Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

The Power of Purchasing

Our purchasing dollars can influence manufacturers to produce products that do not contain hazardous chemicals.  We’ve already seen this happen in the institutional  cleaning industry.  Governmental and institutional purchasers used the power of purchasing to influence the market and the market responded by offering products that were safer.  Green cleaning is fast becoming the new norm and the industry is continuing to improve their products and develop new technologies to replace the hazardous conventional products and technologies.  Other manufacturing and service sectors have joined in this movement, now it is up to us to support these products and services with our buying power.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), what is it?

Originally defined by the Clinton Administration for government purchasing as:
“the procurement of goods and services that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment as compared to other goods and services serving the same purpose.”
 -Federal Executive Order 13423

EPP identifies the safest products that are available in the market place by utilizing independent third-party certification agencies who evaluate everyday products against a list of human health and environmental criteria.

The following third-party certification programs for cleaning and other products are available for institutional purchasers and for individuals:  

Design for the Environment - http://www.epa.gov/dfe/

EcoLogo -  http://industries.ul.com/cleaning-products

Green Seal -  http://www.greenseal.org/FindGreenSealProductsAndServices.aspx

Other sources that help identify environmentally preferable products are listed under the Resources tab on the website.

Benefits of Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

  • Creating a marketplace for green chemistry
  • Protecting the health of workers and building occupants
  • Reducing the amount of  hazardous emissions to our air, ground and water
  • Improving productivity
  • Using fewer natural resources
  • Reducing waste