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Sustainable Purchasing Guide

This guide balances economic, social, and environmental purchasing considerations. Together, our purchasing choices can make a difference.

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Sustainable Purchasing Action Steps

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Ask yourself...
  • Can you avoid thepurchase?
  • Can you get it secondhand from surplus?
  • Can you repurpose what you have?
If you must purchase...
  • Check for green contracts (even if it costs less than $10,000). We’ve already negotiated a great deal!
  • Don’t see what you need? You can “piggyback” off another public agency’s contracts to save time.
Ecolabels tell you if a product is certified as having met environmental standards.

Look for:
  • made with recycled content
  • recyclable/compostable
  • reusable or durable
  • low: toxicity, VOCs, energy, or water
  • biobased
  • Purchase in bulk
  • Recycle packaging
  • Choose standard shipping, not overnight
  • Choose nearby sellers
Paying with P-Card reduces paper waste and saves time...
$74 per transaction.
  • Reuse items, or surplus
  • Compost and recycle
  • Recycle with supplier
  • Dispose of hazardous waste correctly
Download a PDF version of the needs assessment here.
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About our Sustainable Purchasing Program

Formerly called the Environmental Purchasing Program

King County’s policies support the purchase of sustainable products and services that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

King County is committed to continuously improving the impacts of its procurement of goods and services in a transparent and accountable way that balances fiscal responsibility, social equity, and environmental stewardship. The County’s sustainable purchasing policy focuses on sending a clear message to employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders that the County desires products and services that deliver key sustainability benefits and will increasingly be a criterion in purchasing.

The Sustainable Purchasing Program provides county personnel with information and technical assistance to help identify, evaluate, and purchase economical, effective, and sustainable products and services.

Contact Us

Phone: (206) 263-9400

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: (206) 296-7676