BlueGreen Alliance | Buy Clean in the States

Buy Clean got its start in the states and work continues in earnest to adopt Buy Clean policies in statehouses across the nation.  After some initial research on how Buy Clean could be adapted at the state level, the BlueGreen Alliance launched a multi-state campaign to expand Buy Clean work to Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, and other states. Check the tracker below to learn more about efforts to bring Buy Clean to the states.

State

Legislation

Latest Action

Washington Provisions in the 2021-23 Biennium Budgets fund the creation of a database to track building materials purchased for state-funded infrastructure projects and two large Buy Clean and Buy Fair pilot projects. Signed into law May 18, 2021.
Oregon Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-16) Buy Clean bill The bill was introduced in 2017 and again in 2021. Bill will be reintroduced in the 2022 legislative session.
Minnesota The Buy Clean Minnesota Act ; HF 3702/SF4181; Climate and Energy Omnibus Bill A Buy Clean study and a Buy Clean/Buy Fair pilot program were added to the Climate and Energy Omnibus Bill and signed into law. 
Colorado HB21-1303
Global Warming Potential For Public Project Materials
Buy Clean legislation passed the State Legislature June 7, 2021 and was signed into law by Gov. Polis.

Washington

In Washington, former Representative Beth Doglio (D-22) first introduced a Buy Clean policy during the 2018 legislative session. The Governor’s office took an interest and funded the University of Washington College of Built Environments, in collaboration with the Central Washington University Construction Management Program and the Washington State University Architecture and Engineering School, to research strategies for reducing the embodied carbon of structural materials used in public buildings. The Buy Clean Washington Study, released in 2019, provides a step-by-step framework for developing a Buy Clean policy.

Building off this momentum, the BlueGreen Alliance, along with our partners, built a diverse and committed coalition of labor unions, environmental groups, academic experts, and representatives from the building community. This coalition worked to make Washington a blue-green leader on embodied carbon by developing a Buy Clean policy, known as the Buy Clean and Buy Fair Washington Act championed by Representative Davina Duerr (D-1), that integrates workforce standards in addition to greenhouse gas emissions.

Oregon

In Oregon, Representative Dan Rayfield (D-16) previously introduced a version of Buy Clean policy in 2017, giving the BlueGreen Alliance an ally in the state as well as a solid place to start working with more state partners. Going forward, the BlueGreen Alliance is working to solidify a coalition around Buy Clean in Oregon, build support by working with labor and environmental groups in the state, and continue research to define a Buy Clean policy that works best for the state and the people.

Washington made critical progress on Buy Clean and Buy Fair during the 2021 session. The 2021-23 Biennium Budgets fund the creation of a database to track materials purchased for state-funded infrastructure projects and two large Buy Clean and Buy Fair pilot projects. The BlueGreen Alliance worked alongside multiple coalition partners to secure these two essential budget provisos. They are an important step toward greater transparency around public spending and leveraging state spending to cut embodied carbon and promote high-labor standards in manufacturing.

Minnesota

Buy Clean was first introduced in the Minnesota Legislature in 2018.  It was championed by Representative Frank Hornstein (DFL-61A) and the Buy Clean Minnesota Act (HF2203) was introduced in that session. The act was re-introduced in 2019 by Rep. Hornstien and Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-03A). Buy Clean garnered bipartisan support in 2020 prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which necessarily shifted the focus of the state legislature. At that time, companion bills HF3702/SF4181 were introducted. These bills provide funding for a study to examine costs and benefits of requiring environmental assessments of building materials used in state buildings to be included in bids. At the same time Reps. Hornstein and Ecklund built a BlueGreen Caucus at the legislature and the BlueGreen Alliance in Minnesota built a coalition of organizations to move passage of Buy Clean. In 2021 the coalition was able to get a Buy Clean study and a Buy Clean/Buy Fair pilot program added to the Climate and Energy Omnibus Bill. 

Colorado

In Colorado, Buy Clean legislation had made its way through the state legislature in the form of HB21-1303, the bill in sponsored by Rep. Tracey Bernett, Rep. Barbara McLachlan, and Sen. Chris Hansen. The bill was passed out of the legislature June 7, 2021 and was signed into law by Gov. Polis.

The Buy Clean Colorado Act reduces industrial upstream emissions by directing state agencies to accept and evaluate Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) information from architects, engineers, and contractors, and to define methods that prioritize use of the cleanest materials available in capital public projects. The Colorado Act applies both to vertical buildings infrastructure, as well as horizontal infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

Colorado’s legislation specifies several eligible materials requiring EPDs in public projects, including post-tension steel, reinforcing steel, structural steel, cement and concrete mixtures, asphalt and asphalt mixtures, glass, and wood structural elements. State agencies will regularly report their progress in reducing embodied carbon emissions, lessons learned, and any emerging recommendations to improve Buy Clean processes.