Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy

On September 16, 2008, the City of Richmond became a signatory to the Urban Environmental Accords, a global movement of over 100 cities to pursue actions toward becoming more "ecologically sustainable, economically dynamic, and socially equitable." The City of Richmond is committed to implementing environmentally sound business practices and providing community leadership in environmental sustainability. 


Every one of the City's purchasing choices results in environmental impacts from the manufacture, delivery, use, and disposal of products.





Richmond Police Officer with new fuel efficient, cleaner burning motorcycle

What is Environmentally Preferable Purchasing?

Environmentally preferable purchasing is the practice of purchasing products and services that have a reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.  Such products or services may include, but are not limited to, those which:

·         are durable and long-lasting,

·         minimize toxins, pollution, and hazards to workers and the community,

·         reduce greenhouse gas emissions,

·         minimize waste,

·         conserve energy or water, and

·         contain recycled content.


The City of Richmond aims to exercise its purchasing power to influence suppliers to become more environmentally focused in the products, materials and services they provide.


Richmond's New Purchasing Policy

The City has adopted an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy to direct the City's effort in procuring environmentally preferable products, materials, and services. In many departments, City employees are already making environmentally preferable purchasing choices, such as purchasing recycled content paper, energy efficient appliances, green cleaning products and a fuel efficient motorcycle fleet for the Richmond Police Department. Learn more about the Richmond PD motorcycle purchase in the RPD Update.


The new City Hall, which opened in April 2009, is seeking LEED green building certification. Many environmentally preferable purchasing decisions went into the construction and planned maintenance of this complex. To learn more about these greener practices and products, please visit the Green City Hall website.   

Download the City Purchasing Policy
View the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy.

Resources to Assist Your Purchasing Decisions
The City of Richmond is currently developing resources to help City of Richmond staff with their purchasing decisions to comply with the new policy. Please check back periodically for updated resources and information about trainings. A purchasing guide should be complete by fall. In the meantime, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines and San Francisco's SF Approved Green Products and Services Catalog are outside resources that will assist with many purchasing decisions. General best practices are to consult the basic list above, which will assist with many product and service choices.

The City will be having its first Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy training on August 12, 2009 for staff who purchase office supplies. Radston's, our current vendor, will be providing information on the green office supplies they offer, covering the applicable components of the City's policy, and providing the opportunity to meet with representatives from several green companies. Invitations will be made to the purchasing staff from each department. If interested in attending, please contact the Sustainability Intern, at sustainability_intern@ci.richmond.ca.us or x5597.