Award-Winning EPP Strategies

By Beth Eckl, Director, Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Purchasing Program on April 30, 2015

Every hospital can make a difference through proper purchasing.


As our Practice Greenhealth hospital members know, little changes can add up to a big difference.

Many of them have implemented award-winning strategies to reduce waste, conserve energy and water, serve healthier food and use products without chemicals of concern—thus meeting their sustainability goals.

How? By being diligent about making the right choices during the supply chain process. Purchasing plays a key role in reaching sustainability targets, and environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) is the deliberate practice of purchasing products and services with a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment compared with competing products or services. Leading hospitals are working closely with supply chain staff, group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and suppliers to facilitate contracting for these types of environmentally preferable materials and services and making real change happen.

The key EPP strategies used by our award-winning hospitals extend to every area of a health care facility. From operating rooms to labs, kitchens to patient rooms, and facility maintenance to environmental services, there are options for products and services that minimize or eliminate environmental and human health impacts to improve the health of patients, staff and community.

Environmental Excellence Starts Here

Whether you’re just getting started or well on your way, the right tools can help further transform your supply chain process. This checklist provides an overview of some key environmental purchasing strategies suggested by Practice Greenhealth for award-winning hospitals.

Choosing a more environmentally preferred product or service is just one small decision—but when these small decisions happen across your hospital, it makes a measurable difference in the health and safety of your staff, patients and community. From reducing waste to recycling and saving energy, facilities can easily quantify their overall success by asking vendors for spend or tonnage reports. Many hospitals are also finding that, by including environmental attributes as part of their evaluations of products and services, they are seeing significant savings in a product’s total cost over its lifetime.