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December 6, 2022

Buy Clean Buy Fair Pilot Study Published

Carbon Leadership Forum and the Washington State Department of Commerce have published the final report for the Buy Clean Buy Fair (BCBF) Pilot Study. The BCBF Pilot Study, which ran from June 2021 to October 2022, explored the process of setting up and running an environmental and labor reporting program for construction materials on State construction projects.

The first major task for this joint project was to develop a reporting database, the first-ever known database created to collect environmental and labor data for a Buy Clean–type program. The CLF worked with a software developer, Meserow Design, to create the database, which is a prototype. Additional work will be required to make the application more durable, robust, supportable, and able to scale and evolve with the changing needs of a public reporting database.

A second major task, conducted in parallel with the database development, was a case study on pilot projects.  Five pilot projects (all of which were recent or active State-funded construction projects) were asked to fulfill the reporting requirements of the pilot study.  Using the experiences of the project teams, the case study analysis compiled insights and recommendations on how to ensure successful data reporting in a potential BCBF program.

With the insight gained during this pilot project, Commerce is now well-positioned to implement a BCBF policy. Should the BCBF bill pass, Commerce will incorporate recommendations from the pilot and develop a BCBF program that encourages broader adoption of EPDs, supports project teams with reporting requirements, tracks procurement data for concrete, wood, and steel used in state building projects, and convenes stakeholders to explore opportunities to strengthen market demand and supply of low-carbon building materials.

“Addressing the impacts of climate change requires a comprehensive and ongoing commitment to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Buy Clean and Buy Fair is an important step to establish Washington’s commitment to mitigating the effects of embodied carbon. The 2021 State Energy Strategy identifies key actions that need to be taken to achieve the state’s statutory greenhouse gas limits and recommends adopting Buy Clean and Buy Fair requirements for public projects, recognizing that this policy is an essential priority in the transition to 100% clean energy.”

Hanna Waterstrat, Director, Washington State Efficiency and Environmental Performance (SEEP) Office

More information about this project can be found on the project page for the Buy Clean Buy Fair Pilot Study.

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