In 2010, Multnomah County adopted a Sustainable Purchasing and Social Equity Policy in order to use its purchasing power to reflect the values of our community.  The policy provides a critical framework for staff to make buying decisions. As a result of our policy, Multnomah County requires all purchases above $10,000 to integrate social and environmental considerations into an open and fair procurement process for the purchases of services and goods.

All purchases between $10,000 and $150,000 are required to solicit from at least 3 State Certified Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Businesses (MWESBs), if available, as well as specify sustainability considerations in the Sustainable Purchasing checklists.

For purchases $10,000 and above that do not include an evaluation component, sustainability attributes and considerations are integrated during the development of specifications.

For purchases that have an evaluation component, the policy requires that 25% of the total evaluation points must be allocated to the triple bottom line of sustainability which is comprised of environmental considerations, social equity, and economic impact that includes employee wellness and culturally responsive services. 

Environmental Considerations = 10% of total points. Departments are free to tailor this language for their specific procurement.
Social Equity = 10% of total points. Social equity criteria are allotted in the areas of workforce diversity, business practices, and the utilization of Minority, Women, and Emerging small businesses.
Economic Impacts (Ensuring Our Supply Chain has Positive Outcomes) = 5 % of total points.

Key Policy Innovations:

  1. Includes services and goods purchased above $10,000.
  2. Defines social equity in the areas of workforce diversity, utilization of Oregon Minority-owned, Women-owned, and Emerging Small Businesses (MWESBs), community engagement, employee healthcare and other benefits.
  3. Sustainability checklists embedded into purchasing approval processes.
  4. Provides tools and resources online for employees, vendors, and other agencies. 

Sustainable Purchasing Policy Overview

  • Applies to all purchases over $10,000 
  • Includes Goods and Services
  • Mandatory allocation of 25% of proposal evaluation criteria for sustainability, social equity and employee healthcare and other benefits
  • Purchases $10,000-$150,000 must contact at least 3 MWESBs
  • Sustainable Purchasing checklist is embedded into approval process

Ever been curious about how sustainability initiatives evolved in Multnomah County?

We invite you to take a walk down Multnomah County's Sustainability Memory Lane and view our Sustainability Milestone Timeline as well as the resolutions, strategy papers, and action plans that made it all happen.