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Town of Emmitsburg Sustainable Procurement Policy

Town of Emmitsburg Sustainable Procurement Policy 

A policy declaring the Town of Emmitsburg’s intent to take a leadership role in sustainable procurement within the Town of Emmitsburg, partnering with the Maryland Sustainable Communities and enrolling as a Maryland Sustainable Community. 

Whereas, by adhering to the Certified Communities Program the Town of Emmitsburg has committed to being a socially responsible leader by increasing its commitment to sustainable environmental purchasing and energy consumption; and

 Whereas, the Town of Emmitsburg recognizes that by smartly investing in sustainable procurement, it can have significant monetary savings in the long term;

 Now, therefore, the Town of Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners resolves to adopt the following goals and complete the following initiatives listed below:

1.   Purpose

 The Town of Emmitsburg recognizes its responsibility to minimize negative impacts on human health and the environment while supporting a diverse, equitable, and vibrant community and economy. The Town recognizes that the types of products and services the Town buys have inherent social, human health, environmental and economic impacts, and that the Town should make procurement decisions that embody the Town’s commitment to sustainability. 

This Sustainable Procurement Policy is intended to: 

  • Identify those sustainability factors that shall be incorporated into procurement decisions;
  • Provide implementation guidance;
  • Empower employees to be innovative and demonstrate leadership by incorporating sustainability factors into procurement decisions;
  • Communicate the Town’s commitment to sustainable procurement. 

2.   Policy 

      General Policy Statement

Town employees should procure materials, products or services in a manner that integrates fiscal responsibility, social equity, and community and environmental stewardship. 

     Sustainability Factors

Town employees should incorporate the following factors when writing specifications for, or procuring, materials, products, or services. 

Environmental factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the life cycle assessment of:

  • Pollutant releases
  • Toxicity, especially the use of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals
  • Waste generation
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Energy consumption
  • Depletion of natural resources
  • Impacts on biodiversity 

Social equity factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Human health impacts
  • Use of local businesses
  • Use of State of Maryland Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Businesses 

Fiscal Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Use reduction; buy only what you really need
  • Product performance and quality
  • Life-cycle cost assessment; lowest total cost
  • Leveraging buying power
  • Impact on staff time and labor
  • Long-term financial/market changes 

While not all factors will be incorporated into every purchase, it is the intent of this policy that Town employees will make a good faith effort to incorporate and balance these factors to the maximum extent possible. 

     Use of Best Practices

 Town employees will utilize best practices in sustainable procurement as they evolve. As it applies to this policy, best practices in sustainable procurement are those that utilize leading edge sustainability factors, standards, and procedures in an efficient and effective way that is successful and replicable. 

     Toxics in Products and Services 

Town employees will utilize the framework of the Precautionary Principle as a guide when evaluating the comparative toxicity of products and services. 

     Use of Social and Environmental Product or Service Labels 

Town employees are encouraged to use independent, third-party social and/or environmental (eco) product or service label standards when writing specifications for, or procuring materials, products, or services, so long as such labels:

  • Were developed and awarded by an impartial third-party;
  • Were developed in a public, transparent, and broad stakeholder process; and
  • Represent specific and meaningful leadership criteria for that product or service category. 

In addition, whenever possible, label standards used in product or service specifications should represent standards that take into account multiple attributes and life-cycle considerations, with claims verified by an independent third-party. 

     Town Code and State Law 

It is the intent of this policy to complement Town Code and State laws. 

3.   Implementation and Responsibilities 

        Product and Service Standards 

The Town Manager shall be responsible for:

  • Ensuring Town staff utilizes product and service standards and best practices that comply with this policy. Examples include, but are not limited to, standards for minimum recycled content, energy efficiency, and prohibited toxic ingredients;
  • Ensuring that when the need for developing a Town standard or best practice insustainable procurement arises, staff will participate and collaborate with other applicable staff so as to harmonize and continuously improve standards throughout the Town;
  • Encouraging pilot testing for environmentally preferable/sustainable products; and
  • Ensuring internal policies and procedures reference this policy and incorporate the use of sustainable products and services that meet the intent of this policy.

 The Town Manager shall be responsible for:

  • Providing resources for assisting departments with standards and best practices in sustainable procurement. 


 The Town Manager shall be responsible for:

  • Building awareness of this policy through information dissemination and incorporation into routine employee trainings;
  • Encouraging employee attendance at internal and external trainings related to sustainability; and
  • Encouraging the use of environmentally preferable/sustainable products and services through information dissemination, development of internal procedures, pilot testing, and leading by example.
  • Developing employee sustainable procurement resources such as, but not limited to, standards, specifications, tools, and best practices;
  • Developing buyer-specific training on sustainable procurement best practices that meet the intent of this policy;
  • Developing inter-office communication among staff about sustainable procurement best practices; and
  • Taking the lead in communicating to existing and potential contractors and the public about this policy and related Town requirements. 

     Data Collection and Performance Reporting 

The Town shall be responsible for:

  • Cooperating in gathering information for the purposes of tracking, reporting, and evaluating the Town’s sustainable procurement activities and evaluating the effectiveness of this policy
  • Integrating department-specific sustainable procurement goals into Town’s sustainability plans.
  • Incorporating a progress report on sustainable procurement activities and the effectiveness of this policy into the Town’s annual or biennial report.


The Town shall commit to providing the appropriate dedicated staff levels and related funding to support the implementation and coordination of this policy. This includes activities such as, but not limited to, employee training and resources, professional services, product/service pilot tests, and educational materials. 

      Policy Review 

The Town Manager shall be responsible for periodically bringing together internal stakeholders to review this policy for updates or to otherwise determine whether this policy is in alignment with other Town sustainability efforts and policies. The policy review shall be completed at least every year, but may be done on a more frequent basis as needed. 


“Biodiversity”: the total diversity of all organisms and ecosystems at various spatial scales (genes, populations, species, ecosystems, and biomes). Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. 

“Environmentally Preferable”: products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service. 

“Life Cycle Assessment or Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)": the comprehensive examination of a product’s environmental and economic effects throughout its lifetime including new material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, and disposal. 

“Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA)”: the comprehensive accounting of the total cost of ownership, including initial costs, energy and operational costs, longevity and efficacy of service, and disposal costs. 

“Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT) Chemicals”: chemicals that are toxic, persist in the environment, and bioaccumulate in food chains. 

“Precautionary Principle”: a framework that guides decision makers to take anticipatory and protective measures when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. 

“Sustainable Procurement”: purchasing materials, products, and services in a manner that integrates fiscal responsibility, social equity, and community and environmental stewardship. 

“Toxicity”: the quality, relative degree, or specific degree of being toxic or poisonous.