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Sonoma County’s Purchasing Saves Green

Case Story

Green purchasing is an important part of Sonoma County’s climate action plan. The county’s purchasing policy enables it to award contracts to green vendors for services or products that do less harm to the environment if the cost is within five percent of the lowest bid of other competitors. The county gives the same preference to local vendors to help reduce the greenhouse emissions associated with transportation of the products and to support the local economy.

In addition, Sonoma County uses green janitorial supplies, integrated (non-chemical) pest management practices and operates a sophisticated surplus supply program.

The county saves money by using surplus items from other departments ranging from office supplies to office furniture. Items not picked up for use in county departments are either donated to nonprofits that work with the county or are sold in online auctions to the public for reuse.

Since 2010, Sonoma County has reused approximately 435 surplus items and donated roughly 255 items to non-profit organizations. This has saved nearly $70,000 in the past two years and helped reduce waste.

Items Reused: 435

Items Donated: 255

Cost Savings: Approximately $70,000

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