Laws and Policies: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

This page contains information on existing laws and policies that require and/or guide the practice of environmentally preferable purchasing. It also provides links to sample policies for organizations considering such practices.

Existing California Law

Public Contract Code Section 12400—Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
This law, formerly known as AB 498 (Chan, Chapter  575, Statutes of  2002), addresses environmentally preferable purchasing and became California law in September 2002. It directs the Department of General Services, in consultation with the California Environmental Protection Agency, members of the public, industry, and public health and environmental organizations, to provide State agencies with information and assistance regarding environmentally preferable purchasing.

The Department of General Services’ Procurement Division, as the state lead agency for EPP, provides links to California state contracts that offer environmentally preferable products. DGS considers California environmental laws, policies, and regulatory standards. All state government entities should check the Buying Green Guide for Buyers for requirements specific to state purchases.

The archived Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Best Practices Manual has a section on “Laws and Policies” that pertain to 40 specific product categories. It covers additional products and may offer guidance on where to find applicable laws and policies, but this resource is not current. First check the Buying Green Guide for Buyers.

Proposed Legislation

Visit our status of priority bills page for a weekly status report on current bills of interest to CalRecycle. Note that not all legislation impacting products will be found here.

Sample Local Government EPP Policies

A first step for local governments interested in establishing an environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) program is to adopt a purchasing policy. Below are links to sample policies, including recycled-content products.

  • Responsible Purchasing Network Maintains a list of exemplary green purchasing policies to assist other public entities. Include federal, state and local government policies.
  • Model Policy Prepared by: Alameda County Waste Management Authority and Source Reduction and Recycling Board.
  • Model Policy And Implementation Guidance Prepared by: Alameda County Waste Management Authority and Source Reduction and Recycling Board.

Additional sample procurement policies are available from CalRecycle’s Local Assistance Library as well as CalRecycle’s Green Procurement Policies page. Many of these policies are focused on recycled content rather than the broader concept of EPP, which include recycled content, but also covers other environmental concerns.

For more information contact: Office of Public Affairs,