This procurement was an Request for Intermediate Proposal (RIP).  This purpose of this procurement  was to purchase services from one qualified vendor with the capacity, experience and resources to provide a variety of support services for African Americans in recovery and their children including (1) a Recovery Community Services Program that utilizes a minimum of five (5) active Peer Support Specialists, Recovery Coaches and/or Mentors per month, and (2) a Community Center that can accommodate a minimum of 100 people at the same time and that is open a minimum of eight (8) hours per day seven (7) days a week except for negotiated observed holidays.

With human service procurements in particular, we should be mindful of the impacts on the population and community being served.  As our intent  is to do the most good in provision of County services, we should ensure that human health, environmental quality and social equity are included in our considerations.

Because this procurement was a proposal, the department was required to include sustainability considerations.  It is often difficult for departments to integrate sustainability into service procurements and for such cases, we created some generic questions that are related to how the agency operates their business.  In this case, on reviewing the vendor's response, I think that we could have asked to respondents to discuss how they would be integrating sustainable practices into the Community Center We could have included some examples to help the vendor's understand what we are asking them for, and to prompt them to take some actions, if they are not already (e.g : waste management, water conservation, energy efficiency, cleaning, food etc).

Sustainability Question Used:

Please describe your sustainable operations how you ensure minimal adverse impact on the environment. Please describe your agency's commitment to sustainability in your daily operations.

Vendor Response

Vendor A, will move into it's new mixed housing facility in July 2011. Our new facility is built to ensure minimal adverse environmental impact. Our LEED Gold approved building is inclusive of solar and rain water recycling systems. Along with this sustainable home, the facility will have recycling bins and bins for compost to minimize waste. We will also research and use certified green and environmentally friendly cleaning products. Will implement a program policy to improve awareness of green environments and inform our community of its importance.

This response is good because it describes specific activities or practices (LEED building, recycling and composting, cleaning and education). The practices described are appropriate to the scale of the organization, and make sense in context with the operations and activities of the organization. For example; using of green cleaning products is favorable in this instance because of the impact indoor air quality could have on the population being served through recovery services. If feasible it would be useful to have someone from the program follow up with the contractor to see if they have been able to carry out their proposed research and plans, and provide access to resources to help them if needed