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  • Writer's pictureLayne Hayward

Maximizing the Impacts of Building Product Procurement



How we build matters. The building products we use affect the physical, environmental, and economic health of communities; this means our procurement decisions must be informed and strategic. Building Clean, an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, works to maximize the impact of procurement decisions by making it easier to identify and source building products that are more efficient, less toxic, and manufactured in the United States. Building Clean's online databases provide access to information on thousands of U.S. manufacturers and, with the help of Ecomedes, the efficient and healthier building products that they make.  

 

To advance these goals Building Clean created a resource for developing the most impactful domestic sourcing procurement strategy titled Three Ways Builders Can Boost Local Economies Through Procurement Decisions: Buy U.S.-Made, Locally Made, and Union-Made Building Products. By prioritizing products that are made in the U.S., locally sourced, and made by union workers, builders can support the growth of the U.S. manufacturing sector while embracing high-road labor standards.  

 

The following approach to procurement decisions can play a part in helping fully realize the social, environmental, and economic impact of construction projects.   

  1. GOOD - U.S. Made: Buying U.S.-made products supports the domestic manufacturing sector. Manufacturing jobs provide above-average wages, superior benefits, and a path to the middle class for millions of workers—including workers of color. 

  1. BETTER - Locally Made: Preferring regional and in-state purchasing of products enhances local economies, generating nearly five jobs in the community for every manufacturing job. Additionally, local sourcing substantially reduces supply chain disruptions and emissions. 

  1. BEST - Union Made: Purchasing union-made products supports collective bargaining, through which workers negotiate for quality wages and benefits, as well as safer working conditions. 



 

Finding products that match this procurement strategy is possible with BuildingClean.org.  Search thousands of manufacturers across the U.S. producing a wide range of efficient and healthier building products in 10 market sectors. 

 

Manufacturers are searchable by product sector, type, and material; state and zip code; union worker status; ownership (U.S. or foreign); and MWDBE (Minority Women Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) status.  

 

Ultimately, the value of building products is more than what’s on the price tag. The decision to prioritize U.S.-manufactured, locally made, and union made products can create significant impact, particularly for underserved communities.  

 

Join Building Clean in the pursuit of maximizing the impact of procurement decisions. Read their resource on how to prioritize domestic sourcing, visit Building Clean's website and database of building product manufacturers, and search their Ecomedes portal for products with certifications and transparencies related to chemical content and health.  

 

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