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Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Practices

Environmentally sustainable procurement practices include purchase of goods and 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. Such products or services may include, but are not limited to, those that contain recycled content, minimize waste, conserve energy or water, and reduce the amount of toxics disposed or consumed.

An ever increasing number of products are made from recycled materials—from the carpeting and insulation used in office buildings, to the reams of office paper purchased each day. Buying recycled helps "close the recycling loop" by putting the materials we collect through recycling programs back to good use as products in the marketplace.

Environmentally preferable products

Environmentally preferable products (EPPs) are products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to competing products or services that serve the same purpose. They may include, but are not be limited to, items that:

  • Contain recycled materials
  • Whenever practical, purchase paper with recycled content, including a minimum of 30% post consumer waste (for example, willcopy recycled, 92 brightness, 20 lb., or Georgia Pacific Spectrum Recycled, 20lb. 92 brightness from Rudolph's Office Supply), unless specialty paper is required.
  • Minimize waste
  • Conserve energy and/or water
  • Consist of fewer toxic substances
  • Reduce the amount of toxic substances disposed or consumed
  • Protect open-space
  • Lesson the impact to public health
  •  MCE remanufactured Toner Cartridges

Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council

The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and recognize purchasing leadership that accelerates the transition to a prosperous and sustainable future. The Council’s programs and community of practice will help institutional purchasers to:
•prioritize opportunities to influence the social, environmental and economic life cycle impacts of purchased goods and services,
•identify existing leadership standards and approaches that address these priorities,
•benchmark progress toward goals, and
•receive recognition for advancement.

Energy Star

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2006 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 25 million cars — all while saving $14 billion on their utility bills.

Check out the EPS web site for for information about Energy Star certification and products.


Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

The University of Baltimore is a signatory to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s American College and University President’s Climate Commitment.

Maryland Green Purchasing

The State of Maryland is continually seeking ways to conserve energy and preserve the environment, which can also result in substantial cost savings. Minimizing the environmental impact associated with manufacturing, using, and disposing of equipment and related consumables is a benefit for all Maryland citizens. The Maryland Green Purchasing Guidelines provide best practices for energy management and for obtaining, utilizing, and disposing of commodities necessary to carry out the function of state government.

Maryland Green Purchasing Committee Summer Conference Participating Vendors.

Additional Resources and references to entities that certify products as environmentally preferable:
Green Guard
Green Seal
Green Products Directory

USA EPA - Environmentally Preferable Products

Last Published 4/1/16