Product Category and Service Sector Panels
The pilot is convening three product category panels – 1) paints and coatings; 2) flooring; and 3) furniture – that collectively represent a significant volume of federal purchases associated with the construction, renovation, fit-out, and management of nearly 360,000 federal buildings. In addition to their contribution to the more than $400 billion the government spends each year on products and services, these categories were selected based on the potential for readily available private sector standards/ecolabels to augment or address gaps in existing federal sustainable purchasing mandates and thereby address potentially significant environmental and/or human health impacts (based on product lifecycle assessments and hazard and risk assessments).
The pilot is also convening a Services Sector Panel to consider potential application of the guidelines (beyond the pilot) in a sector that contributes heavily to overall federal purchasing, but is still in the early stages of standards development and environmental/health impact analysis.
This category spans a wide variety of architectural paint and coating products such as interior and exterior paints, primers, sealers, varnishes and stains that are applied on-site for building-related (walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, doors and windows, radiators and tanks) and building grounds-related (fences, gates, outdoor furniture, sheds, etc.) purposes. Buildings in this scope are “conventional” buildings such as office buildings, housing, and laboratories.
For the purposes of the pilot, the Paints/Coatings category excludes “industrial” and “special purpose” paints and coatings applied to manufactured goods as part of the production process, or used in industrial buildings (equipment, machinery, etc.) or non-building related applications (vehicles, boats, transportation markings, etc.). A number of other “allied paint products” (paint/coating thinners and removers; additives not incorporated at the production stage; putty and glazing compounds; glass frit; brush cleaners; wood and plastic fillers; caulking compounds; etc.) are initially considered to be beyond the scope of the pilot.
The flooring category panel spans installed flooring products including, but not limited to: all types of carpet floor coverings including broadloom, carpet tile, and flocked; resilient floor coverings including vinyl, linoleum, cork, rubber, and polymeric; laminate floor coverings; ceramic tile including glass, mosaic, porcelain, pressed floor tile, and quarry tile; and wood flooring including engineered wood flooring, bamboo, and solid wood (pre-finished or unfinished).
For the purposes of the pilot, the flooring category excludes area rugs and mats; concrete and asphalt; sheet metal; any other floor coverings intended primarily for outdoor use; and flooring-related services such as installation and cleaning.
This category spans a variety of products for office and residential use including surfaces (tables, desks, etc.) seating (chairs, stools, sofas, benches, etc.), systems (walled desks with seating), beds (including mattresses), panels and partitions, storage (cabinets, filing cabinets, dressers, drawers) and shelving (bookshelves, built in shelves, etc.) – all of which may be manufactured from many different types of core construction materials (wood, metal, plastic, padding, textiles, glass, concrete, stone, leather, and composites), adhesives and fastenings, surface treatments such as paints and varnishes, and hardware (knobs, hinges, etc.).
For the purposes of the pilot, the furniture category excludes outdoor furniture, accessories (e.g. presentation whiteboards and stands, recycling bins), furniture-related services (e.g. installation, rental, leasing); furniture retailers and wholesalers; and adhesives, glues, finishes, coatings, or hardware sold separately from assembled furniture products
The goal of the Service Sector Panel is to explore and provide recommendations for augmenting/editing the draft guidelines for potential applicability to the broad array of services purchased by the federal government. Service-level spending is substantial for nearly all federal agencies and is associated with some significant environmental and health impacts. Services purchased by the federal government cover everything from architectural and engineering services, to consulting, facilities, food, hospitality, landscaping, scientific research and development, telecommunications, travel, and waste. In addition, there is a shift toward purchasing of services in lieu of products in certain sectors (e.g., fleet management instead of buying automobiles, print management instead of buying imaging equipment, and janitorial services instead of cleaning products). EPA anticipates that more service standards will be developed in the future to address a current gap in the market. Therefore, the panel will consider how the draft guidelines may apply to different service sectors; and/or be revised to evaluate standards and ecolabels in use by service providers.