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King County is a national leader in sustainable purchasing, and its Sustainable Purchasing Program has won many awards.

Sustainable Purchasing Awards

Awarded to King County Agencies at the 2018 Procurement & Payables EXPO, these accolades honor our partners who have advanced the goals and values of King County's Sustainable Purchasing Program.

BIFMA Certified and Secondhand Furniture Acquisition
Agency: Facilities Management Division
Awardee: Denise Thompson, Capital Project Manager

Karen Hamilton, Sustainable Purchasing Program Manager, P&P; Denise Thompson, Capital Project Manager, FMD; and Tom Koney, Deputy Director of DES.

During the recent consolidation of the Department of Public Defense (DPD) offices, Denise Thompson of the Facilities Management Division required any new furniture purchase to have the Level certification by BIFMA, which is recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She also repurposed furniture from other county facilities and sought out secondhand furniture to fulfill the rest of DPD’s needs.
Sustainable Purchasing Policy Development
Agency: Recycling and Environmental Services Section, Solid Waste Division
Awardees: Jeff Gaisford, RES manager; Kris Beatty, Program Manager; and Patti Southard, Program Manager

Pat McLaughlin, Director , SWD; Kris Beatty, Program Manager, SWD; Karen Hamilton, Sustainable Purchasing Program Manager, P&P; Patti Southard, Program Manager, SWD; and Tom Koney, Deputy Director of DES.

Over the last two years, RES has worked in partnership with P&P on updating the environmental purchasing policy to be a more robust “sustainability” policy which focuses on environmental, social and fiscal values in purchasing products and services.
Waterless Car Wash Services Contract
Agency: Fleet Administration Division
Awardee: Russ Johnson, Personal Property Manager

Jennifer Lindwall, Division Manager, Fleet; Russ Johnson, Personal Property Manager, Fleet; Karen Hamilton, Sustainable Purchasing Program Manager, P&P; and Tom Koney, Deputy Director of DES.

After successfully trying it on a pay-as-you-go basis, in June 2017, Fleet pursued and finalized a five-year contract with Ecoservice, an innovative car washing technique employs a "spray on, wipe off" method, using plant-based, environmentally-neutral cleaning agents. It saves an average of 33 gallons of water per car wash, and this service will conserve over 100,000 gallons of water over the life of the contract.
P-Card Highest Transaction Volume
Agency: DNRP-Parks Division
Awardee: Sue Sweany, P-Card Coordinator; Terri Koepping, iExpense processing

Terri Koepping, iExpense processing, DNRP-Parks Division; Sue Sweany, P-Card Coordinator, DNRP-Parks Division; Kelly Hunsaker, P-Card Program Manager, P&P; and Tom Koney, Deputy Director of DES.

Every purchase made on P-card saves the County about $70 in processing costs vs traditional Purchase Orders. Simply by choosing P-Card, DNRP-Parks Division has already saved the county over $386,000 just this year. We want to recognize their streamlined program that works to get P-Cards in the hands of all employees that need them out in the field and celebrate the success of their program in also meeting and exceeding program compliance goals for submitting their transactions on time saving the time and earning rebate revenue.

Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council Awards

The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to support and recognize purchasing leadership that accelerates the transition to a prosperous and sustainable future.

Sarah O'Brien, Director of Programs and Acting CEO, SPLC, and Karen Hamilton, Sustainable Purchasing Program Manager, P&P.

Karen Hamilton - Individual Leadership Award
On May 22, 2019, SPLC recognized Karen Hamilton at the Council’s annual Summit in Portland for her significant leadership in executing and supporting sustainable purchasing initiatives for nearly 30 years. A prestigious panel of sustainable purchasing experts evaluated her work in sustainable purchasing for the breadth and quality of her sustainable purchasing strategies and impacts, based on a detailed case study of her work in a specific area and comprehensive review of King County’s overall program.

“The winners of these Awards, and the activities they have successfully undertaken, demonstrate the power of sustainable purchasing to advance a socially just, ecologically healthy, and economically prosperous future, “ said Sarah O’Brien, Acting CEO of the SPLC. “Together with their peers around the world, the organizations and individuals honored today leverage the power of procurement to encourage, drive and support a constructive transformation that will define the global marketplace of tomorrow.”

Celebrating 30 Years of Sustainable Purchasing - Outstanding Case Study Award
Celebrating 30 years of efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of its purchases, King County has been a leader in this pursuit since 1989, when it established a policy to buy recycled copy paper. Based on direction in its 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan, King County modernized these efforts, replacing its Environmental Purchasing Program with the Sustainable Purchasing Program in June 2018. Instead of requiring buyers to think about one aspect of the product separately, the new program takes a more holistic approach to purchasing—balancing fiscal responsibility, social equity, and environmental stewardship.

A Leading Light: King County Lighting Replacement - Outstanding Case Study Award
To reduce the amount of electricity consumed in its plants and off-site facilities, King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) engaged in an effort to change out its fluorescent lamps and High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting to the more energy efficient, longer lasting, light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs. By replacing the standard lamps with LEDs, there will be a reduction in electricity use, costs will go down and the maintenance hours required will be lowered because of the longer life of the LEDs. In this phase of the project, WTD chose to replace any lamp that operated more than three hours a day or over 1,000 hours a year. This effort began in 2014 and was completed in 2018. In total, the project is estimated to save 3.3 million kilowatt hours every year, which equates to $133,000 in electrical savings.
Uncharted Waters: Waterless Car Washing Services in King County - Outstanding Case Study Award
King County finalized a five-year contract in June 2017 with Ecoservice for vehicle cleaning services, after the Fleet Administration Division (Fleet) successfully tested it out on a pay-as-you-go basis. This innovative car washing service employs a “spray on, wipe off” method, using plant-based, environmentally-neutral cleaning agents. It saves an average of 33 gallons of water per car wash, which will conserve over 100,000 gallons of water during the course of the contract and reduce the amount of water wasted at Fleet facilities.
Solar Security Lighting for Metro Bus Shelters - Outstanding Case Study Award
King County Metro Transit Division (“Metro”) has been installing energy efficient solar light-emitting diode (LED) bus shelter lighting systems to enhance passenger safety since 2005. Solar-powered lighting allows Metro to install lighted bus stops without the expense and construction of connecting the shelter to the regional power grid, and LED’s consume far less power than typical lamps. Metro currently installs approximately 50 units per year.

King County’s Long-term Renewable Electricity Purchase - Outstanding Case Study Award
King County entered into a ten-year service agreement with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to purchase wind-generated electricity from a wind facility in development in Western Washington. This voluntary renewable energy offering is called “Green Direct.” The service agreement commits King County to purchase Green Direct electricity beginning in 2019 for 98% of the County’s electricity needs in PSE’s service territory.
King County Metro Transit’s First All-Electric Battery-Powered Bus - Leadership Award for Purchasing Innovation
Presented to King County (Seattle, WA) for purchasing battery-electric busses for its Metro Transit fleet and documenting significant cost savings and environmental benefits associated with this new technology.

Purchasing Liquid Petroleum Gas Vehicles for King County’s Fleet - Outstanding Case Study Award
King County began its current liquid petroleum gas (LPG) pilot program in 2010 with an initial purchase of 10 units. Since then, it has acquired an additional 12 vehicles. The first 20 vehicles were partly funded by an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) grant received through Clean Cities Coalition and the US Department of Energy.
King County Metro Transit Fleet Purchases Advance Public Transportation Sustainability - Outstanding Case Study Award
In 2004, King County Metro Transit (in Seattle, Washington) became the first large transit agency in the nation to purchase a fleet of hybrid buses, procuring 214 hybrids that run on electricity and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Metro’s investment spurred the adoption of this technology by other transit agencies across the nation. Metro’s first hybrids reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent, achieved a fuel economy 31 percent higher than Metro’s diesel buses, and were 41 percent more reliable. Since that initial procurement, Metro has purchased hybrids with improved technologies. In 2014, Metro began purchasing hybrids with all-electric drive components and accessories.

West Point Treatment Plant Renewable Energy – Purchasing Partnerships - Outstanding Case Study Award
King County, Washington’s Environmental Purchasing Program is 25 years old and has been able to bring about significant increases in the county’s purchases of environmentally preferable products by engaging the expertise of employees in the evaluation and purchase of alternative products. King County’s was one of the first programs in the country of its kind and had to forge ahead with only limited federal and state guidance on recycled products.

National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards

Sustainable Purchasing Program
Category: County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy and Sustainability
Submitted by: Karen Hamilton and Emily Coleman

Communication Strategies That Help Employees Succeed
Category: County Administration and Management
Submitted by: Lindsay Pryor, Lisa Mankin and Jeremy Zimmerman

EPEAT Purchaser Award

Two-Star Award Winner
The Green Electronics Council (GEC), the organization that manages the EPEAT ecolabel, awards organizations that require EPEAT in their procurement policies and contracts and report EPEAT purchasing volume through their award application.
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