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Environmental sustainability is about control – control over the materials purchased, used and managed at the back door. Even with the best of intentions, with the desire to buy what is best for the environment, for the worker, for the patient, for quality – how do we know we are getting what we want and ensure we want what we get? What can we do to help the purchaser know they’re getting what they think they’re getting and not have to become an expert on all things purchased? With the popularity of greening in the health care sector, come the “green” vendors, rising up out of the woodwork with their claims to greening perfection. How do we put these products through the eco sifter and ensure we only get the real deal? Learn about third party certification and how to assess products and services with the help of third party certifiers.


  • Understand the role of third party certification in evaluating products and services
  • Take away a sample environmentaly preferable purchasing policy to modify for use at your facility or organization
  • Understand your group purchasing organization’s role in responsible purchasing
  • Set annual goals on the number of products and services to review for improved environmental performance
  • Ensure responsible vendors are in place for management of challenging materials like electronics waste


Mark Wilhelm, Principal, Green Ideas Environmental Building Consultants
Telephone: 602.635.7943
Mark Wilhelm is a founding principal of Green Ideas Environmental Building Consultants and is responsible for technical development, project management and consulting services. Mark has devoted three decades to energy efficient and sustainable building design and planning. He is a nationally recognized expert in energy efficient building design, solar energy technology, and building energy simulation. Mark’s team currently manages over 70 LEED green building projects, representing over 20 million square feet of high-performance building space. Mark is the appointed Chairman of the State of Arizona’s Solar Energy Advisory Council and its Climate Change Subcommittee. He is a founding member, past Chairman, and current Secretary of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Arizona Chapter. He is past president of the Phoenix Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers and a member of the EPA’s Technical Advisory Group for Building Healthy Hospitals. Mark received his Masters Degree in Environmental Planning from Arizona State University with a focus on energy efficient building design, solar energy technology, and building energy simulation. While at ASU, Mark operated the ASU Solar Test Yard at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, worked for the U.S. DOE National Solar Water Heater Workshop, and taught homeowners how to build their own solar water heaters through the ASU Solar Water Heater Workshop. Prior to forming Green Ideas, Mark served as President of GreenBuilt Consulting, a national sustainable building consultancy serving clients in the design, construction and energy industries. Through GreenBuilt, Mr. Wilhelm consulted with myriad companies to develop market transformation strategy, including EPRI, IBM, SAIC, First Solar, Energy Central, KEMA Consulting, LogOn Consulting, Tyco, Dynamotive and Apogee Interactive. Mark spent four years directing commercial and residential product lines and managing strategic alliances for EPRI. In addition, he worked with KEMA Consulting and LogOn Consulting to establish the Process Control Systems Cyber Security Workshop, which was an international consortium serving electric utilities and government agencies. Mark also spent thirteen years in marketing, customer service and sales leadership positions with Arizona Public Service Company. During his tenure at APS, Mark managed residential, commercial and electric-critical market segments through which he developed and implemented effective market segmentation, marketing, DSM and technology-transfer strategy. His teams managed business relationships with top APS customers and opinion leaders throughout Arizona. While at APS, Mark also directed the development of a world-class technology transfer project, the APS Environmental Showcase Home (ESH). This sustainable building consumes 85% less energy and 60% less water than a typical home, while showcasing over 150 sustainable technologies, strategies and materials. Over 40,000 people toured the home, which received 26 major environmental awards, including an international award in 1997 as the top environmental project in North America. The ESH was the subject of an eight-part PBS television series titled “This New House”, and a book titled “The Environment Comes Home”, for which Mark was a contributing author.

Tiffany Beffel, LEED, AP, Green Ideas Environmental Building Consultants
Telephone: 602.635.7937
Tiffany Beffel, LEED Accredited Professional, is a Project Manager and Specifications Specialist for Green Ideas. She provides support for building owners, architects, engineers and contractors who want to build high performance, sustainable buildings. She collects, manages and submits LEED documentation; serves as a liaison for team members on technical issues; provides insight on innovative sustainable technologies; clarifies and interprets the LEED rating system and facilitates communication with the U.S. Green Building Council. Prior to Green Ideas, Tiffany worked for six years as a Project Manager in traditional architectural practice, focusing on a wide range of projects of varying typologies and sizes. She provided project management/leadership, team support, and design services including drafting and specification writing in all project phases from initial conception, design development, construction drawings, and through to construction administration. She also specialized in project permiting and jurisdictional activities allowing for efficient communication and coordination between the project team and local, state, and federal agencies. Her passion and experience with sustainable design has grown in the last four years after providing sustainable design education and LEED consulting services on several projects. Finding the right fit with Green Ideas, Tiffany relocated to Phoenix, Arizona to expand her knowledge of sustainable design and share her passion for a healthier, more sustainable way of living and building. Tiffany is currently managing healthcare and civic building projects in Arizona and South Dakota. She enjoys working with design and construction teams to expand her knowledge of sustainable building and takes personal interest in working with owner teams and user groups to improve their health, functionality, productivity, and quality of life within the built environment. Her passion extends to neurosciences for design and ensuring that the built environment has a positive impact on the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of all building users.

Cheryl Baldwin, Ph.D. , Green Seal
Telephone: 202-872-6400
Cheryl Baldwin is the Vice President of Science and Standards for Green Seal, where she oversees the development of new and revision of current Green Seal environmental leadership standards. Recent standards projects include Restaurants and Food Service Operations, Consumer Soaps and Shower Products, Energy Efficient Lighting, and Personal Care Products. Cheryl also leads Green Seals’ life cycle and technical research identifying environmental opportunities across industries from food to energy. Prior to joining Green Seal she spent several years at Kraft Foods where she led Health and Wellness research and product development and initiated a sustainability program that leveraged life cycle assessment. Cheryl has global product commercialization experience; holds US and international patents; and has published peer-reviewed scientific articles. She has edited and contributed to a book, Sustainability in the Food Industry from Wiley-Blackwell. Cheryl holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Cornell University and a B.S. from the University of Illinois.

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