Search Icon White
News Cover Image

ANSI-Hosted Webinar Highlights Interagency Efforts on Sustainable Purchasing

Some 200 participants from across the standards and business communities as well as other stakeholders tuned in today to a one-hour webinar related to environmentally preferable purchasing hosted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Alison Kinn Bennett and Brennan Conaway of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the webinar provided an opportunity for standards developing organizations, product manufacturers, and others to hear firsthand about interagency efforts to develop guidelines for product standards and ecolabels for greening federal procurement.

The session included a robust Q&A session in which participants posed and received answers on questions ranging from the scope of the project to its implementation. All questions submitted during the webinar, including those for which time did not allow a dedicated discussion, will be compiled along with written responses from the speakers and made publicly available at a later date.

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.

"This is clearly a subject of great interest to the standards and business community. And certainly, the topic of standards for green products is an important area of focus for ANSI," said ANSI's senior vice president and chief operating officer Fran Schrotter in her opening remarks. "The Institute is committed to working on behalf of our diverse membership, U.S. business and industry, and the overall public good to coordinate the standardization activities that meet critical national and global priorities."

Ms. Kinn Bennett and Mr. Conaway provided a high-level overview of the work of the Product Standards and Ecolabels Subgroup, a group co-chaired by GSA and EPA to ensure that the product-related acquisition goals of Executive Order (E.O.) 13514 are met through guidelines for selecting product-related environmental sustainability standards and/or ecolabeling programs. E.O. 13514 seeks to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the federal government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority for federal agencies. Among other measures, the order directs agencies to ensure that 95 percent of new federal contracts require environmentally preferable products and services.

According to Ms. Kinn Bennett and Mr. Conaway, the subgroup is working to create an effective market infrastructure for green products that will assist federal purchasers in more easily identifying products that meet standards. In developing their guidelines for what green standards should be, the Product Standards and Ecolabels Subgroup relied upon documents such as the ANSI Essential Requirements, ISO /IEC Guide 59, Code of good practice for standardization, and ISO 14020, Environmental labels and declarations - general principles, which reflect the need for openness, balance, consensus, and due process in the standards-setting process.

The subgroup expects to submit a draft final report to the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) in February 2012, and to formally release the report for public comment in March 2012.

View the presentation here.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]