Integrating Green Purchasing Into Your Environmental Management System (EMS)
The guidance document, "Integrating Green Purchasing into your Environmental Management System (EMS)," (also available in PDF, "Integrating Green Purchasing into your Environmental Management System (EMS) (PDF)," (70 pages, 779KB)) was developed by the EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Team in response to requests from, and in partnership with the White House's Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE), EPA's Federal Facilities Enforcement Office, Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, Design for the Environment (DfE) Program, and several Federal facilities.
The goal of this report is to help Federal facilities integrate green purchasing into their Environmental Management System (EMS). The intended audience includes those tasked with implementing an EMS, reducing environmental impacts, meeting green purchasing requirements and/or buying products and services in a Federal facility.
To reduce the Federal government's environmental footprint and improve the implementation of green purchasing and other greening the government initiatives, former President Clinton mandated in Executive Order (EO) 13148: Greening the Government Through Leadership in Environmental Management that all appropriate Federal facilities implement Environmental Management Systems (EMS) by December, 2005. This mandate was maintained in E.O. 13514 - Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (PDF) (15 pp, 88KB, About PDF), signed by President Obama in October 2009.
Why target enhanced green purchasing within an EMS?
- Comply with Federal green purchasing legal and other requirements;
- Raise awareness of procurement as a pollution prevention tool;
- Facilitate continual improvement in environmental performance through proactive green purchasing and contracting activities.
The core of the guidance document provides:
- Practical guidance, potential language for, and Federal facility examples of integrating green purchasing into procedures for each ISO 14001 element;
- Federal green purchasing program requirements;
- Green product resources;
- Green purchasing training resources.