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Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP)

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Vermont Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program

What is EPP?

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) means the purchase of products 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. This comparison may consider raw material acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, re-use, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service).

Why is it Important?

EP Purchasing directs buying choices toward products that are less harmful to the environment and safer for human health. Our purpose is to help reduce the negative effects of purchases by promoting EP products through our purchasing and contracting efforts. This effort benefits and is supported by the following groups: political subdivisions, such as schools and towns, EP organizations, including government and not-for-profit groups; state government executive branch and agencies; consumers; vendors and manufacturers.

Vermont Executive Orders
History of EPP in Vermont

The State of Vermont has established specific goals and objectives aimed at providing sound environmental stewardship, protecting human health, reducing state operating expenses associated with the use and control of regulated hazardous materials, and reducing potential liability attributable to environmental impact.  Therefore, where applicable, the following environmental criteria shall be considered for all State purchasing and contracts.

  • PaperThe state desires to reduce the use of chlorine in the products it purchases to protect the environment from pollution.  Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) paper means paper in which the recycled content is processed unbleached or is bleached without the use of chlorine or chlorine derivatives AND any virgin material contained therein is totally chlorine free (TCF).
  • Copier Paper: The State of Vermont requires PCF copier paper which contains a minimum of 50% post-consumer recycled material (any virgin material must be TCF).
  • Printing and Writing Paper: The State of Vermont requires at least 30% post-consumer recycled content for non-coated paper and at least 10% post-consumer recycled content for coated paper.  Preference will be given to chlorine free options when suitable choices are available.

Recycled Content: The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may, at his/her discretion, spend up to 10% more for comparable products that are made of recycled materials.  If products made of recycled materials are to cost more than 10% more than comparable products, the Commissioner shall receive consent of State entities that are to use the product before completing the order in question.

Sustainable Products:   Vendors are encouraged to provide alternative price quotations on wood or paper products that are derived from sustainably managed forestlands.  Sustainably managed forest lands shall be defined as those lands enrolled and/or licensed under one of the following third-party certification programs: Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program, the American Tree Farm System, the Canadian Standards Association's Sustainable Forest Management System Standards, the Finnish Standard, Forest Stewardship Council, Pan-European Forest Certification, Swedish Standard, the United Kingdom Woodland Assurance Scheme or other such credible programs as may be developed and implemented.   Vendors must provide satisfactory documentation of certification with their bid.

Life-Cycle Cost Evaluation: Life cycle cost analysis shall extend beyond the cost of purchasing, to include installation, operation, maintenance, durability, and disposal of a particular product.

Energy Efficiency (Energy Star): The State will purchase only energy-consuming devices that meet or exceed the Energy Star or comparable standards established by the U.S. federal government, and to operate these devices in a manner that maximizes their energy efficiency features (Executive Order No. 15-12).

Alternative Fuels: Evaluations for vehicles and other fuel-consuming equipment shall consider not only fuel efficiency, but also the source and type of fuel, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants.

Vehicles: The State will purchase vehicles that have the highest available fuel efficiency in each respective vehicle class (e.g., passenger cars, light duty trucks, etc.) pursuant to performance specifications recommended by the state operations working group established under Executive Order 15-12 section I (J). These performance standards should include consideration of vehicles that not only meet high fuel economy standards but that also provide lower total emissions of greenhouse gases, criteria pollutants, and hazardous air contaminants.


Environmental Benefits and Energy Cost Savings Calculator for Purchasers

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Links

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