Sustainability and RFPs

The Request For Proposal (RFP) process is used by many different organizations throughout the United States. This process allows municipalities, DOTs, grant foundations, and other organizations to incorporate principles, such as sustainability principles, prior to choosing consultants to carry out projects. The RFP process is a unique opportunity to focus consultants on sustainability from the planning phases, to environmental review, to final design and specification development, to construction. The goals of creating RFP language that would promote sustainability successfully are as follows:

  • Consistency with sustainability principles, as established by categories in the ISI Envision Self-Assessment checklist
  • Specific to the organization developing the RFP
  • Utilize the EnvisionTM rating tool
  • Encourage sustainable solutions
  • Are cost effective, and budget conscious.

By establishing these criteria, and formulating RFPs with sustainable requirements, our hope is that every project involves sustainability in some form.


This document was developed by the members of the Emerging Leaders Academy Class V as part of the class project and is designed to help you incorporate sustainability principles into the request for proposals you issue on behalf of your department. (click image to download the RFP Guidance document)