Green purchasing, also known as environmentally preferable purchasing, aims to identify products with lesser impact on human health and the environment compared to conventional products. Many products we use in our homes and workplaces contain toxic chemicals that can cause a range of health impacts and safer products such as those that are Required on SF Approved, can reduce exposure to these chemicals.
Green products also protect our environment by reducing the pollution emitted during the manufacturing, use and/or disposal phase. For example, single use batteries contain corrosive chemicals and require special handling as hazardous waste when used up. Because rechargeable batteries can be used over and over, far fewer need to be manufactured and transported than the single use batteries.
In screening products for inclusion on SF Approved, SF Environment looks for performance and cost in addition to impacts. Green products work as intended and products on this website have been tested by city staff. In addition, choosing green products can save money. For example, concentrated institutional green cleaners cost less than traditional ones. Similarly, Energy Star LED bulbs are more efficient and last longer than incandescents and fluorescents. Over the life time of the bulbs, Energy star LED bulbs save money when compared to other lighting sources.
Green purchasing can have benefits far beyond your organization. Buying green products for your home or organization increases the demand for safer products, making green products more widely available and affordable for all.
Ultimately, green purchasing improves our health and protects our environment in a way that also saves us money.