Sustainable procurement of both goods and services supports health, the local economy and the environment. Procurement choices can drive markets to become more sustainable by demonstrating demand for sustainable products, packaging and practices, and requesting use of the same by vendors.
Procurement activities play a critical role in sustainable resource management.
- Purchase only the amount that’s needed (of both the desired item and the packaging). Procurement staff and end-users must work together to optimize this effort. Not buying an item in the first place saves material, energy AND water resources that are expended all the way from resource extraction, processing, manufacturing, transportation, and operation through end-of-life.
- Procurement specifications and decisions determine end-of-life opportunities for resourcemanagement (recyclability, product design, toxicity, manufacturer take-back, etc.)
- Consider both the initial purchase cost and the resource consumption cost of that item during its operating lifetime (energy, water, consumable supplies, as well as durability of the item itself).
- The procurement infrastructure should provide a record of how much and what types of items are purchased in order to manage their procurement.
Buying Green: California’s Guide for Sustainable Purchasing
California Department of General Services Buying Green page.
City of Portland: Sustainable Procurement
European Commission's Handbook on Environmental Public Procurement
Government Procurement Magazine
Magazine articles are searchable by topic, including sustainability. Articles are geared toward describing a program or initiative that a state has launched rather than offering specific, detailed advice.
King County, Washington, Environmental Purchasing
County program website including policy, general information and links, products.
Oregon State Procurement Office
Oregon State Sustainable Supplier Council Report: Report was issued in June 2001 in response to the Governor's Executive Order on Sustainability. It examines purchasing practices in five areas: automotive, building materials, cleaning and coating, paper, office furniture.
PPRC (The Pacific Pollution Prevention Resource Center)
Organization’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing resource: Information and research services.
Product Stewardship Institute
Organization website includes information and resources focused on a product stewardship approach, and works with governments and stakeholders
Whistler 2020, Canada
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP)
Oregon Public Purchasers Association (OPPA)
Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN)
ORPIN provides access to procurement and contracting information issued by the State of Oregon, local
governments, and political subdivisions
Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN)
RPN is an international network of buyers dedicated to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable
U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance
U.S. Communities provides a national purchasing forum for local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education and non-profits nationwide.
ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
Website with standards, training, other information
EPA’s Energy Star
Program that certifies energy performance of products and buildings
EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool)
Easy-to-use, on-line tool helping institutional purchasers select and compare computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes.
Certification program for goods and services
Institute for Environmental Research and Education
Life cycle assessment presentations, including “Introduction to LCA for Purchasing Agents” ppt.
SCS (Scientific Certification Systems)
BEES: Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability
Software decision-making tool that measures the environmental performance of products by using the internationally-standardized and science-based life-cycle assessment approach specified in ISO 14000 standards.
State Electronics Challenge
Program covering purchase, use and disposal of electronic products, for state agencies and including schools.