Bay Area Haz Waste Committee

Why buy green?

According to EPA, Green Purchasing means buying "products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose." This comparison applies to raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal.

Federal, state and local governments are the largest buyers in the US, so buying green matters a lot. President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, reinforcing EPA's Green Purchasing Program in 2009.

In California, the Department of General Services (DGS) is a leader in Green Purchasing. In order to inform state agencies the DGS developed a best practices manual—the Buying Green Guide. The guide is designed for both buyers and suppliers, providing a variety of information, such as laws and regulations, policy and guidance, contracts and buying tips.

Stopwaste.org has a wealth of information for local governments on Green Purchasing.

The Haz Waste Committee has sponsored two workshops in 2009 and 2010 to assist local governments in their efforts to go green. Buying green saves money: doing no harm is cheaper than dealing with environmental and health issues in the future.

County Case Studies