Guide for City Staff

San Francisco’s Green Purchasing Program identifies products that are safer for our health and environment. This website is your one-stop shop to comply with the City’s green product requirements.

We work with City departments to create a environmental purchasing criteria for each product category. When available, we also list compliant products, relevant City contracts, vendors, and other helpful information.  For product categories listed as “Required” below, City staff must buy only products that meet the City’s purchasing criteria.  This applies to all purchases: direct purchases, service contracts and delegated/Prop Q purchases (anything under $10,000).

Other resources on this page:

Choose:

 

Required products meet City requirements for environmental and health impacts, performance and cost. For product categories below, City departments must see links below for compliant products and criteria that products must meet:

Automotive 

 

Automotive fluids

Building supplies

Cleaning supplies

Cleaners

Cleaning supplies

Electronics

Food & foodware

Landscaping

Lighting (ballasts, fixtures and bulbs)

Office supplies

Personal care 

Consider:

In addition, city staff are encouraged to use Suggested products. These are products that meet city requirements for environmental and health impact, but may lack complete performance and cost data.

Never Choose:

 

 

Products that do not meet the purchasing criteria listed for the above Required product categories should be considered prohibited.  In addition, some product categories are explicitly Prohibited due to specific legislation. 

See a partial list of Prohibited products.  

 

Improve green purchasing

The success of the City's green purchasing depends heavily on dedicated staff in all city departments. The best way to help the city's green purchasing efforts is to:

  1. Stay up to date on the latest in city green purchasing by signing up for our newsletter.
  2. Remind other City staff to do the right thing: by email, department newsletters, purchasing forms, and staff handbooks.
  3. Use this site for choosing and rating products.
  4. Sign up to test Suggested green products to help other city staff.
  5. Ask SF Environment for assistance.

City's green purchasing legislation

The City's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance is based on the Precautionary Principle, which is now the first chapter of the Environment Code. The environmental specifications for most products on this site are further spelled out in regulations. Other City ordinances that require green products can be found elsewhere in the Code:

  • Integrated Pest Management Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 3): Limits the use of pesticides (as a last resort) to products on the City's Reduced Risk Pesticide List
  • Healthy Air and Clean Transportation Program (Env. Code, Chapt. 4): Regulates the purchase of green vehicles for City fleets.
  • Resource Conservation Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 5): Establishes requirements for recycled content paper and PVC plastics.
  • Green Building Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 7): requires the purchase of green products for interior furnishings and materials such as carpet, paint and furniture. This ordinance applies to all municipal new construction, major renovation and tenant improvement projects, and for purchases made by or on behalf of City departments for such projects
  • Tropical Hardwood and Virgin Redwood Ban (Env. Code, Chapt. 8)
  • Arsenic Treated Wood Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 13): Limits the use of arsenic-treated wood

Annual reports of City staff that bought green

We use vendor sales reports to track the city's green product purchases by department and purchaser. See the latest annual report for the percentage of green purchases in each category and city purchasing champions that help us meet our goals: