Green Purchasing Tools

Many resources for technical and purchasing staff enrich our Green Purchasing Program. The following links are resources we rely upon and you may also find useful. Environmental initiatives, public agency programs, and green certifications and standards are evolving and changing all the time, so these will get you started and you may find additional and newer information as well.

City of Seattle Fact Sheets

Find tips below for reducing toxic chemical use at the City of Seattle. These fact sheets provide relevant City vendor information, which may be out-of-date but can still provide useful examples.

Public Agency Programs, Green Certifications, Standards and Resources

U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) – The EPP program helps the federal government "buy green" and stimulates market demand for green products and services, compiles standards from other jurisdiction, explains eco-labels and more.

U.S. EPAComprehensive Procurement Guidelines particularly for recycled content in a wide variety of types of products, guidance for federal agencies and others. Although recycled-content percentages have not been updated for a number of years, the criteria and data are very good.

U.S. General Services Administration – GSA "Strategically Sustainable" provides substantial information for facilities, purchasing and other environmental strategies.

Office of the Federal Environmental Executive – Promotes sustainable environmental stewardship throughout federal government.

King County Environmental Purchasing Program – The King County EPP provides technical assistance to help county buyers identify, evaluate and purchase environmentally preferable products. Bulletins provide excellent technical information to use in writing purchasing criteria.

The Washington Department of Ecology – List of chemicals of concern for children and actions, reports, etc., for "Reducing Toxic Threats."

Bureau of Internal Business Services – The City of Portland has progressive purchasing initiatives, excellent case studies and other information.

SF Approved – The City of San Francisco tested products for home, business and government use. In keeping with San Francisco's commitment to the Precautionary Principle since 2005, city staff are required by an ordinance to buy San Francisco-approved green products. San Francisco Department of Environment and other city staff reviewed ingredients, recycled content, energy efficiency, product ratings and more.

Responsible Purchasing Network – A national network of procurement-related professionals dedicated to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable purchasing. The RPN provides detailed information and specification to consider when selecting green products; substantive webinars and purchasing guides; and peer networking for purchasing and environmental staff. Seattle Purchasing is an original member of RPN.

UL Environment – Offers environmental claim validations, multi-attribute product certifications, environmental product declarations, product emissions certification, product emissions testing, organizational sustainability certification and consulting.

U.S. Communities/Green – A collaborative purchasing source for member cities, counties, districts, schools and charities to find shared nationwide contracts for products and services. Seattle Purchasing is a US Communities Board Member.

Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center – US Department of Energy's clearinghouse of data, tools and information related to advanced transportation technologies.

Conservatree – Nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a market for ecologically sound papers.

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance – Establishes top energy efficiency standards for particular products. Seattle City Light is a member.

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) – Evaluates and rates computers and displays, imaging equipment and TVs based on their environmental impact.

Energy Star – A joint program of the US EPA and the US Department of Energy that helps consumers and businesses identify energy-efficient products.

Green Seal – Nonprofit organization that uses science-based programs to empower consumers, purchasers and companies to create a more sustainable world.

EPA's Design for the Environment – Helps consumers, businesses and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well, are cost-effective and safer for the environment.