6. Use Model Policies

Green procurement policies provide a helpful framework for implementing environmental purchasing practices. Ideal green purchasing policies describe the importance of environmental purchasing, identify desired environmental product attributes, and designate initial commodities on which to focus. A number of entities have attempted to develop model green procurement policies for official adoption including Alameda County, and the Center for a New American Dream.

However, it is important to keep in mind that a model policy for one organization may not be the best policy for others. Policies are highly dependent on the current needs, structure, and opportunities available within an organization. Only individuals closely familiar with an organization’s policies, operating procedures, culture, and willingness and ability to change are capable of determining which policy language is most appropriate for the organization. Moreover, when developing a policy, it is generally assumed that more specific policy language is preferable to language that is generic. This may not necessarily be the case for every organization. In fact, for some organizations, less specific language may be more advantageous as it provides greater flexibility.

“'Environmentally preferable products and services' as defined by Presidential Executive Order 13101, means products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to competing products and services that serve the same purpose. This applies to raw material acquisition, as well as product manufacturing, distribution, use maintenance, and disposal."-National Association of Counties