Biobased Study Questions

Mastering the Basics

What is a biobased product?

Why is there a renewed emphasis on the bioeconomy and biobased products?

What are some of the benefits of biobased products?

What law established the BioPreferred program?

What does the BioPreferred program do? Is it only related to Federal Agencies?

Can you name at least 5 of the nearly 100 product categories under the BioPreferred program?

 Especially for Federal Managers

What biobased procurement is already occurring at your agency or in your department?

What are your biobased purchasing requirements?

Does your agency have an internal biobased acquisition goal?

What are the biobased reporting requirements and procedures? Is your agency in compliance?

Where would you find contractor reporting tools, contract templates, examples of biobased contracts, and agency acquisition tools?

Using the Biobased Quick Reference for Contracting Officers provided here, what kind of biobased reporting should be included in a contract’s Deliverable Schedule?

According to the sample letter sent to all USDA Contractors, what are the contractors’ reporting requirements?

Which of the designated biobased product categories could be most beneficial to your working environment?

What resources do the BioPreferred website and the Sustainable Products Center website provide?

All USDA acquisition employees are required to have training on biobased products and the BioPreferred Program. Does this make sense for your agency or department?

What kind of training would work best for your agency?

What would you do if…

…you were trying to introduce a new biobased product and someone refused to use it because they had tried a similar product in the past that did not work?

…you wanted to try a biobased product on a piece of equipment that was still under a manufacturer’s warranty?

…after conducting a cost-benefit analysis, you find that the long-term benefits of a biobased product do not justify the short-term costs?

…you have a need and an idea for a pilot project, but you lack the resources to carry-out a demonstration on your own?

Help Jenna with her tasks…

1) Jenna is a manager in a small federal office. Having recently participated in a training webinar on the BioPreferred website, she was feeling inspired and wanted to figure out the best way to bring biobased products into her office. As she sees it, she will first need to determine what kinds of products used in her office have biobased replacements before choosing the specific products to procure within particular categories. From there, her task does not end. She will still need to introduce the new biobased products to potentially skeptical co-workers. How will Jenna be able to ensure the products she chooses will meet performance standards? How will she convince her co-workers to use the new products? What resources are available to her in her quest?

2) Jenna is a contracting officer representative (COR) working at a small federal facility. Though unfamiliar with biobased products, she knows that affirmative procurement of such products is required. Needing to solicit a new grounds services contract, where should Jenna look for sample language? What kind of product categories should she expect the contractor to procure? Once the new contract is acquired, when should she expect reports from the contractor on their biobased usage?

Extra Credit

How would you implement a pilot project? What steps would you take before starting one? What oversight would you provide during the pilot? How would you determine the results of a project? How would you use those results?

What are some strategies you could use to promote user buy-in to biobased alternatives?

In a toolbox video, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Acquisition Officer likens the BioPreferred program with the organic food label. In what ways are they similar?

According to “An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry: A Report to the Congress of the United States of America,” the biobased products industry contributes to how many American jobs? What is the value added contribution to the U.S. economy?

What did the team at Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park do to conquer the challenge of remote location supply chains?