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Environmentally Preferable Purchasing:
Selling Products and Services to the Federal Government
by EPA Region 8's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program


The purpose of this document is to help small business owners and potential entrepreneurs by providing them with information on how to sell environmentally preferable products to the government. Sections included are:

Government agencies have been directed to identify and give preference to the purchase of products and services that pose fewer environmental burdens, under Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition. In accordance with EO 13101 agencies are to seek to purchase products that have a lower impact on human health and the environment when compared to the same product made out of virgin material. The purpose of this order is to increase (1) waste prevention, (2) recycling, and (3) the acquisition of recycled content and environmentally preferable products and services.

Federal consumers have been asked to consider five guiding principles when making purchasing decisions. You should consider these principles when assessing the environmental performance of your own products and services and when providing information to federal consumers about your products. These guiding principles are:

  • Include environmental considerations as part of the normal purchasing process
  • Emphasize pollution prevention early in the purchasing process
  • Examine multiple environmental attributes throughout a product's service's life cycle
  • Compare relevant environmental impacts when selecting products and services
  • Collect accurate and meaningful information about environmental performance and use it to make purchasing decisions.

If you would like to learn more about EO 13101 and the five guiding principles, visit

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