The Green Guide
First and foremost, we look for products that are made from plant-based or recycled materials. We want to ensure that all of our products are produced using a minimum carbon and waste footprint and are easily compostable or recyclable after use.
We consider how each of our partner brands treats their employees, their community, and the planet. Many of our partners are Women-Owned Businesses and we want our partners to be held to the highest ethical standards. We don't stop there, also give back 1% of all sales to environmental organizations through 1% For The Planet.
1) Choose reusable, durable products first!
We'd love to say this should be the only step and you can always find a product that isn't disposable--yes, even compostable items are still disposable--but we know that's not always reality (especially in the office). So when you do find yourself using disposable items, follow this guide to make sure the disposables you buy minimize your overall impact.
2) What is Green Purchasing
Environmentally Friendly Purchasing refers to the practice of buying products with attributes that make their environmental impact less than that of comparable products, such as, reusability, energy efficiency, recycled content, rebuilt or remanufactured products and ethical sourcing. Purchasing decisions should be based on an evaluation of environmental criteria in addition to product performance, price and availability (we’re here to help on this step).
Many environmental costs are associated with the use of a product, such as production-related emissions or toxicity of disposal, are not factored into its purchase because they are “invisible” to the purchaser. By understanding all the hidden costs of a product, we hope to help you make decisions that not only incorporate quality standards but environmental concerns as well. Even small changes can make a tangible cumulative difference.
3) Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Products
- Lower toxicity - products that use fewer toxic ingredients minimize the hazardous health impacts on our water and air, reduce the damage caused through accidental spills and improper disposal, and reduce health risks to those who handle products and our communities
- Energy efficiency - energy efficient products help limit energy consumption and reduce our carbon footprint
- Recycled content - products made with a percentage of post-consumer recycled content instead of new materials reduce the need to extract raw materials such as petroleum, trees, or metals, use less energy and water, and reduce demand on our overstressed landfills
- Water efficiency - products such as plumbing devices, cooling systems, appliances, and water treatment technologies can be designed to reuse or reduce the demand for water
4) Cost Savings Benefits
- Cost (Savings) - We often find the first question is how much more are these sustainable products going to cost me? We ensure that the eco-friendly switch will not cost you a penny more upfront and will lead to significant cost savings down the road
- Life-cycle - Green purchasing programs based on life-cycle costs can help identify and reduce hidden costs and develop cost reduction strategies for the entire organization, and it is also an excellent way of finding products with a high price-performance ratio with improved use rates.
- Added Value - Many sustainable products such as carpet cleaning products, janitorial paper products, remanufactured antifreeze and traffic cones, energy efficient lighting, equipment, and appliances are equal or comparable in cost, and in addition, through the use of recycled materials these products offer the added value of reduced toxic use and waste reduction.
5) “Low-Hanging Fruit” Changes
Products are considered low-hanging fruit if they make for a non-disruptive change that both save money at the point of purchase and also address some of the prioritized environmental attributes. These products and services represent the greatest opportunities for early successes. Using recycled content products, energy efficient products, green cleaning products, and environmentally preferable papers are some easy opportunities ripe for jumpstarting green procurement.
While it takes an entire organization to implement a green purchasing program, to get it started it only takes one dedicated individual with an interest to champion the change. Are you are that lone green champion in your organization? Do you represent an organization that is not sure how to start buying green, or perhaps you’ve found your initial efforts have slowed for one reason or another? No matter the reason, you can begin forming your green team by following the steps outlined above and encouraging the organization to undertake a few initial tasks to get your program on track and get back into the game.
Source: NYU Sustainability
Know the Difference!
Biodegradable, Compostable, and Recycled....Click Here For Our Materials Guide
For More Questions please see our FAQ
At GPG we continue to learn and evolve just like you do and will update our products and information to reflect that, day in and day out!