Environmentally Preferable Procurement (EPP) Introduction

What is EPP? 

“Environmentally Preferable” means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service.

Why Buy Environmentally Preferable Products and Services?


EP products and services have numerous benefits:


  • Save money (upfront costs and/or life-cycle costs)
  • Reduce toxins entering the environment
  • Reduce human exposure to toxins
  • Reduce the amount of natural resources needed to fulfill product or service requirements
  • Reduce air, water, and land pollution
  • Build consumer markets for safer, less-polluting products and services
  • Promote safer work environments (manufacturing sites, end-users, and recyclers)


 How Do I Buy/Specify Environmentally Preferable Products?

  • EASY/NOVICE: Buy “green” off of existing cooperative contracts
  • EASY/NOVICE: Utilize existing “green” specifications from other agencies
  • EASY/NOVICE: Utilize existing “green” product & service standards (eco-labels, “best practice” standards)
  • SOME EXPERTISE REQUIRED: Review “green” product research by non-profit organizations, schools, and manufacturers and develop your own EPP specification
  • SOME ADDITIONAL MONEY LIKELY REQUIRED: Work with a green procurement consultant to develop specifications for a particular product/service area

See the resources on the left-hand side of this page for more information on the above.

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