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Led by the BlueGreen Alliance, Sierra Club, United Steelworkers, the Alliance for Ameri­can Manufacturing, and other business, labor, and environmental organizations, a coalition was formed in 2016 to push for a new law in California that required state agencies to con­sider the embedded emissions of industrial products like steel and glass when contracting for state-funded infrastructure projects. Many companies in California already had to comply with stringent emissions standards and they were often losing out on public bids to lower cost out-of-state or foreign bidders.

After taking a hard look at the industry in the state, Buy Clean California was passed in the California legislature with bipartisan support and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 15, 2017.

Beginning in 2019, Buy Clean requires contractors who bid on state infrastructure projects to disclose, via an en­vironmental product declaration (EPD), the greenhouse gas emissions data for certain materials, such as steel and glass, produced in their facilities.

As the world’s sixth largest economy, California has substantial purchasing power; Buy Clean California sends a powerful market signal to manufacturers to reduce their emissions in order to participate in the California market. Buy Clean California also works to level the playing field for manufacturers around the U.S. and the world who have invested in clean, efficient manufacturing technologies and processes.

The Buy Clean approach allows California to help clean businesses and industries maintain their position as strong, global leaders on climate action. It creates motivation for suppliers to reduce their climate pollution and will no longer reward manufacturers with the most polluting plants.