City of Berkeley (Calif.)
November 17, 2004


Policy Considers Health and Environment in Purchases

Berkeley, California -- By official policy, the City of Berkeley now
considers environmental attributes when making its purchases. By
approving one of the first environmentally preferable purchasing
policies in Alameda County, the City continues its tradition of
leading by example. The policy requires consideration of
environmental factors such as energy efficiency, resource
conservation, waste minimization, recycled content and toxicity when
selecting vendors and products for its operations.

The adopted purchasing policy is based on a model developed by the
Alameda County Waste Management Authority that guides government and
business purchases. Following the City's adoption of the
Precautionary Principle in October 2003, the Precautionary Principle
seeks to protect human health and the environment in its decision-

The catalyst for the Precautionary Principle and environmental
purchasing derived from the on-going valuable contributions of the
Women's Cancer Resource Center, Breast Cancer Action, Commonweal,
Clean Water Fund, and the Ecology Center to the Ad Hoc Precautionary
Principle Working Group that also includes members of four Berkeley
commissions (Energy, Solid Waste, Community Environmental, and
Community Health).

Adopting the policy builds on current practices, since the City has
been incorporating environmentally friendly purchasing into their
business practices for some time. "This new policy reaffirms the
City's commitment to the environment and sustainable businesses," says
Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley. "Environmentally preferable purchasing
helps us to further green our City government operations and at the
same time, to support sustainable or green businesses, particularly
local businesses."

Like other cities in the Bay Area and across the country, department
staff find that it costs no more to buy environmentally preferable
products, and in some cases, costs less. Switching to safer, "green"
cleaning products, for example, saves money because the products last
longer while reducing incidents of allergic reactions, burns and eye
damage associated with toxic chemicals used in many traditional
cleaning products. "We thought the change would cost more money and
take more time, and in fact, found quite the opposite," says Rene
Cardinaux, Director of Public Works.

For more information, contact KateSquire at (510) 981-5437or visit the
Alameda County Waste Management Authority's website at Fact Sheets on how and where to buy
environmentally preferable products in Alameda County are available.

The City of Berkeley
2180 Milvia Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 981-7000
TDD: (510) 981-6903

Press Contacts:

Cisco DeVries
Sustainable Development Coordinator
(510) 981-7103

City Center
City of Berkeley
(510) 981-CITY