Environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) is the procurement of goods and services that cause less harm to humans and the environment than competing goods and services that serve the same purpose. The products and services procured under such a policy may include those that:
- contain recycled content,
- minimize waste,
- are energy efficient and/or have renewable energy systems, and
- reduce the amount of toxics disposed or consumed by the user.
Local and state governments spend billions of dollars annually on goods and services. By implementing EPP their purchasing power can enlarge the market for environmentally friendly products and practices. Also, these practices set an example to the private sector and individuals who can further expand the beneficial effects of EPP.
In recent years, several state and local governments along with the federal government have set out procurement policies intended to minimize the harmful effect on human health and the environment. The resources listed below can assist local governments in establishing an EPP program and policy.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. Geared first to help federal purchasers, this site can help local and state governments, green vendors, businesses large and small -- and consumers.
Preventing Wasted Food in Your Community: A Social Marketing Toolkit. Provides tools for local governments and other organizations for launching a social marketing campaign to increase awareness about food waste.
DoE Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. This site offers information on purchasing requirements, how to imbed the requirements into Environmental Management Systems, purchasing approaches, availability of products, education tools, tracking/reporting, and success stories/technology transfer and benefits information so sites can quickly find the required products that meet all the performance, regulatory, cost, etc. specifications.
California - Alameda County, StopWaste.org . StopWaste.Org is a program dedicated to reducing the waste stream of Alameda County, CA.
Massachusetts - Operational Services Division, Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) Procurement Program. The primary goal of this program is to use the Commonwealth of Massachusetts's purchasing power to reduce the environmental and public health impact of state government and foster markets for environmentally preferable products.
Minnesota - Materials Management Division, Environmentally Responsible Purchasing Minnesota's Materials Management Division is committed to helping state agencies purchase environmentally preferable products.
Products & Services. EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program has summarized information about popular environmentally preferable products and services, including environmental attributes to look for, procurement guidance, tools, case studies, and other useful resources.
Hands-On Tools. A number of general environmentally preferable purchasing tools have been developed by EPA and other federal agencies to assist federal purchasers with putting environmentally preferable purchasing into practice.
The Municipal Primer Your Guide to Creating a "Green and Growing" Community (CT). Grants and financial assistance are programs through which the CT DEP makes funding available for use by municipalities for specific projects.