Purchaser Guidance

Purchaser Guidance

Institutional Purchasers are sustainability leaders who are making the conscious choice to buy sustainable products.  Engaging in sustainable procurement is challenging which is why GEC provides a number of resources to help.  On this page you can find examples of contract and policy language used by public and private sector purchasers.  You can also find the GEC Purchasers Guide series, individual guidance documents that explain how to address sustainability concepts like Circular Economy, Sustainable Development Goals or Labor & Human Rights in the procurement process while still achieving a successful procurement.  With the emphasis on external reporting, GEC provides guidance on how purchasers can gain credit for their sustainable procurement activities when reporting to entities such as GRI and CDP.  Institutional purchasers can “move the needle” towards sustainability and GEC is here to help!

State of Sustainable IT Procurement

Updated July 2018

Institutional purchasers, through their preference for sustainable IT products, create the necessary demand to motivate industry toward sustainable design and production. Through in-depth interviews of institutional purchasers and manufacturers, as well as extensive research of trends in the industry, GEC’s annual State of Sustainable IT Procurement Report explores three key questions:

  • What is driving sustainable procurement of IT products?
  • What are the challenges, locally and globally, to purchasers seeking sustainable products?
  • What are the coming advances that will affect the landscape of sustainable IT procurement?

The Green Electronics Council is developing the 2018 State of Sustainable IT Procurement Report, and your insight is key to understanding the sustainable IT purchasing patterns of institutional purchasers. We invite purchasers of all sizes to contribute to our research survey to help inform the 2018 report.

Cloud Computing

By the end of 2019, 80% of all Information Technology (IT) budgets are expected to include some type of cloud services. Purchasers procure cloud services with clear expectations on improvements in efficiency, agility, scalability and cost effectiveness, but limited understanding of the impact cloud services can have on their organization’s sustainability performance.  This Guide provides a list of procurement questions and examples of supporting documentation to help purchasers gain better insight into cloud-related environmental sustainability impacts.  The Guide was developed over an 18-month process of research and working group discussions and reflects the knowledge and insights from business, government, civil society organizations, universities, NGOs and other institutions who are committed to bringing greater transparency to the sustainability benefits of using cloud services.  This is the second guide in the GEC Purchaser Guide series.

Labor & Human Rights

Purchasers Guide for Addressing Labor and Human Rights Impacts in IT Procurements

Institutional purchasers, both public and private sector, are increasingly interested in procuring products which are not only environmentally preferable but have also been produced in a socially responsible manner. Knowing what to ask suppliers regarding how they are addressing negative labor and human rights impacts and what constitutes credible supporting documentation from a supplier is a challenge for both public and private sector purchasers. To address this challenge, GEC has created this guide to provide institutional purchasers with guidance to assist them in procuring IT products from companies that are improving the social responsibility of their supply chains.


These materials are designed to make it easy for your organization to set policies specify EPEAT as a purchasing requirement.

Contract Language: We have developed plug and play language to help you set specifications in your contracts and RFPs requiring your vendors to provide EPEAT-registered products. Download Model Contract Language

Policy Language: This language provides a useful model that can be customized to suit the particular needs and contracting approaches of your organization. Download Model Policy Language

Sample Contract Language

Dozens of governments, enterprises and educational institutions worldwide specify EPEAT as a purchasing requirement or preference for all applicable device categories. A list of some entities are listed below. 

Higher Education

University of Washington
Yale University
The Pennsylvania State University
Cornell University

Municipal Governments

King County, Washington
City of San Jose, California
Warwickshire County Council (UK)
Los Angeles County, CA
City of Seattle
City of San Francisco
City of Phoenix, AZ
City of Santa Clarita, CA

Other National Governments

Government of New Zealand
Government of Canada
Australian Government

Private Sector

Ford Motor Company
McKesson, Inc.
Kaiser Permanente
HDR, Inc.
Premier Purchasing Partners, LLC

State Governments

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Province of Nova Scotia
Hainan Siyuan Province
State of Ohio
State of California
Western States Contracting Association (WSCA)
State of Washington
State of Illinois
State of Colorado
Province of Quebec
New York State (Office of General Services)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

US Federal Government

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Defense – Army 
Executive Office of the President
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security – Coast Guard
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
U.S. Department of Transportation – FAA
United States Marine Corps

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect a concerted effort by 193 countries to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all under a new sustainable development agenda. As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, and a thought leader in the IT sector, GEC is committed to identifying opportunities in which we can support the SDGs, and help organizations to support the SDGs through use of our resources.

Story of Sensors

The Story of Sensors, a compelling story of how cities can leverage procurement for sustainability!  This story highlights how the partnership between GEC and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning of Sustainability resulted in an air quality sensor company changing their product design.

India - Criteria, SDGs and Capacity Building of the Informal E-Waste Sector

Electronic waste is one of India’s fastest growing waste streams, with the informal sector managing up to 95 percent of the electronic waste.   GEC, in partnership with the Center for Responsible Business (CRB) in Delhi, India, are exploring how capacity building criteria in IT product sustainability standards, linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), can be used to focus industry resources towards addressing the electronic waste challenge in India.

GEC and CRB are pleased to announce the publication of three reports:

Use EPEAT Purchases in Sustainability Reporting

Get Credit for your EPEAT Purchases in Sustainability Reporting

You can get credit for your procurement of EPEAT registered products in a number of sustainability rating systems and disclosures platforms including AASHE STARS, CDP, Clean Production Action Chemical Footprint Project (CFP), GRI, LEED, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Download GEC’s guide with specific directions on how to get credit for your EPEAT purchases in a number of these widely used reporting protocols and disclosure platforms.

Case Studies

  • Case Study: Fort Collins, EPEAT, and ClearPath: Case Study – The city of Fort Collins, Colorado uses EPEAT to strengthen its sustainable purchasing and responsible materials management efforts, while utilizing ICLEI’s ClearPath tool to track and report its carbon accounting data. 
  • Achieving Sustainability Goals with EPEAT and ICLEI ClearPath in Durango, CO: Case Study – Learn how the City of Durango, CO utilizes GEC’s EPEAT and ICLEI’s ClearPath to achieve sustainability goals set forth in their Municipal Sustainability Action Plan
  • New York State and EPEAT: Case Study – New York State has included EPEAT in its IT product specifications since 2008, resulting in substantial environmental and cost benefits benefits for its residents, its community, and the earth.
  • Kaiser Permanente and EPEAT: Case Study – Kaiser Permanente purchases 100% EPEAT-registered computers, displays, and imaging equipment. Because of this, the organization is saving an average of $1.36 million in energy cost savings annually and reducing enough greenhouse gas emissions equal to keeping 43,768 U.S. passenger cars off of the road for a year.

Addressing IT Sustainability Impacts

The EPEAT ecolabel empowers purchasers to meet their organizational sustainability goals through their purchasing decisions. This guidance helps purchasers maximize the benefits of using EPEAT criteria to address specific sustainability concerns, including climate change, chemicals of concern, supply chain social impacts, plastics, and zero waste.

Visit and download the documents for detailed information: