Procurement Department

Pima County

July-September 2008 (Quarterly Newsletter)


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Suppliers Role in Sustainable
Community Actions

A Sustainable Future

by Terry Finefrock

As many of you know, the Pima County Board of Supervisors has adopted a Sustainable Community resolution and defined an action plan to implement the objectives of that resolution.

An Arizona Daily Star article published on June 23, 2008 described the resolution and plan as follows: “The plan is the result of a resolution the Pima County Board of Supervisors passed last year calling on the county to use greener, more energy-efficient technology wherever possible. Forty-six employees worked for six months to come up with specific steps county departments could take to improve sustainability in seven areas.” A detailed summary of the plan will be posted at the County's website late June 2008:

At Pima County, the operational departments that use the goods and services define the specifications of the materials and services they need and that are subsequently used by the Procurement Department to solicit offers and establish contracts.

The Plan includes an action to revise Board of Supervisors Procurement Policy D29.2, Section XIII Specifications to require that contract specifications consider and optimize achievement of the resolution and provide guidelines regarding sustainable community attributes that should be considered. The revised Policy is posted at the County's Clerk of the Board website:

Those attributes include and are not limited to:

•  The resource extraction and manufacturing processes utilized

•  Distance and type of transportation required

•  Life-cycle total costs

•  Amount of waste generated

•  Recyclable content of the product, the product's capacity to be recycled or reused, and the product and packaging take-back policies of the manufacturer or distributor

•  Energy and water efficiency

•  Socioeconomic benefits to Pima County

The Plan also includes actions to educate operational departments on how they might define “green” sustainable community attributes particular to their requirements and their responsibility for including in all new contract specifications and amending existing contracts at time of renewal, as they and their Department Directors deem appropriate. For contracts used by multiple Departments the major using Department(s) will collaborate and lead that effort. “Green Specifications” training was provided to participating departments on June 19th and 26th of 2008.

Suppliers Role in support of Sustainable Community Objectives:

Obviously, “Green” products and services cannot be purchased unless they are available from the Market and the Buyer is made aware that they exist. To assure prudent expenditure of public funds, they must also be competitive considering total costs as compared to other alternatives.

Suppliers can help to facilitate Pima County's sustainable community initiatives by:

•  Working with manufacturers and others to increase the number of “Green” Materials & Services offered

•  Educate using departments regarding the availability of “green” materials & services and how they satisfy the County's “Total Cost” objectives by reducing subsequent waste and associated costs.

•  Work with your suppliers to provide competitive pricing, enable increased demand-usage and further cost reduction

•  Register with Pima County and maintain your vendor record, including list of materials and services you are competent to provide, using the County's new online “Vendor Registration and Messaging Portal”(VRAMP) to eliminate hard copy registration documents, and use of toxic ink, hard copy waste and landfill use. Provision and maintenance of an email address will also enable Pima County to issue digital Contracts & Purchase Orders for most business transactions, further reducing the waste associated with hard copy documents. VRAMP registration instructions may be found at the Procurement website:

Should you have any questions regarding this or other Procurement related questions, please contact the appropriate Commodity/Contracts Officer (CCO). CCO assignments and contact information can be found at:

Procurement Phone & eMail Directory:

Terry Finefrock is the Manager of the Materials & Services Division of Pima County Procurement. He may be reached at