Buying Green for Federal Purchasers
The federal government is the single largest consumer in the world, spending more than $650 billion on products and services each year. The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program helps federal agencies purchase greener products and services. As federal purchasers, you have an opportunity to harness the power of the federal pocketbook to catalyze a more sustainable marketplace for all – reducing climate impacts, improving the health of frontline communities, preventing pollution, and increasing U.S. industry competitiveness.
Getting started essentials
Before you buy:
Resources to find used goods to meet your needs:
- Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Disposition Services: Offers a wide variety of serviceable property for reutilization, transfer, or donation (RTD) to DOD units and other agencies.
- GSAXcess: Portal for the GSA’s Federal Excess Personal Property Utilization Program and the Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program. Your agency can report excess personal property for transfer by GSA to other Federal and State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASPs) as well as search for and obtain excess personal property. Your agency can also report and transfer excess computers and peripheral equipment to schools and educational nonprofit organizations through the Computers for Learning program or post your CFL transfers done outside our system.
Understand the federal sustainable purchasing requirements:
- GSA’s Green Procurement Compilation (GPC) helps to identify federal green purchasing requirements by purchase category.
- GSA’s Sustainable Facilities Tool Product Search (SFTool) allows purchasers to search over 5,700 brands and more than 300,000 products that align with federal sustainability requirements. The search allows you to sort compliant products by energy and water performance, create projects, and even gather the documentation you need to streamline the procurement process.
- Access federal sustainable acquisition training resources.
Consider leasing or procuring a service:
Leasing a product or procuring a service (print management services, for example, instead of printers and copiers) often ensures that the products will return to the vendor at the end of use – which facilitates efficient and effective refurbishment, reuse, and/or recycling – extending the life of the product and reducing impacts to the environment and public health.
Buy products certified to sustainability standards and ecolabels:
Often, buying or leasing products certified to sustainability standards and/or ecolabels can help meet multiple sustainable purchasing requirements at once. EPA’s EPP program has put together some resources to help purchasers identify the credible and effective standards/ecolabels that can be used within federal procurement.
- Introduction to standards and ecolabels for greener products.
- EPA’s Recommendations of Specifications, Standard, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing.
- Federal purchasers can contact their agency’s Standards Executive to share success stories, learn more about using private sector standards, and participating in their development and/or update.
Other tools and resources:
- Buy clean procurement and ENERGY STAR.
- Learn how to utilize tools and resources during each phase of the procurement lifecycle.
- Greening RFP and contract writing systems.
- Read about Federal Sustainability Progress, Plans, and Performance.
- Learn about options for ensuring products meet the manufacturer’s sustainability claims:
- Share and hear best practices from federal partners via Interagency Workgroups:
- Sustainable Acquisition Materials Management (SAMM) Work Group
- Federal Electronics Stewardship Working Group (registration required)
- Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG) on high-performance, green buildings