Green Governments And Non-Profits

green purchasing

Since the mid-1990s, Green Seal’s Institutional Greening Program has provided technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and government organizations at the federal, state, and local level to help them green their purchasing programs. 

 Projects are developed on a case-by-case basis and can include helping an organization:

  • Analyze current purchasing practices to create a baseline for future environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) efforts
  • Develop priorities for green purchasing based on the environmental impacts of current purchases, as well as the total dollars spent and the availability of EPP products
  • Develop a Green Purchasing Action Plan tailored to the specific challenges, opportunities and objectives of the organization
  • Develop environmentally preferable specifications for specific products and/or a complete EPP manual. 
 These activities can help organizations build a strong and effective environmentally preferably purchasing program that will result in improved environmental performance.

Green Purchasing Toolkit


Green Seal contributed to the Green Purchasing Toolkit developed by the National Association of Counties (NACo). The toolkit was developed by NACo, Green Seal, U.S. Communities and the Responsible Purchasing Network to help county governments implement green purchasing practices.


Related Projects

California Prioritization of Green Products
  • Developed a prioritized list of products and service categories based on technical criteria, policy, and upcoming contract renewals and developed comprehensive sustainability criteria for the state government’s purchasing programs as part of an overall project to green their procurement.
City of Los Angeles Green Purchasing Action Plan
  • Worked with the city government to develop an action plan for Los Angeles to incorporate green purchasing based on evaluating existing practices and purchasing priorities.
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Environmentally and Socially Responsible Procurement Program
  • Developed an environmentally and socially responsible corporate procurement program for the IDB. This included identifying product categories that represented possible opportunities for environmentally and socially preferable product standards, and reviewing and analyzing cost, availability, and feasibility issues relating to those product categories. The project also included providing procedures, performing on-site testing, and developing reporting and tracking tools.
Los Angeles County Green Procurement Manual
  • Assisted Los Angeles County in implementing a directive to institutionalize green purchasing by developing a comprehensive purchasing manual with over 30 green specifications and a five-year timetable for incorporating them into county contracts.
National Park Service Green Purchasing Manual
  • Developed a green purchasing manual, including specifications for custodial and janitorial care, landscaping and exotics control, HVAC, and lighting systems.
State of Colorado Green Purchasing Evaluation and Training
  • Helped the Colorado state government implement a new law for green purchasing by evaluating existing practices and providing training to multiple state agencies responsible for purchasing.
State Department of Transportation Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guide
World Bank Purchasing Program
  • Conducted a study for the World Bank of their purchasing policies and procedures and the changes needed to incorporate sustainability criteria, focusing on key categories and immediate opportunities.