Go to Sustainability homepage

You are here: Home » What We Work On » Purchasing » Success Stories in Purchasing » Carpet

Photo of employees looking over carpet samples.

We partnered closely with our stakeholders to ensure the specifications we developed were presented in a format they could use.


Carpet is an important part of the look, feel and performance of our indoor environment. But manufacturing carpet has a large environmental impact, and air quality in the workspace can be affected by off-gassing from the product and the glues used to install it. To reduce our impact and improve the health and comfort of our office spaces, the County specifies carpet that contains recycled content and minimizes off-gassing, and requires that all carpet removed be recycled.

How We Did It:

  • We researched environmental performance issues and market availability of greener carpets.
  • We engaged key stakeholders who procure or specify carpet to identify the best way to integrate best practices into their project delivery process.
  • We produced several versions of the technical documents presenting the environmental performance standards in the formats our stakeholders need.


  • Several departments influence carpet purchases at the County, including those that provide maintenance, manage new construction and remodels, and manage leased facility remodels. We produced specific technical documents for each department to meet their needs.
  • Performance and cost are primary concerns for specifying carpets. We developed a flexible standard that identified baseline environmental performance and areas where projects could "go greener" by selecting more stringent standards that may limit competition.


  • Standardization of the environmental performance for carpet purchases across all procuring departments ensuring all affected workspaces benefit from healthy indoor air quality.
  • Selecting nylon carpets with recycled content reduces the life-cycle environmental impacts when compared to carpets with no recycled content.
  • Carpet that is removed as part of a project is required to be recycled. This reduces lifecycle impacts of the carpet, supports California's Carpet Stewardship law and encourages local recycling infrastructure.


The documents linked below convey the same environmental performance standards, just in different formats specific to the needs of the department influencing the purchase. Note: these documents only include environmental performance specifications, and should be integrated with other performance specifications to form a complete specification.