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Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) and Green Purchasing

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) - also known as green purchasing or affirmative procurement - is the procurement of goods and services that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment as compared to other goods and services serving the same purpose.

Some of the benefits of green purchasing include:

  • reducing overall consumption
  • increasing renewable, recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable products
  • promoting long-lasting, high quality, reusable products
  • creating an outlet for collected recycled material
  • decreasing greenhouse gas emissions
  • conserving water and energy
  • increasing the market for green products
  • reducing the presence of toxic and hazardous materials in schools
  • improving environmental health
  • taking up less room in landfills

Many people have had the perception that green means more expensive. Actually, in many cases, green purchasing can also save money, protect students and staff and reduce liability—something schools everywhere should care about. As more people buy green, the markets for these goods and services are developed and the prices come down.

California State Law Requires EPP

California law requires State government to practice Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. See Public Contract Code, sections 12400-12404 for more information. This applies to California state agencies; however, local governments and school districts are encouraged to practice EPP as well, and can use California state procurement contracts to get discounts on many green products. See our Green Buying Tools section for information about discounts, procurement contracts, and buying in bulk.

EPP is the Smart Thing to do

California's Department of General Services provides a wealth of information about EPP and Green Purchasing. Check out state law, best practices manuals, guides, and other tools at the Green CA Program.

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Green Buying Tools

"Environmentally Preferable Purchasing" or "Green Purchasing" means integrating environmental and health factors into all procurement policies and decisions. Green purchasing can also save money, protect students and staff, and reduce liability—something schools everywhere should care about.

The following tools will help you get started:

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Disclaimer: Listing in this Directory should not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by Green Schools Initiative or any of its supporters or partners. GSI is providing this information as a public service to promote the use of greener practices and products. Listings in this Directory are based on information obtained from the product manufacturer, supplier, or service provider in question, and may not be complete. GSI reviews the information obtained from these sources to determine if its meets our health and environmental criteria, but does not independently verify the information. GSI provides no warranty or guarantee of product performance, safety, price, or availability.