Municipal Operations

Policies guiding procurement and operations within public facilities and across departments or services may help to support local and regional economies, reduce waste and the use of harmful chemicals, and may serve to increase market demand for "greener" products and services. NLC is committed to supporting cities' efforts to green public facilities and municipal operations.

Publications

How Cities Can Work to Reduce Fuel Consumption (2009)

Municipal governments face increasing pressures on their budgets and are being forced to make difficult decisions about service delivery. This guide helps local elected officials take a hard look at one area in which efficiencies are possible.

Alternative Fuel Programs for Municipal Fleets (2008)

In order to reduce costs, and as part of a larger effort to decrease fossil fuel dependence, cities are exploring alternative fuel programs for municipal fleets. Some local governments are enjoying financial benefits from reduced fuel consumption, as well as societal benefits including improved air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This City Practice Brief showcases the efforts of ten cities across the country to lead by example and improve the sustainability of their municipal operations.

Global Models in Sustainable Energy (2007)

City and town governments are significant consumers of energy and producers of greenhouse gases. Programs with the longest track record for success often come from outside the United States, and this resource offers examples of sustainable energy programs being carried out in cities across the globe.

Nation's Cities Weekly Articles

Clean Cities Can Help Local Governments Pave the Way for Electric Vehicles (May 16, 2011)

As communities throughout the country grapple with rising gas prices, electric vehicles and hybrids are getting more attention than ever.  The U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities initiative offers local governments valuable tools and resources for successful deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure.

EPA's Green Power Partnership: Helping Cities Fight Climate Change by Supporting Renewable Energy (Septermber 9, 2010)

Guest author Allison Dennis from the U.S. EPA presents an overview of the Green Power Partnership program to help cities and towns increase the use of energy generated from renewable sources in their communities such as solar photovoltaic's, wind, biomass and low-impact hydropower.

Tools

U.S. Communities

The National League of Cities along with the National Association of Counties, the Association of School Business Officials International, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, and the United States Conference of Mayors are sponsors of the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance. U.S. Communities Going Green Program is the one-stop source for public agency access to a broad line of responsible purchasing products, services and resources. In addition to a comprehensive contracts that offer eco-friendly products, agencies will find a wealth of valuable information and resources that will help lower environmental impact within the community

Resources

Green Purchasing: A Guide for Local Governments and their Communities (2006)

Informative resource offering an overview of environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) and step-by-step guidance for local governments to develop, assess, and strengthen green procurement initiatives. Developed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Planning and Sustainable Communities, recommendations in this guide are applicable to a wide range of cities and towns.

U.S. EPA: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

Resources from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assist federal agencies - though applicable to state and local governments - find and evaluate information about green products and services; identify federal green buying requirements; calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices; and manage green purchasing processes.

Video: Environmentally Perferable Purchasing (EPP)

Informative video created by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the benefits of EPP programs and an overview of green purchasing.

ENERGY STAR for Local Government

Partnering with ENERGY STAR is a commitment to your taxpayers as well as the environment. Local and state governments, as well as federal agencies, that partner with EPA and take the ENERGY STAR Challenge demonstrate their commitment to taxpayers as well as the environment.

The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)

A national non-profit membership-based organization located in Boston, Massachusetts. PSI works with state and local government agencies to partner with manufacturers, retailers, environmental groups, federal agencies, and other key stakeholders to reduce the health and environmental impacts of consumer products.

City Examples

Santa Monica, Procurement Policies
Minneapolis, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy
New York, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guide
San Francisco, SF Approved List
City of Phoenix, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing