Green Procurement - Environmental and Health Impacts
Green Procurement policies must consider potential health effects for employees, vendors, and residents, particularly children resulting from the purchase, use or disposal of the products. Emerging science continues to expand the list of potentially harmful chemicals in our environment, yet it is often difficult to establish scientific certainty when it comes to human exposures. This has led many communities to adopt the "Precautionary Principle" when assessing the relative safety or threat posed by products or their ingredients.
The Precautionary Principle states that "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."
Who's Doing It Right
New York State's Sustainability and Green Procurement Advisory Council has developed a Chemical Avoidance List for procurement officers in state agencies that is based on recommendations from the National Toxicology Program, the EPA and the European Union's Rios program.