Green office supplies

October 25, 2019

Buying green office supplies is easy for San Francisco City staff: Just log in as usual to the San Francisco citywide customized online store (currently Staples) and shop as usual.  Department of the Environment staff work with the vendor to pre-block noncompliant products. If there is a must-have product that you don't see - or if you spot some obviously noncompliant products on the website - please drop us an email at BuyGreen@sfgov.org. 

Our comprehensive health and environmental specifications are listed below:


 

City & County of San Francisco Health & Environmental Specifications for Office Supplies  

With the exception of toner cartridges, any office supplies not meeting the specifications below are pre-blocked from the vendor website.

All Office Supplies

1. Antimicrobial or antibacterial coatings or content are prohibited, with the exception of US EPA-registered disinfectants and sanitizers.

2. Plastic products must not be labeled as “biodegradable,” “oxy-degradable,” or “degradable,” per California Public Code Section 42355(f).  Plastic products that are compostable must be certified by a third-party independent verification entity such as the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) proving that the finished product meets ASTM D6400 standards of compostability.

3. Polystyrene foam (e.g., Styrofoam), including coolers, food service ware, rolls and packing “peanuts” are prohibited.

4. Recycled content products in categories in US EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) must meet or exceed post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content in the CPG.

 

Specific Product Categories

1. Art Supplies (including, but not limited to, adhesives, markers and paint) must have the Art and Creative Materials Institute Approved Product (ACMI AP) label AND must not contain Proposition 65 chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

2. Bags:

  • Compostable plastic bags must be certified by a third-party entity such as the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) verifying that the finished product meets ASTM D6400 standards of compostability in a commercial composting facility. In addition, all compostable bags must be labeled “compostable” and conform to the minimum standards of the California labeling law (Public Resources Code Section 42355 et seq.). Plastic bags must not be labeled “biodegradable,” “oxy-degradable” or “degradable,” per California Public Code Section 42355(f).
  • Paper bags except brown Kraft-gusseted bags must have at least 30% PCW recycled content.

  • Plastic waste bags (can liners) that have a thickness of 0.7 mil or greater are required to have recycled plastic postconsumer material (RPPCM) equal to at least 10% of the weight of the bags (per California Public Resources Code section 42290).

3. Cleaning chemicals (including general purpose and glass cleaners, cleaning wipes, and whiteboard cleaners; but excluding electronics cleaners and EPA registered disinfectants or sanitizers) must be certified by Green Seal -OR- UL EcoLogo -OR- the US EPA’s Safer Choice Program (formerly the Design for Environment Program) -OR- the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

  • Aerosol containers are prohibited.
  • Concentrated cleaning chemicals must be in a spill-resistant package that prevents access to the undiluted chemical.
  • Hand soaps must have earned one of the following third-party environmental health certifications: Green Seal, UL EcoLogo, Safer Choice -OR- Cradle to Cradle.  No antimicrobial hand soaps may be offered in this contract.
  • Surface sanitizers and disinfectants must be registered by the US EPA for use in California and may only contain the following active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, lactic acid, thymol and/or ethanol.
  • Toilet deodorizers (hangers, pucks) must be certified under UL 2780/Ecologo CCD-165 -OR- not contain paradichlorobenzene.

4. Cleaning supplies:

  • General purpose industrial wipes must have at least 40% PCW recycled content.
  • Paper towels must have at least 40% PCW recycled content AND EITHER be certified by Green Seal, UL EcoLogo or FSC -OR- contain 100% total recycled content, and have no added inks, dyes or fragrances.
  • Toilet paper must have at least 20% PCW recycled content AND EITHER be certified by Green Seal, UL EcoLogo or FSC -OR- contain 100% total recycled content. No added inks, dyes or fragrances are allowed.
  • Toilet seat covers must have at least 20% PCW recycled content AND EITHER be certified by Green Seal, UL EcoLogo or FSC -OR- contain 100% total recycled content. No added inks, dyes or fragrances are allowed.

5. Clipboards must have at least 30% PCW or 50% total recycled content. This includes clipboards made of wood, plastic or aluminum.

6. Electronics cleaners: Compressed gas keyboard cleaners not permitted with the exception of those containing HFC-152a (difluoroethane) or HFO-1234ze (E) (1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene), or carbon dioxide.

7. Food and drinks:

Bottled drinking water

Coffee K-cups

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB): Contractor agrees that it will not sell, provide, or otherwise distribute Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, as defined by San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 101, as part of its performance of this Agreement. A SSB is any Nonalcoholic Beverage sold for human consumption that has one or more added Caloric Sweeteners and contains more than 25 calories per 12 ounces of beverage. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, it does NOT include any of the following:

  • Milk;
  • Milk alternatives, including but not limited to non-dairy creamers or beverages primarily consisting of plant-based ingredients (such as soy, rice or almond milk products), regardless of sugar content;
  • Any beverage that contains solely 100% Natural Fruit Juice, Natural Vegetable Juice, or combined Natural Fruit Juice and Natural Vegetable Juice;
  • Any product sold for consumption by infants, which is commonly referred to as “infant formula,” or any product whose purpose is infant rehydration;
  • Medical Food;
  • Any product designed as supplemental, meal replacement, or sole-source nutrition that includes proteins, carbohydrates, and multiple vitamins and minerals;
  • Any product sold in liquid form designed for use as an oral nutritional therapy for person who may have a limited ability to absorb or metabolize dietary nutrients from traditional food or beverages;
  • Any product sold in liquid form designed for use for weight reduction.

Water dispensers: City staff are required to buy only dispensers that serve tap water.

8. Foodware must meet requirements at bit.ly/sffoodwarecriteria.

9. Furniture:

  • Products (including chairs, desks, filing cabinets, book shelves, and storage cabinets) must have at least one of the following environmental or health attributes: be on the Healthier Hospitals List, on Center for Environmental Health (CEH)’s Office Furniture List or certified under section 7.4.4 by BIFMA Level e-3-2019, Cradle to Cradle, SCS Indoor Advantage, or UL GREENGUARD Gold.
  • Upholstered furniture must have the TB117-2013 label as well as a label that says "contains NO added chemical flame retardants.” It may not contain upholstery made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or that has been treated with fluorinated chemicals.

10. Lighting:

  • Desk lamps must be ENERGY STAR-certified LEDs. Other types of lighting products may not be offered on this contract..
  • Screw-in light bulbs must be ENERGY STAR certified LEDs.

11. Paper:

  • Colored copy paper, cover & text paper, forms (including computer printout paper) must have at least 30% PCW recycled content per EPA's CPG.
  • White copy paper (i.e., 20 pound cut sheet) in the following sizes must have at least 100% PCW recycled content: letter size (8 ½” X 11”), legal size (8 ½” X 14”) and ledger (11” X 17”).
  • White brochure, cover stock, photo, stationery, wide format and other paper (other than 20 pound cut sheet copy paper) must have at least 30% PCW recycled content per EPA's CPG -OR- be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) -OR- by Green Seal

12. Paper products:

  • Adding machine tape/receipt paper must have at least 30% PCW recycled content and no bisphenol A (BPA).
  • Per EPA's CPG:
    • Binders made of paper must have at least 75% PCW recycled content and pressboard ones must have at least 20% PCW recycled content per EPA's CPG.
    • Filing:
      • ​Dividers must have at least 30% PCW recycled content.
      • Hanging file folders must have at least 20% PCW recycled content.
      • Paper manila file folders and dividers must have at least 30% PCW recycled content.
      • Pocket file folders must have at least 20% PCW recycled content.
    • Index and business cards and other cardstock must have at least 20% PCW recycled content.
    • Notebooks, notepads and calendars must have at least 30% PCW recycled content and may not contain PVC (vinyl) covers, dividers or spines.
    • Shipping:
      • Envelopes (white & colored including manila) must have at least 30% PCW recycled content.
      • Mailing tubes must have at least 75% PCW recycled content.
    • Sticky notes, mailing labels and easel pads must have at least 30% PCW recycled content.

    • Storage boxes (e.g., filing, archive, waste) made of corrugated cardboard must have at least 25% PCW recycled content.

13. Personal care:

  • Facial tissue must have at least 20% PCW recycled content per EPA's CPG. No added inks, dyes or fragrances are allowed.
  • Hand sanitizers must contain ethanol as the only active ingredient.

14. Pesticides: No EPA-registered pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides) may be offered in this contract except hard surface disinfectants, hard surface sanitizers and hand sanitizers (see 5b Cleaning Products above).

15. Plastic products:

Per EPA's CPG:

  • Binders must have at least 30% PCW recycled content.
  • Folders must have at least 90% PCW recycled content.

16. Polyvinyl chloride (vinyl or PVC) is prohibited in:

  • Badge holders
  • Binders
  • Calendars
  • Chair mats and other types of floor mats
  • Deskpads
  • Envelopes
  • File folders and filing tabs
  • Notebooks (e.g., on covers or bindings) 
  • Paper clips

17. Toner and ink cartridges must have one of the following environmental attributes. NOTE: Unlike other product categories, noncompliant cartridges are not blocked from the vendor website.

  • Remanufactured (Standard or High-Yield)
  • High-yield Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridge
  • Made with at least 30% post-consumer recycled content (PCRC) or 50% total recycled content
  • USDA Biobased-certified

Remanufactured toner and ink cartridges supplied in this contract must meet or exceed OEM cartridge standards for quality and performance and meet approved remanufactured cartridge industry standards. Toner cartridges must be either:

The Contractor will warrant no more than 2% failure rate of toner cartridges supplied and will provide 100% replacement warranty for all cartridges supplied for a period of one year from the date of purchase. This warranty shall be provided with each cartridge and shall cover defects in the cartridge, material used in the cartridge, workmanship and damage during shipment.

All defective toner cartridges (both OEM and remanufactured) will be returned to the Contractor for replacement toner cartridges within one business day at Contractor's expense. The Contractor will provide the following if problems occur with the printers/copiers/multifunction devices due to the Contractor’s defective toner cartridges, the Contractor shall:

  • Assign a competent factory-trained authorized service technician to repair printer/copier/multifunction device within one business day, at no cost to the City -OR-
  • Reimburse the City for any printer/copier/multifunction device repair service due to the Contractor’s defective cartridge -OR-
  • Pay for an equivalent replacement of the printer/copier/multifunction device, at no cost to the City.

18. Waste bins

Per EPA's CPG:

  • Cardboard bins must have at least 25% PCW recycled content.
  • Plastic bins must have at least 20% PCW recycled content.
  • Steel bins must have at least 16% PCW recycled content.

19. Writing supplies: 

  • Mechanical pencils and pens must be EITHER refillable -OR- made with at least 30% PCW recycled content or 50% total recycled content.