Green Purchasing

The focus of this Region 8 web page is to aid Region 8’s Sustainability & Environmental Management System (SEMS) program. The GSA Green Purchasing Program began in 2000 and was originally titled the “Affirmative Procurement Program”. Over the past 70 years, traditional acquisition practices have shown to be unsustainable especially in continually shrinking budgets and more stringent disposal rules and regulations. Instead of purchasing materials based upon want, make purchasing decisions based upon needs after considering reuse options from previously existing materials. Current standards require that all new purchases must have a percentage of recycled content material in its manufacture and to consider materials that have a bio-based component as compared with current petroleum based products.

GSA has many resources to aid in Green Procurements and Acquisitions:

Sustainability and Environmental Management Program
Objectives All new applicable contracts, including non-exempt contract modifications, require products and services that are energy-efficient, water-efficient, bio-based, environmentally preferable, non-ozone depleting, contain recycled content, or are non-toxic or less-toxic alternatives.
Monitor green purchases
Establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the federal government and to reduce greenhouse gases
Set acquisition-related goals for purchasing green products
Targets 95 percent of all new applicable contracts, require green products and services

Federal, State, and Local Policy and Regulations

Additional Resources

  • FedCenter Acquisition
  • Customers can find and purchase environmentally preferable products on GSAAdvantage!® and GSA Global Supply. Use the ‘Advanced Search’ feature to find biobased, CPG compliant, energy efficient, energy star compliant, recycled items (other than CPG), and more.
  • EPA has published Lists of Substitutes for Ozone-Depleting Substances in multiple categories including refrigeration and air conditioning, solvents cleaning, foam blowing, fire suppression and explosion protection, and aerosols.
  • EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines - designate recycled content items and recommend purchasing practices for agencies using federal funds. Provides product information, supplier lists and case studies. A wealth of information is available for construction, landscaping, paperless office, paper, park and recreation, transportation, and miscellaneous products.
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Resource - access general purchasing information for various products and services.
  • Green Seal (non-government website) - provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace.


File Name Format Size Date Revised
Green Purchasing PDF 395KB 07/06/2012


Last Reviewed 2015-07-01