Workers pouring and setting concrete at a construction site.

NYS Buy Clean Concrete Guidelines

NYS Buy Clean Concrete Guidelines


The NYS Buy Clean Concrete guidelines implements S542A, signed into law as State Finance Law 135-d  December 2021, effective June 2022. The law calls for the Office of General Services (OGS) to establish guidelines requiring the procurement of low-embodied carbon concrete on projects deemed appropriate by the office. The Law is intended to increase the use and innovation of low-carbon concrete in state procurement projects. The guidelines below were developed with input from a diverse group of stakeholders in concrete and government procurement in the state of New York during Q1 - Q3 2023.

Guidance Summary

A. Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Requirement: Starting January 1, 2025, all concrete mixes must have EPDs to be used on state construction projects.  

  • EPDs contain data on the environmental impact of materials, and the standard metric in an EPD that is used to understand the emissions related to the material is known as the “Global Warming Potential (GWP)” and measured in kgCO2e. For concrete, the GWP figure in an EPD represents the “cradle-to-gate” emissions of a product (the extraction of raw material, transport to the manufacturing plant, and the manufacturing process before it leaves the gates of the factory).

B. Applicability: The NYS Buy Clean Concrete guidelines applies to both building and transportation projects for state agency contracts exceeding $1 million that involve the use of at least 50 cubic yards of concrete, or NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) contracts greater than $3 million which include a concrete pay item with estimated quantity of at least 200 cubic yards.

C. Exemptions: Recognizing the need for access to high strength or quickly curing concrete on specific projects, the guidance includes exemptions for emergency, high early strength, and quick cure projects. There is also a waiver process for projects where it is not feasible to source concrete that meets the requirements of this guideline, but the justification must be clearly documented, and strategies must be outlined that will be taken to reduce as much emissions from the concrete as possible.

D. Initial Emissions Limits: New York State’s initial mandatory emissions limits (measured in kgCO2e) are based on 150% of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association's (NRMCA) regional baselines, equivalent to 150% of the average emissions for concrete mixes in the Eastern Region. These limits will be in effect starting in 2025. 

E. Progressive Emission Reduction: In 2027, the limits will be revised using New York-specific data collected through the E.O. #22 reporting effort. They will be progressively lowered in 2027 and in subsequent years, representing a commitment to gradually reducing emissions from the concrete sector. 

The Guidelines

Maximum GWP (kgCO2e) Limits for NYS Buy Clean Concrete guidelines
(relevant for Phase 1 and Phase 2)
Specified compressive strength
(f'c in PSI) 
NYS Buy Clean Concrete GWP Limits
(in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per cubic yard - kgCO2e/ y3)
0 - 2500 275 
2501 - 3000 302 
3001 - 4000 360 
4001 - 5000 434 
5001 - 6000 458 
6001 - 8000 541 

1. These numbers reflect a 150% of the Eastern Region average GWP figures from the National Ready Mix Concrete Associations’ “A Cradle-to-Gate Life Cycle Assessment of Ready-Mixed Concrete Manufactured by NRMCA Members – Version 3.2 “(Jul 2022), pg



Phase 1: Voluntary concrete GWP limits and EPDs 

Between Jan 1, 2024, and Dec 31, 2024, contracts for relevant projects will ask for the EPDs of concrete mixes, where available, and use the EPDs to compare against New York State’s voluntary concrete GWP limits. 

Phase 2: Mandatory concrete GWP limits and EPDs

Starting Jan 1, 2025, the New York State’s voluntary concrete GWP limits above will become mandatory limits.

Between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 2025, contracts for relevant projects will require concrete mixes procured to certify a GWP lower than the New York State’s GWP limit in the relevant compressive strength category in the form of an EPD and additional certifications as required by each agency as outlined below. 

Phase 3: Revised mandatory concrete GWP limits and EPDs 

Starting Jan 1, 2027, or at an appropriate date, New York State will revise (lower) the mandatory concrete GWP limits in the table shown above. 


Download NYS Buy Clean Concrete Guidelines


Executive Order 22 vs Buy Clean Concrete guidelines

The NYS Buy Clean Concrete guidelines is in addition to the Executive Order 22: Embodied Carbon Guidance issued in June 2023.


Executive Order 22

  • Covers: Concrete, asphalt, steel, glass
  • Goal: Embodied carbon reduction across NYS projects.​
  • Focus of June guidance: Reporting of quantities and EPDs where they exist, using EC3 or other database. ​
  • Applicability: NYS Agencies and Authorities​

Buy Clean Concrete Guidelines

  • Covers: Concrete mixes only
  • Goal: Guidance for the “use and innovation of low embodied carbon concrete”​
  • Focus: EPD requirement and GWP thresholds for concrete​
  • Applicability: NYS Agencies 


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