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Study of Buy Clean Policy

Research Purpose:

Review and evaluate embodied carbon policies to limit the embodied carbon of structural materials used in State building projects.


On January 8, 2018, members of the Washington (WA) State House of Representatives introduced House Bill (HB) 2412 – Creating the Buy Clean Washington Act to the state legislature. Modeled after the Buy Clean California Act, HB 2412 proposed that WA state agencies awarding construction contracts require environmental product declarations (EPDs) for an eligible list of materials.  Although the bill did not move forward for debate and voting in the 2018 legislative session, a modified version of the proposed study was included in the capital budget.

The capital budget authorized the UW College of Built Environments to collaborate with the Central Washington University (CWU) Construction Management Program and the Washington State University (WSU) Architecture and Engineering School to “analyze existing embodied carbon policy and propose methods to categorize structural materials and report structural material quantities and origins.”  This resulted in the Buy Clean Washington Study.

The reports and resources produced by Buy Clean Washington Study are shown below.

Buy Clean
Resource Description Access
Report Summary
High-level overview of key study information and findings Download
Briefing to WA State representatives Kate Simonen’s (CLF Director/Project Lead) presentation to the House Capital Budget Committee (2/22/19) Watch Video
Full Report Compilation of work generated in developing embodied carbon policy options and recommendations for the State of Washington Download
Chapter 1: Introduction Summarizes the history of the Buy Clean Washington bill, and describes the directions for the study Download
Chapter 2: Policy Review Summarizes international policies, programs and initiatives with embodied carbon components and distills common themes Download
Chapter 3: Technical Review Analyzes the major construction materials in-depth with regards to their embodied carbon impacts, and provides recommendations on how to further the development of supply chain environmental data, such as EPDs, in Washington Download
Chapter 4: Pilot Study Presents the pilot projects used for this study and proposes a method for collecting data in the pilot study Download
Chapter 5: Policy Evaluation Provides a comprehensive analysis of Buy Clean policy as enacted in California, a framework for developing Buy Clean policy for Washington State, and a list of recommended investments that Washington State could undertake to facilitate consideration of embodied carbon in public procurement Download
Appendix A: Buy Clean WA Legislation Official state documentation related to Buy Clean Washington Download
Appendix B: Pilot Supplementary Materials Proposed model specifications attachment and structural material quantity reporting template Download
Appendix C: Resources Collection of educational information, which the research team collated to provide high-level resources targeted to US-based policy professionals Download


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