Environmentally Preferable Procurement, or green purchasing, is a critical and effective way to save energy, water and other resources. There are increasingly more options for goods and services that have less of an impact on the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. Characteristics of green products include: recycled content and recyclability, durability, energy and water efficiency, local production, minimal packaging and reduced or no toxicity.
The federal government defines EPP as the acquisition of recycled content products, environmentally preferable products and services, bio-based products, energy and water efficient products, alternate fuel vehicles and products using renewable energy. Though this terminology can be interchangeable, the intent of EPP remains as an effort to be more environmentally sustainable, to improve the health of people and the environment by being more conscious of purchasing decisions and business practices.
North Carolina has only begun to practice and reap the benefits of EPP. This site identifies some of the new things happening with EPP in state government and shows how others are successfully managing their green purchasing.