Washington’s Department of Enterprise Services has entered into a two-state agreement with Oregon for the purchase of environmentally friendly cleaning products used by janitorial staffers.
DES and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are involved with help from Washington’s Department of Ecology and the Oakland, Calif.-based Responsible Purchasing Network. In a news release issued jointly by the two states, Enterprise Services quoted Gov. Jay Inslee as saying:
“Environmentally-preferred doesn't mean green at any cost … We want goods and services that get the job done, at a fair price, with less harm to people and the environment – that’s best value for state taxpayers.”
Washington has long favored the use of clean janitorial products, and DES’ news release cites an executive order issued in 2001 – when Gary Locke was governor- that “directs all state agencies to purchase equipment, supplies and other products that do not contain persistent, toxic chemicals unless there is no feasible alternative.”
Enterprise Services says products used in janitorial work cost more than $20 million a year for the two states. Its news release says the value of the new contract may be more than that because the contract also is open for use by local governments and public schools.
“Government purchasing is a big economic driver. By encouraging the design and use of more responsible products, we can boost our economy while promoting better public health,” Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is quoted as saying in the release. “When states buy green goods and services that are comparable in quality, availability and cost to traditional ones, it’s a triple win.”