In 2019, at the request of the Division of Purchasing, Michelle Brown, Coordinator of Resource Stewardship for the State of Utah, began a review of thousands of State Cooperative contracts. The intention of this project is to identify and renegotiate applicable contracts to encourage the purchase of more sustainable, pro-air quality commodities.
While a handful of other states have explored “green purchasing”, their approach has largely been in response to legislation or governor mandates, resulting in their strategies having largely been built on a slew of government regulations and tedious stereo-typical government processes. These states are experiencing only varying degrees of success. Utah, on the other hand, does not require legislation or mandates in order to do the right thing! DAS understands that wide collaboration with the best thinkers in State government, and in the private sector, is infinitely more effective and will ultimately lead to outcomes that exceed the original vision.
Michelle Brown, Coordinator of Resource Stewardship, and Chris Hughes, Director of the Division of Purchasing, are assembling a green purchasing super team! Thus far, contributors from Weber State University, Utah State University, and representatives from seven of the clean-air coalition groups, all of which are committed and are anxious to participate in responsibly implementing deliberate and aggressive green and sustainable purchasing, not only in State government, but in the private sector, and in individual homes. The first “Green Purchasing Summit” was scheduled for early this year and had to be postponed due to COVID concerns, but the team hopes to host the Summit in 2021.
Through these collaborative and educational efforts DAS hopes to develop a culture of green and sustainable procurement in the State of Utah.
Chris Hughes will be presenting at the 2021 Intermountain Sustainability Summit this March and will be discussing the State’s development of and goals for the State of Utah Green Procurement program. To learn more about the Intermountain Sustainability Summit, click here.