Should Government Offices be Mandated to Increase Their Green Purchasing Requirements?
Austin, Texas: While at the Keep Texas Beautiful conference last week, I sat through a seminar about Green Buying, which opened up to audience participation.
The most interesting cause for alarm was that most cities said that they would like to increase the percentage of green products that they purchase, but variety of reasons were given for why they have not, including:
- price point too high
- lack of alternate products or no known alternatives
- established relationships with vendors
If these cities that are involved in the beautification of Texas are not buying green products, then who will?
If more governmental organizations and cities are required to purchase a higher percentage of green products, then more companies will start to provide these services and products. Over time, these costs will drop as production increases.
But government offices should be mandated to increase their green product purchases to spur their growth and development.
There are amazing things that can be done these with recycled products, from the use of used tires, roof shingles and glass in roadways to recycled plastic used to replace wood. Recycled paper, toner cartridges and other products can be used within government offices.
I think that a plus or minus 10% price differential should go to a green company in the first three years. Then, that differential should drop to 7% in years 4 through 6, 5% in years 7 and 8, and 3% in years 9 and 10. After a decade of minor subsidies, then the price differential should no longer be required.
This will give companies ten years to boost their production and improve efficiencies.
Like other subsidies, they are needed for a short period of time–but they need to expire within a decade.
Ten years should be enough time to get our country on the right path to a reduced carbon footprint with products designed to conserve more energy and produced with more recycled materials.
Nobody likes gvernment regulations and subsidies, but a ten-year program that phases out over its lifetime should bea no-brainer.
What do you think?