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Green purchasing adds environmental considerations to the price and performance criteria that organizations use to make purchasing decisions. Green purchasing considers supply chain management and is also known as environmentally preferred purchasing (EPP), green procurement, affirmative procurement, eco-procurement, and environmentally responsible purchasing. Green purchasing attempts to identify and reduce environmental impact and to maximize resource efficiency.
Five Guiding Principles
- Consider environmental factors in addition to price and performance.
- Emphasize pollution prevention early in the purchasing process. Consider packaging and whether the product contains or produces toxics.
- Examine multiple environmental attributes throughout a product's or service's life cycle. Look at the whole life of the product, from manufacture through use and disposal.
- Compare relative environmental impacts when selecting products and services.
- Collect and base purchasing decisions on accurate and meaningful information about environmental performance.
This page contains general information relating to green purchasing. For information on greenwashing and purchasing of specific products with significant environmental impact, see the following pages:
The books below include tips for making better environmental decisons. For information on deceiptive eco-marketing practices, see the Greenwashing page of this guide.
Good Stuff? A Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Things We Buy
Have you ever wondered where chocolate comes from, if antibacterial soap is good for your family, or how to recycle an old computer? If you've had these or other questions about the environmental and social impacts of the products you buy and use, Good Stuff is for you. It contains many of the tips, facts, and links you'll need to start making more informed purchases that benefit your health and the environment. Guide to purchasing everything from appliances to chocolate.
Green Procurement Topic Hub
A guide to basic information about green purchasing with links to additional resources.
What is Green Purchasing Anyway?
Slides from green purchasing training provided to federal agencies by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive. Presentation covers executive order and statutory requirements, Federal Acquisition Regulation provisions, each of the components of the Federal green purchasing program, examples of cool stuff from Federal agencies, sample contract language, and lots of references. Notes are provided.
Model Purchasing Policies
Below are links to examples of green purchasing policies, which you can use when crafting one for your organization.