We are faced everyday with the reality that many of the products we buy can cause damage to the environment and/or public health. From the extraction of raw materials and the manufacture of products, to their use and disposal, products that we use everyday can be harmful. By purchasing EPPs we look to reduce those impacts, some of which can be severe.
By purchasing EPPs that are:
- Made with a percentage of post-consumer recycled content instead of pure virgin products, we reduce the need to extract raw materials, such as petroleum, trees or metals and, in general, use less energy and water.
- Manufactured using fewer toxic ingredients, we minimize the hazardous impacts of those products during the manufacturing process (e.g. water / air pollution) as well as reduce the damage caused through accidental spills and improper disposal. We also reduce the risk to workers handling the products and the risks posed to building occupants when the product is in use.
- Energy efficient, we help to limit energy consumption, which in turn lowers our emissions of sulfur dioxide (which causes acid rain) and carbon dioxide (a primary greenhouse gas).
It is important to keep in mind that the purchasing decisions we make affect our local environment and the health of our citizens and workers as well as the global community. As part of the largest procurement group in the nation (representing over 20% of the GNP) federal, state and local governments can use the clout of their buying practices to direct industry manufacturers toward making more responsible products that are reasonably priced and do less harm to the environment and the public health.
Can purchasing EPPs actually save money? Absolutely.
- A number of EPPs available in the market today are less expensive than their conventional counterparts that serve the same purpose (e.g. remanufactured toner cartridges and office panels, retread tires, and energy efficient equipment / appliances).
- A wide range of other EPPs are equal or comparable in cost (e.g. carpet, cleaning products, janitorial paper products, remanufactured antifreeze and traffic cones).
- A third segment of EPPs may cost more at the time of purchase, but often have a short "payback period" after which time they represent a significant ongoing cost savings in the maintenance, operation and/or disposal of the product. (e.g. compact fluorescent light bulbs, plastic lumber, integrated pest management).
Details on cost savings of various product groups can be found on the individual product and service pages of this website.