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Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

What is Environmentally Preferable Purchasing?
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) focuses on the human health and environmental impact of goods and products purchased by selecting products that are more environmentally preferable to others. This environmental purchasing program takes into account several factors, such as waste production, energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, indoor air quality, recycled and reused content and the presence of hazardous substances.

Why is EPP important?

With the City's anticipated future growth comes an increased demand on resources such as water and energy. Increased demand impacts the surrounding environment.  For example, an increase in vehicles and power consumption will result in greater emissions into the air we breathe.  EPP is important to everyone, and the City is leading by example.

All goods covered by the EPP standards fall within the purview of DCAS, because DCAS is the City’s major purchaser of commodities. Goods covered by the EPP standards can be obtained by City agencies through Citywide requirement contracts awarded by DCAS.

In addition to goods that agencies purchase directly, many products used in construction are also covered by EPP standards. For instance, agencies must limit the hazardous content of carpets (and related products such as carpet cushions or adhesives), paints and other architectural coatings.

In general, the scope of the EPP program includes all goods and construction products not covered by the Green Buildings Standard (Local Law 86 of 2005) for new construction, additions or renovations.  In some instances the standards for EPP and Green Buildings will apply to the same project.  Over time, the number of products subject to the City’s EPP standards will grow.  Vendors are encouraged to notify the City of their environmentally preferable products when responding to solicitations or on existing contracts.

Click here to download a copy of the EPP rules

Click here for the NYC EPP minimum standards for goods

Click here for the NYC EPP minimum standards for construction products

You can also visit the Mayor's Office of Environmental Coordination for the Green Buildings Standard

The EPP Laws:
Local Law 118 of 2005
: Created a Director of Citywide Environmental Purchasing, to establish new purchasing standards according to a list of environmental priorities, update legislated standards and submit an annual report on the City’s environmental purchasing. The Director of MOCS has been named the Director of Citywide Purchasing.

Local Law 119 of 2005 :  Established energy and water efficiency minimum standards for products purchased by the City, and revised the current practices of using energy-efficient products.

Local Law 120 of 2005 :  Established standards for procuring products containing hazardous materials.  The City must also develop a plan for the reuse or recycling of electronic goods, as well as develop rules to reduce the amount of hazardous materials produced from the use of goods purchased by the City.

Local Law 121 of 2005 :  Established minimum recycled content standards for a wide range of goods set by the Federal Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines and revised the current practices of printers and copiers to print double-sided by default.

Local Law 123 of 2005 : The City will develop pilot program to assess the feasibility of green cleaning and implement a Citywide program in 2009.

Green Cleaning
In 2009, MOCS completed the Green Cleaning Pilot Program mandated by Local Law 123. This pilot program required participating agencies to test the feasibility of using “green cleaning” products. Ten agencies representing 19 test locations participated and agreed that most of the “green cleaning” products tested performed equally or better than currently used cleaning products. As such, MOCS is developing an implementation plan to require the use of products in City facilities, in such categories as general purpose, glass and bathroom cleaners, air fresheners and disinfectants.

Expansion of EPP Requirements
With sustainable products becoming more commonly used in the construction world, MOCS has been working to expand the list of products covered by the EPP program. Current revisions in discussion include reducing the purchase or lease of materials whose combustion may form dioxin or dioxin-like compounds; investigate the environmental and health effects of composite wood or agrifiber products that contain added urea-formaldehyde resins and where practicable, promulgate rules to reduce the City’s purchase or lease of such products; expand the City’s list of energy efficient products, requiring at minimum, existing Federal standards for such products; and expand the City’s list of products containing recycled materials, requiring at minimum, Federal standards for such products.

Packaging Reduction Guidelines

Pursuant to Local Law 51 of 2011, codified at section 6-317 of the New York City Administrative Code, MOCS has collaborated with the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability (“OLTPS”) to formulate Packaging Reduction Guidelines (the “Guidelines”). The Guidelines apply to all contracts entered into by City agencies for the purchase of goods over $100,000, and are intended to encourage vendors to reduce unnecessary waste.

While the Guidelines are advisory, the law mandates their reference in conjunction with any request for bids for the purchase of goods over $100,000.  We have provided model language below to assist you with incorporating the Guidelines into your requests for bids.



Pursuant to Local Law 51 of 2011, codified at section 6-317 of the New York City Administrative Code, the Packaging Reduction Guidelines for New York City agencies, available at , shall apply, whenever practicable, to contracts entered into by City agencies for the purchase of goods over $100,000.  The Guidelines are intended to encourage vendors to reduce unnecessary waste.