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Affirmative Procurement: Buying Recycled and Biobased Products

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Often referred to as “green purchasing," Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), is the affirmative selection and acquisition of products and services that most effectively minimize negative environmental impacts over their life cycle of manufacturing, transportation, use and recycling or disposal. Examples of environmentally preferable characteristics include products and services that conserve energy and water, minimize generation of waste and releases of pollutants; products made from recycled materials and that can be reused or recycled; energy from renewable resources such as bio-based fuels, solar and wind power; alternate fuel vehicles; and products using alternatives to hazardous or toxic chemicals, radioactive materials and biohazardous agents.

Review the list of products that have been designed by USEPA

If a product appears on this list, you must buy the product made from recycled materials unless it is unavailable, not cost effective, or doesn't meet quality specifications [Cost, availability, performance (CAP)].

  • Your justification for NOT procuring the environmentally preferable product must be documented.
  • No exceptions for paper, 30% post-consumer, if unavailable purchase 20%.
  • If unavoidable conflict, recycled content takes precedence over bio-based content.
  • Maintain written justification on file for any products not meeting specifications if the cost is over $2500. Proposed legislation would require reporting these exceptions.

EPP Presentations