The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guide can help your agency or school save money while reducing waste and conserving energy.
The guide covers aspects of the complete purchasing process, including details on cost, performance and vendors - everything you need to make wise purchases.
What is environmentally preferable purchasing?
Environmentally preferable goods and services have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with goods and services that serve the same purpose.
Questions to ask before purchasing a product include:
- Is the product less hazardous?
- Is it reusable or more durable?
- Is it made from recycled materials?
- What happens to the product at the end of its life?
- Can it be recycled?
- Will the manufacturer take the product back?
- Will it need special disposal?
- Does it conserve energy or water?
- Is it made from plant-based raw materials?
Depending upon which product you are buying, all or only a few of these questions will apply. One challenge in buying wisely is knowing which questions to ask.
Benefits of environmentally preferable purchasing
The purchase and use of environmentally preferable products can have a profound impact - and not just on the environment.
From worker safety to budget savings, responsible purchasing has a number of additional tangible benefits:
- Buying less-hazardous products can reduce regulatory liability.
- Improve worker safety.
- Lower disposal costs.
- Using energy-efficient and water-conserving products can save money.
- Products that are reusable, refillable, more durable, or repairable create less waste and are more cost-effective in the long run than disposable or single-use products.
- Buying recycled products keeps our home and workplace recycling programs going and saves natural resources.
- State and Federal laws support environmentally preferable purchasing
- Federal and state laws support or require environmentally preferable purchasing by the public sector.