to top

Division of Purchase and Property

Green Purchasing

Buying and using environmentally preferable products (EPPs) has become an integral part of public procurement in recent years because it has become clear that this practice benefits the environment, improves efficiency and, often saves money.

Green Purchasing, also known as environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP), is the coordinated purchasing of goods and services to minimize impacts on human health and the natural environment. Alternatives exist for almost every product used that are less hazardous, save energy and water, and reduce waste. A simple first step is to purchase products made from recycled content that are themselves recyclable.

EPP may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance or disposal of the product or service.


Executive Order 76 (EO 76) Issued January 2006

Directs State Agencies to purchase environmentally preferable cleaning products that minimize potential impacts to human health and the environment, can use up existing inventories, encourages non-state agencies to do the same. Most importantly, green purchasing attempts to identify and reduce the environmental impact of an organization’s activities and maximize resource efficiency.


  • It is important to keep in mind that the purchasing decisions we make affect our local environment and the health of our citizens and workers as well as the global community.
  • Green purchasing can also help departments gain competitive advantage when applying for grant and other funding opportunities.
  • Many times are less expensive than their conventional counterparts that serve the same purpose. For example, remanufactured toner cartridges cost on average 30-60% less than those produced by original equipment manufacturers, retread tires can save as much as 50% off the cost of a new tire;
  • Other EPPs are equal in cost (e.g. carpet, cleaning products, janitorial paper products, energy efficient lighting) and offer the added value of reduced toxic use and waste reduction through the use of recycled materials.


Green cleaning uses bio-based ingredients instead of petroleum-based ingredients whenever possible to reduce the health hazards associated with the toxins in standard cleaning products.


Buying recycled content products is a simple way to make progress toward implementing a comprehensive Green Purchasing Program. Select environmentally preferable recycled products for municipal operations. Communicate the municipality’s desire for recycled products to existing vendors and seek out new suppliers if necessary.

EPA logo

Last Updated: Tuesday, 11/14/23