Columbus City Councilman Encourages Environmentally Friendly Buying

Columbus City Councilman Kevin Boyce wants the city to start purchasing more environmentally friendly and energy efficient products. Boyce hopes the city council will approve legislation that will adjust the city’s purchasing rules to include a definition of an environmentally friendly bidder. Columbus deputy finance director, Veronica Sherman, explained.

“It would include a bid that consists of products which have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to competing products or items that are serving the same purpose,” Sherman said.

The legislation would also give preference to environmentally friendly businesses. However, the winning bid could be no more than five percent higher than the lowest bid, with a maximum difference of 20-thousand dollars.

Councilman Boyce said the ordinance will not limit the number of businesses that could bid on projects.

“It’s designed to encourage more folks to be interested in using environmentally friendly materials and energy efficient products,” Boyce said.

While this may cause the city to spend more money up front, Columbus finance director, Joel Taylor, said it will pay off in the long run.

“The extent to which we can avoid exhausting unrenewable resources or filling up land fill space that someday we may not have. To the extent that we can avoid those things in the long term I think we’re going to save money,” Taylor said.

Boyce’s initiative is part of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s Green Team plan launched in 2002. Boyce expects the city council to pass the legislation.