Step 3 Recognition Best Practice for Category A, B and C cities
Category A and B cities: implement this best practice by completing action 1 and one additional action.
Category C cities: implement this best practice by completing action 1.
Sustainable purchasing, also known as environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP), shifts city purchasing to procurement of goods and services that have a reduced effect on the natural environment and human health when compared to competing products and services that serve the same purpose. While life-cycle assessments offer the best metric for determining what is the most sustainable, product and service attributes are commonly used as a proxy, and include:
Cities in Minnesota are required to use paper containing a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content (within a 10% cost range) and follow a number of other environmentally preferable printing practices listed in MN Statute 16C.073 (Environmentally Preferable Printing ).
The Minnesota carbon-free electricity standard (2023) sets targets for achieving 100% carbon-free electricity in Minnesota by 2040. The bill establishes a standard for utilities to supply Minnesota customers with electricity generated or procured from carbon-free resources:
80% for public utilities; 60% for other electric utilities by 2030
90% for all electric utilities by 2035
100% for all electric utilities by 2040
The bill also requires that, by 2035, an amount equal to at least 55% of an electric utility’s total retail electric sales to customers in Minnesota must be generated or procured from eligible energy technologies.
Green purchasing standards, benefit calculators and more are available on the U.S EPA's greener products and services page. Benefits include cost, environmental and improved worker productivity and improved public health.
Sustainable purchasing considers environmental, social, and economic factors by taking into account the lifecycle impacts of a product — from raw material extraction through end-of-life management. This approach allows buyers to decrease the impact of their purchases more strategically and effectively. See Sustainable Governmental Purchasing information from MPCA.
Ductile iron pipe for drinking water mains has stronger walls allowing a larger inside diameter reducing friction and thus saving energy. According to St. Cloud’s Pumping Cost Study (July 2014), the city's use of ductile iron pipe (certified under the SMaRT standard ) results in an annual savings of $210,530 compared to competing pipe, measuring power cost, pump efficiency, and head loss.