Environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) is the conscious identification and selection of goods and services that have a lesser or reduced impact on human health and the environment when compared to similar goods and services that serve the same purpose. EPP practices can be utilized when purchasing any product utilized by a municipality in various departments from landscaping and construction materials to office supplies and food services. This fact sheet provides guidance on developing and implementing an EPP program.
Purchasing environmentally preferable products and services improves worker’s health and safety, can reduce energy and waste disposal costs for a municipality, and keeps the environment cleaner through benefits such as lower carbon dioxide emissions, preservation of land and natural resources, and decreased waste production. EPP can protect water resources and even improve water quality in a number of ways. Traditional products such as cleaning supplies and landscaping management supplies may contain harsh chemicals and toxins that make it to our water ways through normal use and improper dumping. Nontoxic products benefit an MS4 as they do not have associated disposal costs that toxic materials have. Additionally, some commonly used appliances such as dishwashers and fixtures such as faucets are designed to use less water thereby lessening the demand on our natural water supplies and decreasing utility bills.
By purchasing environmentally preferable products that contain little to no toxic chemicals and conserve water, you will protect your local waters as well as save on water bills and material disposal costs.
Many of the products purchased by an MS4 can impact stormwater such as pesticides, herbicides and other landscape management materials, deicing agents, and other chemicals. Stormwater friendly alternatives are available