Procuring environmentally preferable products helps reduce or eliminate waste. A green procurement program is an important part of establishing sustainable and healthier operations. The U.S. health care industry spends more than $200 billion annually on medical and non-medical products, with more than 70 percent of that amount occurring through use of a group purchasing organization (GPO).
What we buy matters. Buying sustainable products and services can make a vital difference in your environmental impact and budget while meeting your patients’ needs. Asking your suppliers for the most environmentally sound and high quality product is a great start to setting your supply chain on the path to positive. Next, jumpstart or expand your procurement program with recycled content products and office supplies and non-toxic cleaning products that meet health industry standards. Include climate-friendly procurement language into RFPs and contracts for cleaning, copier, and maintenance services.
St Joseph’s Medical Center, part of the Dignity Health, achieved in their effort to shift toward environmentally preferable products. Discover how they achieved their goals and the products that were purchased at a cost-savings or were cost neutral. The answers to these questions and more can be found in Wash and Reuse: Textiles in the Hospital Setting.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) is the act of purchasing products and services that are simultaneously more beneficial to human health and their environment.
Environmentally preferable products are generally:
- Less toxic
- Minimally polluting
- More energy efficient
- Safer and healthier for patients, staff, the community and the environment
- Higher in recycled content
- Packed in less packaging material
Look for products certified with the trusted Energy Star symbol that indicates significantly less energy use than conventional alternatives. Visit the Energy Star website listed below for more information on readily available energy efficient computers, printers, copiers, televisions, and audio systems. Energy Star equipment for buildings includes water heaters, windows, ceiling fans, thermostats, lighting fixtures, refrigerators, and air conditioning units.