Your team must develop and adopt a compliant ongoing purchasing and waste policy to achieve LEED certification, since this is a prerequisite policy.
However, you only have to demonstrate actual compliance with the policy if you pursue the related credits. The exception to this (here’s the curveball!) is for ongoing waste diversion. This prerequisite requires you to either divert 75% of ongoing waste (and achieve MRc4: Solid Waste Management – Ongoing), or conduct a waste audit.
Project teams should definitely use the template created by USGBC as the foundation for the policy (see the Doc Toolkit). Customizing the template is encouraged so that the policy reflects your building’s operational practices. But remember that all prerequisite requirements must be addressed, so take care when removing or adjusting content.
The prerequisite lays out specific procedures and requirements for the audit. Review the LEED Reference Guide carefully (see the Waste Audit Procedures section) to see if your current audit will work.
The policy needs to cover products purchased by the building management, at a minimum. This means you can develop the policy based on the purchases you’re responsible for and have data on. The Multitenant Buildings section under Project Type Variations in the LEED Reference Guide includes additional information for buildings with tenants.
To reduce the environmental harm from materials purchased, used, and disposed of in the operations within buildings.
Have in place an environmentally preferable purchasing (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.) policy for products purchased during regular operations of the building. Include at a minimum:
The policy should address the criteria in the following credits:
The policy must cover at least those product purchases within the building and site management’s control.
Establish storage locations for recyclable materials, including mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics, and metals. Establish safe storage areas for batteries and mercury-containing lamps.
Have in place an environmentally preferable solid waste management policy that addresses reuse, recycling, or composting of products purchased during regular operations of the building. Include at a minimum:
Maintain a high-performing solid waste management program by conducting a waste stream audit of ongoing consumables at least once every five years or by diverting 75% of ongoing waste and achieving Materials and Resources Credit Solid Waste Management—Ongoing.
Complete documentation for achievement of MRp - Ongoing purchasing and waste policy on the LEED v4 O+M:EB Platinum StopWaste.org headquarters office building at 1537 Webster Street, Oakland, CA. Project documentation was shared with LEEDuser through cooperation with that organization, and the LEED consultant, BuildingWise LLC
This template meets the requirements of MRp Ongoing Purchasing and Waste policy and may be downloaded by the project team, modified as necessary, and provided as supporting documentation in a LEED application.
I'm working on a building's purchasing and waste policy and I'm using LEED's template. In section iv (procedures and strategies for implementation) it states that bio-based products shall meet the Sustainable Agriculture Network’s Sustainable Agriculture Standard. I have two questions here:
1. Just to be sure, food and beverages are considered into this category, right?
2. Is the EU organic products label (a European ecolabel for cultivated products) considered a valid standard here?
Thank you very much.
My understanding is that the policy must address food only if your project is a school or hospitality building (check out MRc1 Purchasing - ongoing on LEEDuser for details about food purchases and bio-based products as well). That said, if a food product (e.g. coffee) is one of your top 5 purchases, you'd need to include sustainability criteria for it in your policy.
LEED v4 accepts a few additional labels that weren't accepted under v2009, including Canada Organic and European Community Organic Production. Is that the EU label you're referring to?
Trista, thank you very much for your answer, it's really helpful.
Yes, the EU label I'm talking about is the EC Organic Production, the one that looks like a leaf made of stars. So I understand that if a food product shows that label, it's considered sustainable under LEED v4, right?
That's correct! And if you check out the MRc1 purchasing calculator (here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/purchasing-calculator) you can confirm which labels are accepted... and that particular label is included in the drop-down list of Sustainable Agriculture label options so you know it's good!
That's very helpful. Thanks again, Trista!
Now working on a different category within this policy... I've read that LEED accepts some European equivalents to EnergyStar label for electronics (TCO and Blue Angel). In Europe we also have the EU Energy Label that rates appliances from D (worst efficiency) to A+++ (best efficiency). Does LEED accept an EU Energy Label A or better (A, A+, A++ and A+++) as a valid standard for sustainability?
Yes and no. On CI projects I've gotten back comments which indicated that the review teams are in the habit of accepting certain energy labels. That said, the rating system does not include these, so to be on the safe side you should do the Energy Star compliance calculations.
OK, thank you Michael!
Just want to make sure if the consumable materials like oils, gaskets, O-rings etc. used for HVAC units and water pumps are excluded in MR credit category during Policy and plan formulation and /or credit requirement.
And under FMR Policy, are base buildingThe base building includes elements such as the structure, envelope, and building-level mechanical systems, such as central HVAC, and materials and products installed in the project (e.g., flooring, casework, wall coverings). elements the only items that should be addressed in Facility maintenance waste? How about for the HVAC and MEPs?
Yes, those types of ongoing consumables are excluded from the policy and USGBC hasn't defined any sustainable criteria for them.
To your second question, the policy template developed by USGBC isn't as clear about this as it could be. But under the Requirements section for the related FMR waste credit (MRc5: Solid waste management - facility maintenance and renovation) it states: "Exclude furniture and furnishings that pose human health concerns (e.g., mold) as well as components not considered base buildingThe base building includes elements such as the structure, envelope, and building-level mechanical systems, such as central HVAC, and materials and products installed in the project (e.g., flooring, casework, wall coverings). elements; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components; and specialty items, such as elevators." I think the best approach is to recycle/divert these materials from landfills whenever possible, but know that you can't include them in your MRc5 calculations.
Thanks in advance
can any share the link of LEED V4 Ongoing purchasing and waste policy Tempelate.
Hi Vishesh, all of the policy templates are posted in the LEED Credit Library on USGBC's website.
Here's a link to the Ongoing Purchasing and Waste policy template: www.usgbc.org/resources/mrp-ongoing-purchasing-and-waste-policy-template
Under LEED v4, is the waste audit requirement the same for projects achieving initial certification and recertification, or do recertifying projects need to conduct one waste audit for each year of the recertification period?
That's an interesting question, and unfortunately I don't have a definitive answer. It'd be great if someone else could chime in to help clear this up. In the meantime here's what I'm struggling with about these requirements:
In LEED v4, a waste audit is required only if you don't achieve a 75% ongoing consumables diversion rate or higher. And the waste audit isn't it's own credit anymore... it's a requirement within MRp1.
In the Recertification Guidance (October 2013), a waste audit is required only once every 5 years if v2009 MRc7 is achieved (where the threshold is 50% diversion). Otherwise you have to do it annually.
I think there's a few scenarios here that raise some questions...
Scenario 1: You achieve 75% - 100% diversion, and you'll submit for recertification in under 5 years. This scenario seems the most straightforward - you wouldn't have to complete an audit at all, as long as it's been less than 5 years since your previous audit.
Scenario 2: You achieve 75% - 100% diversion, but your recertification period is 5 years. You could skip the audit under the requirements of v4 MRp1, but do you still have to do an audit per the Recertification Guidance since it's been 5 years?
Scenario 3: You achieve 50% - 74% diversion, but you're in the v4 rating system where there's no MRc6. Do you have to do only one audit for v4 MRp1, rather than annual audits, since you've hit the 50% requirement in the Recertification Guidance?
Scenario 4: You achieve 0% - 49% diversion, but you're in the v4 rating system where there's no MRc6. Do you have to do only one audit to meet v4 MRp1, or do you have to do annual audits to comply with the Recertification Guidance?
It seems like your requirements are likely to change depending on how long your recertification cycle is and what diversion rate you're achieving. Reaching out directly to GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)./USGBC may be a good idea in this case... please let us know what you find out if you do!
Thank you for your reply Trista. As you've clearly pointed out in your response, there is a lot information still up in the air regarding the waste audit component of this prerequisite. For now, I was just being proactive, but I'm sure I'll have to reach out to the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)./USGBC about this in the near future.
We are in the process of certifying a Core and Shell building which does not have a previous LEED certification. There is an inquiry regarding tenant engagement and responsibilities, in order to comply with several requirements of the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. certification.
Should we take in account tenant spaces (this includes office, retail and restaurant spaces) for the development of the policy (prerequisite) as well as their implementation (credits); or may we focus only on building-level purchases?
Thank you for your question. EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. v4 Materials and Resources Prerequisite 1: Ongoing Purchasing and Waste Policy recommends including purchases by building tenants. This will prepare the project team to achieve MR credit 1: Purchasing - Ongoing which covers the entire building's ongoing consumableA product that has a low cost per unit and is regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories. Also known as ongoing purchases..
However, if you choose to exclude tenant purchases beyond the 10% gross square foot exemption, the purchases for those tenant spaces must be estimated and assumed non-compliant.
Thank you for your quick answer. Would the "Suplemental Guidance to the MPR" as well as the "Reduced Occupancy Guidance" (both) from version 2009, apply for LEED v4?
Thank you for your question. In short, the answer is No. The MPRs have been updated for v4 and reduced occupancy guidance for v4 is contained in each individual credit. I would suggest reviewing the v4 Reference Guide for specific guidance.
Is there a clear answer on which ongoing consumables to include in the policy? As I go down the list of our "most purchased product categories based on total annual purchases," I'm finding some medical supplies, like needles and microscope slides and some things that seem more in line with the credit examples, such as toilet tissue and paper towels.
Should I 1) exclude the medical items and move on down the list to the office supplies, or 2) include the medical items as much as possible and either use the Healthy Hospital Initiative as guidance or develop our own sustainability criteria?
Thank you for your question. The LEED v4 O+M: EB reference guide states that the Ongoing Purchasing and Waste Policy "This prerequisite requires that the project institute a policy for typical purchases for ongoing operations..." Additionally, in the Step By Step guidance section states "Review purchasing records to determine which five product purchasing categories under the building management's control have the highest cumulative annual cost." I would ask if the medical items affect ongoing operations of the building and if they are under building management control. If yes, then you could include the product category of medical supplies.
We've worked with a school on the v4 MR policy and their most purchased categories were: ongoing consumables for office and classroom use, instructional materials and textbooks, cleaning supplies, electronic equipment and food. Since each project is unique, it may just be that if you have a single tenant building, that medical supplies may be a most purchased category.
Thank you, Anne.
We researched the medical supplies category further and many of the items do not have sustainable criteria to meet. There are not "green" alternatives.
Has anyone dealt with this situation?
Thank you Michelle for the comment. As for the medical supplies, you could either exclude them or include them and come up with your own criteria for sustainability. The policy must cover at least those product purchases within the building and site management's control. If the medical supplies are a tenant purchase, then you could exclude the purchases. The LEED v4 O+M:EB reference guide goes on to also states that if the Top 5 purchases do not align with the categories in the prerequisite, that project teams may add to those listed in the requirements. Additionally, purchasing goals can be determined by the team, there is no performance threshold requirement for the prerequisite.
Practice GreenHealth really does a great job covering environmentally preferred purchasing (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.) for healthcare. They run the Healthier Hospitals Initiative which also has standards (planks) around purchasing these types of materials. Any policy developed for a HC project that incorporated these standards ought to be well in compliance with the EB+OM standard as these programs are robust and well established.
You may need to engage the hospital's Materials Management Department and reference EPP before they understand what you're saying. The facilities people don't understand.
We have been unable to achieve the waste stream audit credit in Hungary as waste haulage is government controlled and the waste haulers are unable (or unwilling) to provide this service. Any idea how to deal with the performance requirement for this prerequisite?
Thank you for your question Michael.
A possible solution would be for the building team to weigh the trash and recycling before the haulers pick it up. A waste stream audit of ongoing consumables is required to be performed once every 5 years or by diverting 75% of ongoing waste AND achieving Materials and Resources Credit 4: Solid Waste Management - Ongoing.
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