running a green office

green purchasing criteria

Download a PDF green purchasing criteria document

(See article on green purchasing for further information on how to implement.)

(Name of your company) will aim to consider the following options as part of its environmental policy and where practical implement changes. This company will aim to consider the following options:

  • focus on products or services that have the greatest environmental impact
  • examine products that will be visible for example, stationery and office electrical equipment
  • integrate reused, refurbished, remanufactured and recycled-content products wherever possible
  • use greener products available through existing suppliers, such as energy saving office equipment and biodegradable cleaning products
  • support local manufacturing efforts by purchasing at least a portion of recycled products from local manufacturers where they exist
  • actively encourage suppliers to provide products and services that have a minimum adverse environmental impact, requesting suppliers to identify harmful processes and materials in their manufacturing processes. Seek suppliers that are working towards the phase out of such practices.

It will obviously not be possible to purchase a green alternative for every product or service. Compromise will be required. It is therefore important to address the significant environmental impacts of current purchasing policy.

  • set targets and dates to achieve changes in purchasing practice
  • work co-operatively with other organisations to purchase environmentally. Network with departments and neighbouring businesses.

(Name of company) will consider the following checklist wherever practicable with regards to resource use and recycling, hazardous content, energy, packaging, and transportation:

resource use and recycling

  • does production/extraction of the product cause ecological damage, such as loss of habitats or damage to threatened species? Are there alternatives?
  • is this a remanufactured product?
  • can the product be re-used, refilled, recharged or reconditioned to extend its life?
  • can the item be easily upgraded by adding or replacing a part?
  • does the product have a recycled content? What percentage?
  • is the product accredited with a recognised environmental standard?
  • can the product be recycled easily (in the workplace and/or local community)?

hazardous content

  • is the product or are its components hazardous to humans and/or the wider environment?
    • if yes, what are the health and safety implications and disposal requirements?
    • are there any non-hazardous alternatives available?
  • are technical data sheets available?


  • does the item use energy? (E.g. electrical appliances, equipment, machinery, space heating or vehicles).
  • if so, is the item as energy efficient as the alternatives?
  • does the item have energy consumption data for all operation modes?


  • can product packaging be reduced or eliminated?
  • is packaging made of recycled material(s)?
  • can packaging be re-used, recycled or returned?


  • is the product locally manufactured and/or locally supplied?
  • does the supplier have a Green Transport Plan for their operations?

supplier environmental reporting

  • does the supplier have a company environmental management system?
  • does the supplier report on their environmental performance against set targets?


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