Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

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.

The City has developed minimum standards for certain goods and construction products based on their human health and environmental impact. Any City agency procuring one of these goods or products must include specifications in their procurement that meet or exceed these standards.

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 compliance with Local Law 118 of 2005, the City conducts a survey once every four years of construction vendors purchasing EPP products. Agencies request purchasing data from vendors with relevant open construction contracts not subject to the more comprehensive Local Law 86 of 2005.

Although vendors are not required to report this information, several vendors comply with this request. For contracts registered in Fiscal Year 2016, responding vendors reported over $692,680 of products purchased under EPP standards. This subtotal consists of approximately $512,682 in miscellaneous products, and $180,000 in Commercial HVAC equipment.

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.

NYC EPP minimum standards for goods
NYC EPP minimum standards for construction products

Packaging Reduction Guidelines

MOCS has collaborated with the Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability (OLTPS) to formulate advisory Packaging Reduction Guidelines.

Pursuant to Local Law 51, the Guidelines are relevant for all contracts entered into by City agencies for the purchase of goods over $100,000. They seek to move City contractors towards: (i) the elimination of packaging or use of the minimum amount necessary for product protection; (ii) the use of packaging that is recyclable or reusable; and (iii) the reuse of the pallets and packaging materials.

Together with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the OLTPS, MOCS conducts and annual Packaging Reduction Survey to determine which vendors contribute the most to the City’s packaging reduction goals. The public-facing MOCS website recognizes the following vendor for making substantial efforts to comply with the suggested guidelines' provisions in 2020:

New York State Industries for the Disabled