November 15, 2019

Climate Friendly Purchasing Strategies and Tools

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One hour webinar

The purchase of goods and services by households and governments drive greenhouse gas emissions throughout every sector of our economy. However, most government agencies don’t measure the emissions associated with their purchasing activity or that of their community, and thus, miss a significant opportunity to reduce these climate impacts.

This session will present research findings that up to 55% of households and governments’ emissions are related to purchases of goods, food, and services. We’ll also share strategies and case studies that are emerging from local governments, including highlights from two newly-released resources: the West Coast Climate and Material Management Forum’s Climate Friendly Purchasing Toolkit and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network’s Sustainable Consumption Toolkit.


Karen Cook
Sustainability Project Manager
Alameda County

Karen Cook has led Alameda County, California’s green purchasing program for the last 10 years, greening tens of millions of dollars of bids for this 9500-employee organization. Karen actively seeks opportunities to collaborate locally, regionally and nationally on green purchasing efforts that seek to leverage the County’s success and accelerate market transformation. She has served on multiple national product standard development workgroups and serves on the leadership team for the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum. Prior to that she spent nearly a decade advancing green building operations, waste reduction, and recycling for local government and in the private sector. Karen enjoys spending her free time outdoors with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she graduated from UC Berkeley.

Babe O’Sullivan
Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)

Babe O’Sullivan is a sustainability professional with over fifteen years of experience in consumption and materials management programs. Currently, she is a working as a consultant for the Urban Sustainability Directors’ Network (USDN) as the lead for Sustainable Consumption in Cities, a multi-year project exploring the role of cities in advancing sustainable consumption.  As part of that work, she helped to design and launch the new USDN Sustainable Consumption Toolkit providing guidance and resources to cities.

Babe recently joined the Materials Management Section of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as a Sustainable Consumption Specialist. In that role, she is developing a statewide strategy for sustainable consumption that includes foundational research, policy development and long-term strategic direction for the agency.  Previously, Babe was the Sustainability Liaison for the City of Eugene, Oregon, where she worked on climate action planning, sustainable economic development, land use and transportation, energy efficiency and renewable energy and Triple Bottom Line decision-making. Babe was also a program coordinator for the City of Portland, Oregon, developing and implementing solid waste and recycling programs for the business sector. She is a member of the leadership team for the EPA West Coast Forum on Climate and Materials Management and serves on the board of the Eugene Toolbox Project, a local tool lending library in her home community. She holds an MBA from University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy from the University of California, Davis.