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4 – Buy Clean Policies: Overview + Implementation

This factsheet includes an overview and key elements of Buy Clean procurement policy, its impact in reducing embodied carbon, and provides a snapshot of the status of Buy Clean policies in the U.S.

Buy Clean is a procurement policy approach incorporating low-carbon requirements into government construction material purchasing. Private-sector building owners can also use a similar approach. Buy Clean policies require environmental product declarations (EPDs) for reporting the impacts of producing building materials. Many policies also utilize global warming potential (GWP) limits to reduce the greenhouse gas impacts of their purchases. Others use incentives to provide purchasing preference for the lowest carbon materials on the market.

Buy Clean leverages the significant purchasing power of governments to boost demand and markets for lower-carbon materials. These demand-side policies are important complements to industrial facility regulations, particularly since governments purchase materials from global supply chains beyond the control of a single climate policy. This document provides insight into why embodied carbon is an urgent problem, how Buy Clean fills a gap to address this problem and an overview of the key policy elements.


Brook Waldman
Meghan Lewis
Jordan Palmeri

Graphic Design

Sindhu Raju

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