Providers, environmental groups launch green purchasing co-op

Read the full story in Modern Healthcare.

Four major health systems have partnered with two environmental organizations to launch a purchasing cooperative focused on “green” products that could compete with traditional group purchasing organizations.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dignity Health, Gundersen Health System and Partners HealthCare want supplies and services that are environmentally friendly, so they’ve teamed up with Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth to launch a sustainable marketplace. The for-profit Greenhealth Exchange will offer an online catalog backed by a network of suppliers.

Green Purchasing Next Step in Green Cleaning

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Typically, when people hear about the professional cleaning industry adopting green and sustainable initiatives, they think the industry is selecting and using green-certified cleaning solutions, tools, and equipment. While this is true, it is actually only one part of the “greening” of the professional cleaning industry—at least as it applies to the larger cleaning contractors in the United States.

Getting chemicals out of health care settings, with a little help

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The Hippocratic Oath declares that disease should be prevented whenever possible because prevention is preferable to cure.

Furthering this oath, the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), a program involving more than 1,300 hospitals and health care centers in the United States and Canada, has developed a safer chemicals program as part of its broader sustainability mission.

U.S. health care spending accounted for nearly 18 percent of GDP in 2014. The health care sector’s immense purchasing power is effectively tipping the marketplace in favor of suppliers adopting safer chemicals policies and practices.

Sustainable purchasing leaders prepare best practice guides

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

During the first three years of its existence, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) focused largely on gathering knowledge from a growing network of corporate procurement professionals.

Over the next 12 months, the organization will start sharing more of that practical insight with its members, which now number close to 150 companies, hospitals, and government agencies.

Among the first things they can expect between now and SPLC’s upcoming summit in May: a series of playbooks that offer guidance on procurement practices for eight broad categories, according to SPLC’s executive director Jason Pearson. The topics mirror the areas covered in the manifesto that SPLC circulated to about 80 companies for review last year, a document aptly named “Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing Version 1.0.”

New ISTC Report: Reducing E-Waste Through Purchasing Decisions

Download the document.

Purchasing decisions made by companies for electronic office equipment, such as computers, printers, and fax machines, are often not made with the equipment end-of-life disposition in mind. Purchasing agents develop technical specifications for office equipment and make final purchasing decisions based on the needs of their users. The end result is that final disposition of this electronic waste, or e-waste, may sometimes be through the trash or through unchecked third party disposal companies which increases the potential for contaminants to enter the environment. The Delta Institute, in consultation with the Green Electronics Council (GEC) — the program manager for the EPEAT program — and the University of Illinois Survey Research Laboratory (SRL), worked on the project, Reducing E-waste through Purchasing Decisions, to identify opportunities and barriers for purchasing agents to include end-of-life decisions in the purchasing process and for asset managers to practice responsible recycling. Delta used a survey process, company interviews, and live and videotaped presentations with private companies to identify barriers and test strategies that can be used by private company purchasing agents and asset managers to facilitate recycling of electronic equipment. Delta concluded that by far the two most prevalent and widespread barriers to using best management practices for purchasing and recycling of electronics were (1) a lack of awareness around electronics purchasing and recycling certifications and registries, and (2) persistent negative perceptions around electronic certifications and registries. Delta beta-tested on company representatives the effectiveness of two delivery methods designed to raise awareness and remove negative perceptions: a live educational presentation and a videotaped webinar. Results from the taped webinar were inconclusive. However, responses from the live presentation suggested that the presentation was successful at raising awareness and dispelling negative perceptions about electronics registrations and certifications to encourage their use. While it is hoped and anticipated that removal of these barriers led to increased recycling of electronics in participating companies, verification was beyond the scope of this study.

Greening the Federal Purchasing Machine – Leading By Example

Read the full post at EPA Connect.

Did you know that the Federal government is the single largest consumer in the world, spending close to $500 billion each year on a wide variety of products and services?

And did you know that in March the President issued an Executive Order directing federal agencies to meet a goal of buying 100% environmentally preferable products and services? This can make a big difference in reducing our environmental footprint. It can also spur consumers and the private sector to use and demand safer and greener products.

Of course the big challenge for federal agencies is how to sort through the hundreds of products with private labels that claim to be safe or environmentally friendly.

The rise of the non-toxic buyer: 6 case studies on safer chemistry

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Public and private sector green purchasing programs first began in the 1990s, and they’ve been growing in number and scope ever since.

Environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) programs initially focused on recycled content and energy efficiency. Now, they are increasingly taking into account the issue of toxicity, nudging buyers toward the purchase of products with less toxic chemistries.

As a result, supply chains are shifting towards safer, more sustainable products, and transparency is increasing. Greater numbers and categories of products are available that are less harmful to people and the planet.

Institutional purchasers — those making EPP policies and those advocating for such policies — have played, and must continue to play, a key role in moving the market towards products that are less toxic throughout their life cycles.