Achieving Carbon Footprint Reduction with Empower Procurement

by Prospect Silicon Valley

Reducing the carbon footprint is a priority across California and the country. Cities, counties and agencies are key players in achieving our state’s de-carbonization goals – they are constantly evaluating their communities and seeking solutions to advance in the areas of green building, smart mobility, and sustainability.  Getting to that goal is a complex endeavor.  However, we know that what we buy truly matters to the outcome.

Public sector institutions are complex, and function from a set of practices and processes spread across different departments. Procurement channels and practices have a direct impact on the amount of clean technologies and sustainable services that institutional buyers purchase every year. Purchasing of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) products and services is a key example.

Increased adoption of DERs across institutions state-wide can support California’s GHG reduction goals; these products and services have many possible applications across different departments. A few examples are IT equipment, fleet electrification, lighting, and HVAC systems. The California Energy Commission has funded Empower Procurement to guide stakeholders towards more carbon-conscious purchasing.

Empower Procurement is led by Prospect Silicon Valley and supported by a team of experts including the LGC, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Energy Solutions, and ZNE Alliance. We take a deep look into opportunities to amplify sustainability outcomes through the increased adoption of clean technologies, with a focus on Distributed Energy Resources (DER). Our team of leading organizations support market research to improve procurement processes in municipal, educational, and social institutions across California.

Public sector Buyers tend to rely on existing processes related to Roles, Rules, and Tools for decision-making. These practices translate to the procurement process, including purchasing for clean technologies. Empower Procurement engages clients in strategic consulting to perform gap analysis according to their sustainability goals.

We’re focused on six key elements of institutional purchasing – Products and Services, Contract Specifications, Fleet Electrification, Organizational Practices, and Benchmarking.  By engaging one client at a time in our six Procurement Initiatives (PI), we personalize our approach while relying on a set of frameworks and assessment tools exclusively designed for this program. Our recommendations address process improvement for buyers, and we also relay insights to private sector sellers, service providers, and manufacturers on how to better position their solutions and increase their sales to the public sector.


Clients include the City of San Luis Obispo, the City of Cupertino, Twin Rivers Unified School District, California State University, University of California, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

By providing solutions to bridge the gap between clean energy providers and those wishing to adopt more clean technologies, Empower Procurement positions organizations to engage in purchasing that directly contributes to their sustainability goals. We seek to create a set of best practices to increase sustainable, environmentally conscious purchasing. Together, we can work towards a better environment and quality of life for all.


Interested in getting involved in one of our PIs or learning more? Visit the Empower Procurement website or sign up to receive updates.

If your organization would like to learn best practices for Benchmarking as it relates to DER procurement, check out this Training Course we are developing.

The course is set to begin on 2021, we are currently reviewing applications – make sure to express your interest, participation is free but seats are limited!