have to show all the non-compliant numbers as well. As to the food question...really you will have to show all the food purchases, those that meet the requirements and those that don't...again try the suppliers (but is it REALLY worth for one point to do all of that..the cost benefit ratio doesn't compute!!!) You have taken on a major job with this arena...good luck

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Jessica Bruscato
Jun 16 2011
LEEDuser Member
178 Thumbs Up

Sustainable Purchasing

I am interested in pursuing LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. certification for an existing convention center. This building is connected to a hotel, which provides the convention center with all of its catering service needs. May the items purchased by the hotel for the convention center(i.e. food, glassware, etc) be claimed under the Materials & Resources Credits MRc1 & MRc5 for the sustainable purchasing of ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. and food?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, USGBC LEED Faculty, LEED AP O+M, BuildingWise LLC Jun 17 2011 LEEDuser Expert 3898 Thumbs Up

Food. Are you able to exactly quantify the food items that get created in the hotel and used in the convention centre, against those that get created in the hotel and used in the hotel through out the performance period and be able to prove that with sufficient documentation to satisfy the GBCI??? About the only way I can see that working is if the catering department in the hotel was 100% LEED compliant....provable. (This is a tremendous amount of work for one point)

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Austin Evans Temporary Worker Scroll Compressors LLC
Jun 09 2011
Guest
409 Thumbs Up

Paper with no recycled Content

Currently the paper supply that is used in the facility is from a Contract that Corporate has with Staples for copy paper. The copy paper cotnains no recycled in it and a large amount of money is spent on this product. Corporate just ersigned the contract with Staples for another 2 years so we will have to receive that type of copy paper from staples due to the fact that we are included on the contract. I was wondering if this would be an exemption case since we at the facility here do not have any control over the situtation and are stuck with this paper for 2 years. If it doesn't count as an exemption case is there any other way to get around this problem?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 09 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Austin, I think one of the purposes of LEED is to make a positive influence in just this kind of situation. Ideally there is an organizational commitment to LEED and sustainability, and that commitment comes to bear on contract decisions like this one.

I think the best solution is to renegotiate the contract. Staples sells plenty of cost-effective recycled-content paper.

Short of that, you can elect not to pursue this credit or you can rely on other purchases to hit your threshold.

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JOHN COOK Campus Sustainability Coordinator University of California Riverside
May 02 2011
LEEDuser Member
346 Thumbs Up

Dormitory Tracking

I am working on a university dormitory with 500 students living there. It would be almost impossible to track all of their purchases. However there are public spaces, bathrooms, offices and a store that is under management control and we would like to pursue this credit for those spaces. Is it acceptable to exclude the students and implement sustainable purchasing for rest of the building to achieve this credit?

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Coleen Collins May 02 2011 Guest 90 Thumbs Up

LEED CI, when applied in office situations does not require tracking user purchases ( or at least we haven't been dinged for it). EB and CI are focused on building/space operations not the actions of individuals. Must an auto plant track the steel in all the vehicles being made? It's all pass-thru, not fundamental to building operations. Must you track thehe recycled fabric in the children's clothing in a school project? I suggest the following questions to ask:
1. Is the material in question fundamental to building operations?
2. Is the material purchased by the building operator or for the building operators? e.g. vendor purchased paper towels should be counted

e.g. A factory manufactures fluorescent lamp fixtures, and uses similar fixtures to light the factory floor. Here I think one tracks the product used to light the factory floor, not the product produced.

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Jennifer Fitts Administrative Services Manager Fuss & O'Neill
Mar 29 2011
Guest
75 Thumbs Up

Wide Format Paper - business required, no recycled options??

Our business uses large/wide format printing for design plans quite a bit and the paper has accounted for a large portion of our purchasing.
I've gone to our vendors to see about recycled content product, but it just isn't available.
Is there exception at all for needing to purchase product that would normally fall under a typical category but doesn't have a sustainable option for the specific product being used?
I'm 9 percentage points away from this credit because of this and I'll be so disappointed if we don't make it....

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Mar 29 2011 LEEDuser Expert 17439 Thumbs Up

You might try looking into FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. certified wide-format paper:
http://www.fscus.org/paper/
and use the link to find the lists of certified papers and manufacturers. Some of these have recycled content as well. There can be a fuzzy area between products that aren't "available" or "known to be available." In some markets, we've seen printing companies competing with each other to be more "sustainable" by providing wide-format recycled paper, FSC paper, picking up used tubes, cartridges, etc.

Since one of the main goals of LEED is market transformation, they're unlikely to grant an exception based on a vendor's claim it's not available, but that does but some of the burden on individual project teams to push for things like this. That's one way a local chapter of the USGBC or a local LEED user group can be very helpful - putting out the call for a particular product and showing there's real demand for it.

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Ted Mendoza
Feb 23 2011
Guest
168 Thumbs Up

Printing used for bldg occupants, but outsourced

I have a client that has several departments under a building that is being LEED EB-OM certified. One of the departments has a "significant" budget attributed to generating handouts, flyers, etc. that are used by employees of that department. However, the handouts are not made within the confines of the building, nor are they made with consumables (paper) that are purchased and located within the building. These documents are outsourced to a local printing press company.

Does the paper that the printing press uses need to be tracked and verified to adhere to the policy being established for the building? Does this need to be done every time they "sub out" a print job like this?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 23 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Ted, I would say that this printing is outside the scope of this credit. It seems to fall more under the business activity of the department, and is not related to the building. If the paper is used within the building, then it would be coverede on the waste side, but I don't see a need to cover it on the purchasing side.

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Ted Mendoza Feb 24 2011 Guest 168 Thumbs Up

I'm contemplating your response. If there is a separation in business activity, wouldn't all office supplies used by the department then be classified under "business activity"? I'm trying to understand the delineation between this type of consumable and others. In other words, what would then be attributed just to "the building"?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 24 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Ted, I think I would need more specific examples to be able to offer more thoughts. Also, my thoughts on the flyers are a bit of an educated guess—I'm unclear how the flyers are consumed by the department.

As you can gather from reading earlier discussions on this topic, there is some grey area here.

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Feb 24 2011 LEEDuser Expert 8742 Thumbs Up

Interesting question Ted - I would agree with Tristan. What you are purchasing, in this instance, is a finished printed product, rather than simply the 'ongoing consumable' portion of that product, the paper. One might argue its similar to buying a newspaper or magazine in that sense. But it is certainly a gray area, I agree. One other thought - if you are purchasing a large volume of printed materials, and you could switch to sustainable paper, I wonder if an Innovation Credit might be entertained? Longshot but interesting. . .

Dan

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Kimberly Frith Sustainability Consultant, Alto Sustainability, LLC Feb 24 2011 LEEDuser Expert 3606 Thumbs Up

Very good question - we are working on an EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. project for our own building, an AEC firm with lots of printing of project plans, marketing proposals, etc. We use a third-party printing service to manage our equipment and coordinate our large print jobs (full-size drawing sets) and I always took the stance that since we are paying them to do our printing for us (and they are in fact located inside our building), we have the ability to recommend they use sustainable paper - just like we pay our housekeeping staff to use green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. products.

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Ted Mendoza Feb 25 2011 Guest 168 Thumbs Up

Thanks everyone for your input. It has been very helpful in gaining perspective on this one. I plan to work out a stance with my client that will sit well with them. My guess is they will claim the paper volume under purchasing, and we'll get documentation from the printing press on type of paper used during performance period. Obviously, we'll eventually know whether or not it is an acceptable claim with USGBC, right? :-) Thanks again all.

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Coleen Collins
Jan 12 2011
Guest
90 Thumbs Up

Accounting for Process *Materials*

Hypothetical situations:
LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. for a furniture manufacturer:
Paper towels for the bathrooms are "ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories.".
Tack cloths (similar to paper towels) are for used for wiping down furniture pieces about to be coated with finish. They are part of the manufacturing process, not the building operation per se. Are they "ongoing consumables"? What about the wood purchased to make the furniture?
LEED EBOM for a cleaning chemical manufacturing company.
They have a lab where they prototype new products. Are the raw materials for the prototypes to be counted in calculating % of green materials? These materials are regularly used (to make products) and replaced and are not necessarily expensive, but they are not a part of the operation of the building itself.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 20 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Kevin, see the example in the discussion above about an aquarium.

Also, this discussion on purchases made within the building but not for the building.

Keep in mind that these credits are intended to be fairly inclusive—food for example is not about the "operation" of a building but has a lot to do with the impact of its activities.

With your examples, I would count the tack cloths and lab materials but not the wood purchases.

 

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Jessica Jones Project Consultant Sustainable Design Consulting
Dec 16 2010
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181 Thumbs Up

Purchases on a campus with 1 central office space

I am hoping that I can get some advice on the following scenario:

There is a campus of multi family residential housing buildings (say 5 for calculations sake), all owned by the same Property Manager, and there is an Administrative office for the Property Manager in 1 of the 5 buildings. This Adminstrative office makes all the purchases for the 5 buildings, and is the only physical space where things like ongoing consumablesOngoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories., furniture, food, etc are purchased and controlled by the Property Manager, since these items are associated with office usage.

Would it be feasible to allocate a percentage of these types of office purchases to each of the 5 buildings (i.e. 20% of the purchase value for each building or some percentage based on square footage of each building) for LEED EB documentation purposes? Or would it only fly if you use the office space purchases for the LEED documentation of the 1 building the office resides in (i.e. the other 4 buildings would not be able to claim any portion of these purchases because the office is physically outside of the LEED boundary for each of the 4 buildings)?

It seems strange that in a campus setting, you wouldn't be able to somehow get credit for office purchases made by the admin office (which serves all the buildings on the campus), but this is the idea we have gotten from all the LEED language we have seen to date.

Thanks for your feedback on this.

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Jason Franken Sustainability Professional Jan 10 2011 LEEDuser Expert 7187 Thumbs Up

This is a good question, Jessica. The guidelines for campus scenarios are a little confusing. However, you should proceed with the assumption that you will only be able to claim a purchase if it is intended for use at a specific project building. If you have a portfolio of buildings on a campus that are all seeking certification, there are some credits and prerequisites for which you will be allowed to demonstrate campus-wide compliance. However, all of the purchasing credits (including IEQc3.3) will require that you illustrate compliance at the level of each individual building. So, in your case, where there is a centralized purchasing office, this is how you should approach this:
1) If the admin office buys something in bulk that is then actually used at each of the buildings on the campus, you can divide up that purchase using some type of pro-rated approach. For example, let's say each building has a common area with a coffee maker and one of the perks of living there is that the property manager provides free coffee to tenants. If the admin office bought $500 worth of organic coffee during the performance period, each building could claim $100 worth of coffee.
2) If the admin office buys something that is specifically intended to be used only by personnel in that office, those purchases cannot be shared out across the campus. For example, let's say that the admin office has a number of printers and copiers, but none of the other buildings have any sort of common space that is intended for use as a business center for tenants or property management staff. If the admin office buys $500 worth of paper during the performance period, the only building that could claim that purchase is the building that actually houses the admin office.

Now, If the property manager offered another perk by installing a computer and printer in each building's lobby for free tenant use, the situation would be very different. In that alternate example, the $500 worth of paper that was purchased by the central admin office could be divided up across each of the buildings on the campus.

The key thing to remember is that the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. rating system is requiring you to:
a) document actual performance,
b) during the performance period,
c) inside your LEED project boundary.

The last part is the key item in a campus scenario; for the purposes of any purchasing credit, each building on the campus will have its own distinct LEED project boundary.

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Jessica Jones Project Consultant, Sustainable Design Consulting Jan 10 2011 Guest 181 Thumbs Up

Jason,

Thanks for the response. I do have several follow up questions though as well as some issues with the interpretation of how LEED defines this issue (keeping in mind that there is little guidance from USGBC, and what little guidance there is tends to be confusing and often contradictory).

My first comment is that it seems with the interpretation you have listed that the intent of the purchasing credits is backwards. LEED is suppose to give credit to practices that are environmentally friendly. In this case, it appears that the way to achieve the LEED credits would be to start buying a set of products for each of the individual buildings (ex. coffee makers, printers, etc.). This seems contradictory, because buying these products is consuming more than is currently being used. Having individual products in each building means more energy usage, more natural resource usage, etc and would be somewhat wasteful. I feel we should be rewarded in the LEED system for efficient usage of materials and resources by centralizing all of these products in one office space. All of this is part of the issue I see with LEED rewarding projects for more purchases. It almost encourages consumption (which to me is one of the biggest problems facing our society today).

The next comment I have is that the USGBC has ruled that in a campus setting there are many credits that are able to be "shared" or credits can be achieved even though the physical objects or amenities aren't within the specific LEED boundary (such as parking spaces, showers, stormwater management, etc.). So why should purchasing be any different? This is an example of the contradiction within the LEED rating systems. I understand the intent of requiring things to be within the LEED boundary, but there are always exceptions, and in a campus setting, this is one case it seems unreasonable to require all purchases to be used within the LEED project boundary.

One example of a product that should count even if purchased outside the LEED boundary is office paper. The way I read your interpretation, it seems that unless the printer is housed in the building of the specific LEED project in reference, the paper purchases shouldn't count for LEED purposes. But just because the paper is printed in the office, doesn't mean that it isn't actually physically used in the other buildings. This paper is very frequently used for things like tenant notices, etc. within each of the buildings. So for these types of products it seems reasonable to allocate percentages to each building (even though the printer and office equipment is in only 1 building).

I realize that there is not much guidance for LEED EB for Multi Family at this point (as we have discovered throughout the certification process), but it would be nice to see some guidance, and guidance that is in line with the intent of LEED and consistent with other rating systems and interpretations. I realize that LEED EB is different in that it is actual performance during the performance period, but there should still be some consistency between EB and other LEED Rating Systems when appropriate.

I would appreciate your thoughts on my comments when you have a chance.

Thanks for your time.

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Jan 11 2011 LEEDuser Expert 8742 Thumbs Up

Jessica - You've asked some great questions and in the process illuminated a number of issues that I know USGBC is also working on/struggling with right now. Your particular project is a neat intersection of two scenarios that challenge EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.: residential and campus. Either one has a number of unknowns; in combination you are definitely out there on the cutting edge.

Jason's response is, in my eyes, spot on. He has helpfully illustrated the flexibility that the USGBC is trying to maintain to allow for variability in building situations that necessarily differ among campuses. I will try to address your follow up points:

1. On the issue of consumption, I think you'll find that everyone at USGBC is aligned with your concern about encouraging consumption. That being said, there is simply no functional way for this tool to measure a 'lack' of consumption. Past versions of EB attempted to encompass source reduction but it quickly became clear that a project could claim to have 'source reduced' tons of material with no documentation. The USGBC's reach can only encompass guiding existing purchasing; they have to assume that the profit motive will limit unnecessary purchases beyond what is required for normal operations.

2. USGBC's fundamental orientation is the certification of individual buildings. The rating systems were not designed for campuses, firms, etc... (LEED-ND being the obvious exception). For this reason, the default position of the USGBC is that data should represent building-level performance. When doing so is somehow inadequate, inaccurate, or misrepresentative of actual circumstances (irrigation, stormwater management, and similar credits being the obvious examples), the USGBC has made formal exception to that default position. I am of the opinion that this exception should be extended to additional credits in a campus setting, particularly alternative transportation and waste diversion. But until the USGBC formally agrees, reasonable people are left to happily debate which credits should or should not be considered campus-wide vs individual building, while knowing that the USGBC starting point is building-specific data. Purchasing is a tough one on both sides of this debate, but I hope its helpful to understand the USGBC's starting point, at least philosophically.

3. Finally, to your example, I would encourage you to assume that the USGBC is less interested in drawing hard & firm lines and more interested in behavior/performance consistent with the credit intent. You have a great deal of flexibility in explaining to the reviewer how purchased materials are used in the project building, and why that use is reasonable for inclusion. The USGBC can't anticipate every permutation of materials use that takes place in a campus environment - its incumbent on projects to help the USGBC understand their practices and how those practices are consistent with the credit intent. I don't think a reviewer would have any problem with the inclusion of some $ amount for paper to each building in the example you provide (as long as it wasn't double-counted between the two buildings!).

Hope that's at least a little helpful.

Dan

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Simon S. SL+A International, Taipei
Nov 16 2010
LEEDuser Member
4613 Thumbs Up

Rapid Renewable Material

If our purchased paper contain rapid renewable material, which the paper fiber was took from a trees which is harvest less than 10 years. will this consider as rapid renewable resources?
the manufacturer web page claim that, Eucalyptus tree was a farmed trees which will be harvest every 4-5 years. will this work?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 16 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, I believe so.

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Simon S. SL+A International, Taipei Nov 16 2010 LEEDuser Member 4613 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan,
this link me to another question. i saw a comment on NCv2.2, MRC6 dated Jun 29 2010. the discussion stated that, a study made by USGBC that, no tree species meet the 10 years renewal criteria.
is there a web page whereby list of rapid renewable resources was stated and user refer to it?
Farmed trees was meant for sustainable production, through USGBC study no tree species meet renewal criteria, i not sure with our approach about farmed trees will be ok.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 17 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Quoting a recent MRc6 discussion:

There is no official list. Any biobasedGenerally, classification of products and materials derived from plant and animal sources as opposed to minerals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program to promote the use of emerging biobased products that defines them more narrowly, to exclude products that already have established markets, such as food, animal feed, and lumber.  material that otherwise meets the requirements should be accepted. If you can get formal documentation from your supplier about the less-than-10-years cycle, than you should be OK.

When the rules were written, 10 years was picked in part to exclude any wood products, since those are covered separately under Credit 7. But that's not how the requirement was written.

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Simon S. SL+A International, Taipei
Nov 03 2010
LEEDuser Member
4613 Thumbs Up

50% FSC

one of the requirement that project owner can approach is to purchase product consists of 50% FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. certifies paper.
i knew that FSC have 3 major standard, which is 100% FSC, Mixed FSC and recycle FSC.
Did this statement means that i need to look for product containing at least 50% Mixed FSC or 50% Recycle FSC for paper?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 12 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, any FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts.-certified product at 50% or better qualifies for the credit.

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Wendy Gibson
Oct 12 2010
Guest
1400 Thumbs Up

remanufacturered toner cartridges

I accidentally just posted a very similar question in MRc7 and Tristan tried clarify (thanks Tristan). I figured I would follow up in the correct credit...

The reference guide implies that remanufacturerd toner cartridges are an appropriate way to acheive this credit...but which sustainability criteria do they fall under? Especially if they use previously used pieces for their intended purpose as our vendor reuses toner casing, amongst other things. LEED's definition explicitly states items cannot be reused for their intended purpose.

Any clarification would be great. Tristan, maybe this helps clarify my confusion. Sorry for the wrong credit post earlier.

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Jason Franken Sustainability Professional Oct 26 2010 LEEDuser Expert 7187 Thumbs Up

Wendy, that's a good question; the Reference Guide really isn't clear on its handling of remanufactured toner cartridges. You're correct in assuming that they wouldn't be counted as "re-used", but there's also an avoided cost if you're engaging in similar activities, such as refilling printer ink cartridges. I don't have a good answer for you at this time, but we'll look into it.

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