Green purchasing means buying products that have a lower impact on the environment and are better for your employees’ health. Businesses that buy green are better able to meet their environmental goals, have improved workplace health, and help support the increased availability of green products in the marketplace.
· Purchase materials with recycled content – the higher, the better! This closes the recycling “loop” and makes your recycling program that much more valuable. Office paper should have minimum 30% recycled content, and recycled/remanufactured toner cartridges are preferred.
· Purchase Energy Star qualified equipment and appliances to conserve electricity and save money.
· Purchase items with little or no packaging and/or packaging with high recycled content (preferably use reused packaging)
· Purchase eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning and pest control products.
· Purchase furniture, equipment and materials used when possible, and exchange or donate unwanted materials.
· Purchase eco-certified products when possible.
· Rent, rather than purchase, equipment that is not used often.
· Consider the environmental impact of each product your business purchases, and see if you can find a workable eco-friendly alternative.
Resources and Organizations
Earth911.com for Business: Guide to Practicing Green Purchasing
Provides simple, step-by-step advice for business to practice Green Purchasing
EPA Guide to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
An excellent resource to help businesses large and small navigate environmentally preferable purchasing. This site includes information about green products and services, tools to calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices, and tips on managing green purchasing processes.
Energy Star Purchasing and Procurement Resources:
These EPA resources are designed to assist procurement officials in smart purchasing decisions for a wide variety of products, including commercial appliances, heating and cooling equipment, construction materials, and office products
Special Offer/ Rebate locator for Energy Star appliances
To encourage customers to buy energy efficient products, ENERGY STAR partners occasionally sponsor special offers, such as sales tax exemptions or credits,or rebates on qualified products. This search allows businesses to find these offers when they exist.
Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN)
RPN is a member-based network of procurement stakeholders dedicated to improving human health and the environment through best practices, superior products, improved supply, purchasing tools, market education, and peer networking.
Environmental Defense Fund: Paper and Packaging Information and Resources for Corporations
EDF purchasing resources include a paper calculator to aid businesses and individuals in making better paper choices and measuring results; a paper supplier evaluation, and printable signs for reducing paper waste in your office.
Greening the Cube: Choosing Eco-Friendly Office Furniture
GreenBiz overview article examining the issue of purchasing Green Office furniture
Select Resources to locate certified “green products”
Green Seal is a nonprofit organization that provides environmental certification standards for a wide range of products and services; maintains lists of certified products; and publishes product guides.
MBDC: “Cradle to Cradle” Certification
MBDC awards a “Cradle to Cradle” certification to products considered healthy for humans and the environment throughout their lifecycles, and products that are sources of high-quality materials for perpetual cycles of assembly, use, disassembly and recycling or composting.
Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)
BPI is promotes the use, and recycling of biodegradable polymeric materials (via composting). The BPI Logo Program is designed to certify and identify plastic products that will biodegrade and compost satisfactorily. This website includes a list of approved products.
Scientific Certification Systems
SCS is a third-party provider of certification, auditing and testing services, and standards on food safety and quality, environmental protection and social responsibility