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ANSI to Host November 22 Webinar on Sustainable Purchasing

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the number of standards for green products has grown in recent years due to increasing market demand for environmentally preferable products. Along with this changing marketplace however, has come growing concern over "greenwashing" and uncertainty about which environmental claims related to standards and labels can be trusted.

Product Standards for Sustainability

In 2009, ANSI hosted the workshop, Toward Product Standards for Sustainability, with support from the EPA, to focus on issues related to sustainability and environmental performance standards for products. The event brought together more than 240 in-person participants and over 100 more via a live webinar to share insights and develop recommendations on standards and criteria for sustainable products.

View the final workshop report.

On November 22, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will host a 1-hour webinar led by EPA's Alison Kinn Bennett and Brennan Conaway of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), who will discuss interagency efforts to develop guidelines for selecting product standards and ecolabels for greening federal procurement.

Per Executive Order 13514, GSA convened a Section 13 Workgroup, which is tasked with implementing recommendations outlined in its April 2010 report, Vendor and Contractor GHG Emissions. The Product Standards and Ecolabels Subgroup, co-chaired by GSA and EPA, is responsible for facilitating the product-related acquisition goals of E.O. 13514 by developing guidelines for selecting environmental sustainability standards and/or ecolabeling programs.

The purpose of the November 22 webinar is to share information with ANSI members about this important interagency effort. In particular, the private sector - including standards developing organizations and product manufacturers - should be aware of the impact this effort could have on standards development activities, product specifications, and more.

The webinar will be held on November 22 at 11:00 ET, and will run approximately one hour.

Click here to register for the free webinar.

About the Speakers
Alison Kinn Bennett is the senior advisor for product sustainability in EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. She founded and co-leads two influential, cross-media networks within the EPA—the Green Building Workgroup and the Sustainable Products Network—which bring together policy and technical staff from around the agency in order to advance holistic, life cycle-based approaches to environmental and public health protection.

Since 2001, Alison has served in EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, focusing her efforts on coordinating EPA positions on standards and specifications for greener building products and construction services. In this role, Alison is guiding the development of the Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers on the Whole Building Design Guide and sustainability standards within ASTM, NSF, and UL-Environment. Alison is vice chair of ASTM International's Sustainability Committee (E60). In recent years, Alison co-chaired two seminal events: "ASTM International Symposium: Common Ground, Consensus Building and Continual Improvement: Standards and Sustainable Building" (2007) and "ANSI-EPA Sustainable Product Standards Workshop" (2009). Alison is currently leading the agency's efforts to determine a strategic framework for engaging in product sustainability and is co-chairing the GSA-convened interagency workgroup defining guidelines for selecting green product standards and labels. Alison earned Bachelors of Arts in political science and geography from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in urban and Environmental planning from the University of Virginia's School of Architecture.

Brennan Conaway has served as a contracting professional with GSA's Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) since 2004. Currently, Brennan works within GSA's Program Analysis Division, which is actively engaged in initiatives to green the agency's operations and supply chain. Brennan was awarded a B.B.A. from James Madison University and a M.B.A. from George Mason University.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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