DOD’s newest policy is to buy ‘green’

by Don Doran
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

 Department of Defense employees are required to take part in Affirmative or “Green” Procurement at work, but we can make a difference at home too.

Federal Affirmative Procurement regulations require all federal agencies including the Department of Defense to buy “green.”

“Green” means purchasing products that utilize recycled contents and less hazardous chemicals; thereby, conserving energy and resources.

A large part of the policy has already been initiated for use by DOD Acquisition Agencies and higher headquarters elements.  For example, many of the office supplies and equipment used everyday are already “green” products such as office copy paper produced with 30 percent recycled material, and paper towels and toilet tissue made exclusively out or with a high percentage of recycled material. Nowadays, more and more of everyday-use supplies procured through military supply channels are made in conformance with “green” manufacturing standards.

Regulations require that officials with International Merchant Purchasing and Acceptance credit cards seek out “green” products when they buy outside military supply channels such as making off-installation purchases.

Also, these regulations prohibit the purchase of hazardous chemicals that are being removed from military inventories due to Federal Environmental Health and Safety guidelines.

Buying “green” at the office means buying and using less hazardous, more energy efficient and recycled materials and products at home. This not only conserves energy and resources; but promotes a healthy “environment” in the home. At the same time, the DOD will help reduce greenhouse gases that damage the ozone layer and reduce the number of dangerous chemicals used in manufacturing.

Ultimately, going “green” helps reduce the initial costs of research and development required by companies to produce these products. It takes a lot of scientific know-how to determine how to make home furniture, floor coverings and many other products we use every day in our homes with less hazardous and recycled or post-consumer contents.

To learn more about the DOD Affirmative Procurement Program or otherwise known as the Green Procurement Program, visit the Army Green Procurement Handbook at