Transitioning to new products is difficult. Staff have valid concerns about whether the new product will meet regulations, cost and performance requirements. The U.S. Department of Energy has a technical support service to help address such questions and speed along the transition. The important aspects of transitioning to new products are to (1) involve the users of the product in the decision-making process; (2) conduct all required paper evaluations to ensure the product meets state air emission and waste regulations, equipment warranty specifications, etc.; and (3) when feasible, give users samples of the product to test.
Sample Products/Pilot Projects
Brochures are not the optimal tool for helping staff transition to more environmental products, but they can be used effectively in certain situations:
- Create poster style brochures for staff to keep by their computers as a reminder of the attributes we are required to specify in certain products. Strategic Petroleum Reserve gives all staff with credit cards laminated cards listing the products that have been designated with the specified attribute required.
- Hand out brochures at events so attendees have the website, etc. information they need to find out more about sustainable acquisition at your site.
- Use brochures for staff who do not have ready access to your Sustainable Acquisition website.
To introduce your Sustainable Acquisition Program or new environmental products to staff, consider setting up a display with posters depicting success stories and cost savings from environmental products presently being used at your and other sites.
DOE has a "U.S. Department of Energy Buys Bio for Energy Security" suite of posters with Velcro fasteners available for display at your site. You can either print the posters for your display or borrow them for a 3-month period. To borrow posters, contact Josh Silverman.
In addition to posters, the U.S. Department of Energy has kits of sample biobased products for display along with the posters and brochures.
Because of the enormous size of the following graphics files, we have posted them as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.
- Biomass Benefits poster shows the relationship of biomass to the U.S. economy, energy security, and the environment (24x32 inches) (PDF 266 KB)
- Sustainable Biomass Feedstocks poster shows potential geographic locations of biomass supplies and amount of fuel and energy they could produce (18x24 inches) (PDF 275 KB)
- Biomass Conversion Platforms poster shows the sugar and thermochemical platforms to convert biomass to products (18x24 inches) (PDF 247 KB)
- Integrated Biorefinery poster shows the variety of biomass feedstocks, conversion platforms, and resulting output (18x24 inches) (PDF 256 KB)
- Program Goals poster shows the DOE, EERE, and Office of the Biomass Program goals (18x24 inches) (PDF 303 KB)
The planned display area for the posters is 9x7 feet (PDF 195 KB). The posters are separate pieces and can be adapted to a display area of any size and shape.
ListServe and Hotline
To speed the process of DOE sites sharing sustainable acquisition successes and questions, we have established a DOE Sustainable Acquisition ListServe. If you think you are using a sustainable product other sites would like to know about or if you have a question concerning other sites' experience with a particular type of product, send your information/query to
If you have a question specific to your site concerning DOE policy, contact Shab Fardanesh (202-586-7011). If the question concerns products, contact the DOE Sustainable Acquisition hotline (509-529-1535).
Sample Products/Pilot Projects
The best way to help your staff transition to more environmental products is to round up samples for them to test. Manufacturers of such products are often willing to give such samples for free so tests can be conducted. Sometimes trade associations have such products available for testing along with technical support.
When testing a product, it will help your site decide whether to transition to the product if you keep a record of before and after information on the product. A template of a Pilot Project Report Form for Environmentally Preferable Products is available to help sites track such information and eventually to post on this Web site so other DOE sites can speed their transition along by learning from your experience.
The U.S. Department of Energy has online training for Sustainable Acquisition as well as slide sets available. The online training covers the basic principles and is intended for staff who specify or buy products. It offers the individual Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
The slide-set training is a series of template slides intended for DOE sites to modify to suit your site's situation, needs, and for specific audiences, such as Purchase Card Users, and specific products, such as biobased products. Onsite training is also available if your site can fund the travel expenses.
Posting site specific information on your intranet is the handiest way for staff to have the purchasing information they need at their finger tips. Denoting the sources (suppliers with whom you have contracts or purchasing agreements) and how to purchase products with environmental attributes help staff know how best to obtain the products they seek. Feel free to use any of the information on this Web site that is applicable for your site.