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Environmentally Preferable Purchasing


Environmentally preferable is generally defined as “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 applies to raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal. Environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) encompasses policies, specifications, and selection of supply chain components that represent “best in class.” Hospital Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO’s) provide resources related to EPP; many local and state governments provide a variety of resources as well.

KEYWORDS: environmentally preferable hospital purchasing; environmental purchasing guides

Related Organizations

EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) helps the federal government “buy green,” and in doing so, uses the federal government’s enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products and services. Geared first to help federal purchasers, this site can help green vendors, businesses large and small — and consumers.

Health Care Without Harm

Links to a broad array of resources to guide purchase, use and disposal of electronic equipment, avoiding flame retardants, and other environmentally preferable purchasing topics.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Offers an on-line series of guides to assist organizations in reducing their ecological footprint and encourage the widespread adoption of environmentally responsible purchasing practices. Guides cover paper, food and beverage, electronics, laundry, cleaning, pesticides and more.

Practice Greenhealth

Offers information, best practices, and solutions for greening the many facets of the healthcare industry from facilities management, design and construction, environmental purchasing, waste management, clean energy, chemicals management, pest management, and much more.

Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN)

An international network of buyers dedicated to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable purchasing. Our membership program and consulting services provide institutional purchasers with cutting edge procurement tools and resources designed to save money, conserve resources, reduce waste, and improve efficiency.


Buying a Better World: Sustainable Public Procurement (2008)

buyingbetter44 pp. Forum for the Future, UK. The Sustainable Procurement Toolkit, supported by this report, Buying A Better World, will help public sector buyers incorporate social and environmental factors into their decision making processes, alongside value, resulting in benefits for end users, tax payers and suppliers.

Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator v 2.0

This tool will help you quantify the benefits of better paper choices.The Paper Calculator shows the environmental impacts of different papers across their full lifecycle.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Guidance Document (2009)

2 pp. Global Health & Safety Initiative. GHSI’s Purchasing Workgroup developed overarching guidance for safer and more sustainable products and technologies. The EPP Guidance Document is endorsed by health systems, GPOs and other supporters, signaling their intention to transform the healthcare market’s purchasing policies and practices.

Exporting Harm: The High Tech Trashing of Asia (2002)

exporting54 pp. The Basel Action Network. This report reveals how the United States and other rich economies that use most of the world’s electronic products and generate most of the E-Waste, have made use of a convenient, and until now, hidden escape valve – exporting the E-waste crisis to the developing countries of Asia.

Paper Task Force Recommendations for Purchasing and Using Environmentally Preferable Paper

Environmental Defense Fund, Duke University, Johnson & Johnson, and others (1999) 19 pp. Recommendations for purchasing and using environmentally preferable paper.

Purchasing Guide to Bottled Water Alternatives (2009)

water60 pp. Responsible Purchasing Network. This guide is designed to equip communities, purchasers, and stakeholders with the tools they need to reduce their bottled water consumption and switch back to tap water.

Purchasing Guidelines for Envrionmentally Preferable Computers (2007)

Health Care Without Harm. This questionnaire assists purchasers in moving beyond EPEAT.

Smart Paper: A Guide for Businesses (2009)

Natural Resources Defense Council. This web-based guide offers a range of resources for organizations to launch a smart paper program.

Sustainable Procurement Tool (2009)

procurementForum for the Future, UK. This toolkit reviews demand, procurement actions and whole life costs to improve social and environmental performance. It is available upon request from Forum for the Future.

Use Environmentally Preferable Products (2009)

Whole Building Design Guide. This web-based overview includes links to a range of websites and EPP resources.

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