Getting on "Board" with Green

Green can be incorporated into everything we purchase, use or reuse.

Eric Coffman, Chief, Office of Energy and Sustainability

When I left the Department of Environmental Protection to join the Department of General Service’s, Office of Energy and Sustainability, the one thing I couldn’t bring was my trusty old whiteboard. Even with its scuffed surface and stains, that board had been the center of many creative exercises with team-mates.

So I went looking for a whiteboard. But what makes a whiteboard green? What features reduce the impact of its manufacture and disposal on the environment?

I started by looking at the Montgomery County Interagency Procurement Coordinating Committee Green Purchasing website < >IPCC (not to be confused with the publishers of periodic reports on the state of the climate) is a Montgomery County effort between agencies to coordinate purchasing efforts, including green products. The IPCC website includes Green Guidelines to help identify credible green standards.

After a little searching on the County’s Office Depot Green pages I found a new “green board” constructed of steel coated with porcelain like an old-time sign. The board is guaranteed for 50 years, can be refurbished by the manufacturer, or completely recycled. Certifications include:

Any purchasing decision, even something as simple as office supplies, can be an opportunity to buy green.