Selected Green Purchasing Resources
(A supplemental resource for Worldwatch Paper 166, Purchasing Power: Harnessing Institutional Procurement for People and the Planet)
The chances of getting a successful green procurement program going can be enhanced by adhering to certain principles, such as winning high-level support, establishing clear policies and goals, offering incentives and monitoring activity, implementing pilot projects, engaging and training stakeholders, highlighting green products, and developing joint purchasing programs. The organizations listed below can serve as invaluable sources of guidance, training, and/or support for these efforts.
Center for a New American Dream's Procurement Strategies Program
Helps U.S. state and local governments and other large purchasers incorporate environmental considerations into their purchasing. Publishes success stories of pioneering efforts and conducts training sessions and conference calls to teach purchasers how to identify and buy greener products.
Consumer's Choice Council
An association of 66 environmental, consumer, and human rights groups from 25 countries that supports ecolabeling and seeks to ensure that consumers have the information they need to purchase greener, more socially just products.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program and Database,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Comprehensive source of information on green purchasing. Database includes green contract language and specifications, voluntary standards and guidelines, and other practical information.
European Green Purchasing Network
A network that aims to bring together governments, businesses, and other purchasers to promote sustainable innovation and competitiveness along the entire supply chain.
European Union Coalition for Green and Social Procurement
NGO coalition that aims to strengthen environmental and social provisions in EU procurement policies, including consideration of environmental, health, and labor impacts.
A New York-based consulting firm that helps Fortune 500 companies and top government agencies green their procurement and operations.
An independent organization that certifies and promotes green products and services and works with manufacturers, industry, purchasing groups, and governments to green the production and purchasing chain.
A research organization that provides information on ways to reduce the environmental impacts of the U.S. economy through improved product design and greener purchasing.
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives,
Offers a wide range of information on green purchasing in Europe. Includes links to the Buy-It-Green Network of municipal purchasers as well as to success stories, recommendations, and ongoing projects.
Japan's Green Purchasing Network
An association of some 2,700 organizations, including corporations, government authorities, and environmental and consumer groups, that promotes the ideas and practices of green purchasing in Japan.
Massachusetts Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement Program
Information about state efforts to buy green products, including useful guides and reports as well as contracts for purchasing recycled products and other goods.
National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program
Provides information to help colleges and universities become living models of an ecologically sustainable society, including by greening their purchasing practices.
The Natural Step
Consults with businesses to make sustainability assessments and develop strategies that move companies, broader industries, and society at large toward long-term sustainability.
North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Trade in Environmentally Preferable Goods and Services Project
Aims to build North American markets for renewable energy and other green products and to facilitate green trade through ecolabeling and green purchasing. Serves as the Secretariat for the North American Green Purchasing Initiative, a clearinghouse of information for manufacturers, purchasers, and suppliers.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
A source of information on coordinating and promoting green public purchasing in industrial countries.
Recycled Products Purchasing Cooperative
A cooperative of U.S. businesses and public institutions that have joined their purchasing power to encourage suppliers to offer recycled paper and other products at reduced rates.
United Nations Environment Programme Sustainable Procurement Website
Offers information about UN and multilateral efforts to promote sustainable procurement and links to a database listing initiatives worldwide as well as product-specific criteria.
**Guidelines, Standards, and Ecolabeling Schemes**Canada's Environmental Choice program
A national ecolabeling program that awards its EcoLogo to products that meet specific guidelines developed through a public consultation process.
A program run by Natural Resources Canada that provides energy ratings for specific appliance brands as well as additional information on energy efficiency.
A program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that sets energy-efficiency standards for computers, monitors, printers, and other appliances and certifies green buildings.
European Union Eco-Label
A voluntary scheme to help consumers in Europe identify officially approved green products.
Global Ecolabeling Network
A nonprofit network of ecolabeling organizations worldwide.
Scientific Certification Systems
A neutral, third-party certifier of the food industry and of the environmentally sound management of forests, marine habitats, and manufacturing-related businesses.