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Getting Started

Addressing potential environmental problems and costs before products and service providers come in the door can save money and headaches later on. Many health care organizations have found that working with suppliers has been a crucial contributor to achieving environmental goals such as mercury elimination, energy use reduction, or proper waste segregation.

You don’t need an “Environmental Purchasing Program” or even an environmental policy to get started with environmentally preferable purchasing. Start with the path of least resistance, working within your sphere of influence. Here are some tools to get you started:

  • 10-Step Guide to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) – This printable guide provides practical steps to starting EPP in your facility or organization.
  • EPP Policies – Ensure all your suppliers and service providers are contributing to your institution’s environmental goals.
  • Engage Leadership - Getting management support provides the leverage to support the purchase of products and services that reduce waste, save energy and water, and are designed with safer chemicals to reduce the potential for harm, especially in sensitive populations.
  • Set EPP Goals (Refer to Worksheet: Setting EPP Goals) - Align your goals with existing environmental and/or occupational health priorities to support obtaining buy-in.
  • Identify Contract Priorities - Determine the products and services to target in the coming year that help achieve your goals.  When assessing what to prioritize, consider contracts that support economic needs (based on highest spend, potential for cost savings, etc), health and the environment (opportunity to reduce health impacts, greenhouse gas emissions, etc) and administration (ease of implementation, etc).
  • Environmental Terms – Avoid falling for misleading environmental claims and ensure you phrase your environmental requirements to get the information you need in order to make a valid comparison between vendors.
  • How to Green Your Meetings and Events – Find out what resources are available to meeting planners to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint.
  • EPP Benefits – EPP can reduce waste, reduce the toxicity of products in the facility, reduce occupational and patient health risks, and increase your image in your community.
  • Need More Help? – Our consulting services can save you time and money.
  • What’s in a name? – Environmental Purchasing is often called Environmentally Preferable Purchasing or EPP. Because the EPP acronym is so well-known, we use “EPP” as an abbreviation for Environmental Purchasing instead of “EP.”
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