Responsible Purchasing Network

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Responsible Purchasing Network Publications

Welcome to RPN's publications page. RPN members will be prompted to sign-in and may be redirected to a "Members Only Downloads" page when accessing resources that are only available to RPN members.

All publications are free for RPN members and several are available without charge to non-RPN members, as well.

Most RPN Publications require Adobe Acrobat Reader to open, which can be downloaded for free here.

Getting Started
Responsible Purchasing Guides
Other RPN Publications and Resources
Other Purchasing Publications and Resources


Getting Started

These resources are designed for those who are just starting their environmentally preferable purchasing program and focus on the broad themes of sustainable procurement, resources that can help, how to track and report your responsible purchasing, and general guidelines and advice.

 

Ten Steps EPP Resources

10 Steps to Starting a Sustainable Purchasing Program
Free:
Download

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP): Resources
Free:
Download

 

modelreport

Model Responsible Purchasing Report
The RPN Model Responsible Purchasing Report is composed of 2 parts: a Guidance Document plus a Template Document. The Guidance Document helps purchasers with tracking purchases and designing their own responsible purchasing report. It also contains excerpts from leading responsible purchasing reports as examples for each section. The Template Document contains model language for each section of the responsible purchasing report, and includes placeholders for graphs and charts and suggestions on style and formatting. Together, these two resources can help any purchasing program report on their responsible purchasing initiatives to communicate successes to stakeholders.

RPN Members: Download

Responsible Purchasing Guides

Bottled Water University GuideBottled Water Alternatives, University Edition
In the past year, Colleges and Universities across the world have begun to reevaluate their use of bottled water and many have decided to think outside the bottle and reduce or eliminate its use.  RPN updated its previous bottled water Guide to include the unique considerations of educational institutions.  This Guide provides schools with all the resources they need to eliminate bottled water and transition to municipal tap water with bottled water alternatives such as filters, fountains, bottle-less coolers and reusable containers.  The Guide also contains an extensive list of school’s that have expelled bottled water from their campuses and several policy samples.
RPN Members: Download

Bottled WaterThink Outside the Bottle: Responsible Purchasing Guide for Bottled Water Alternatives
In a few short years, Americans have become dependent on the convenience of bottled water, so switching to alternatives can seem daunting. This Guide discusses how institutional buyers can transition to safe and inexpensive tap water with relative ease. In addition to a range of best practices for phasing out bottled water, we discuss water testing and filtration, bottle-less water coolers, water fountains, and reusable containers. We provide sample policies and specifications used by leading institutions as well as third-party standards for ensuring performance of water filters, coolers, and fountains.
Free View Online/Download

Offsets GuideResponsible Purchasing Guide for Carbon Offsets
This guide is designed to help better understand the break down of an institutions' carbon footprint, how to incorporate carbon offsets into a climate action plan, and how to recognize and pragmatically source carbon offsets that achieve reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. Presently, carbon offsets are the only way to get your carbon footprint to zero. By purchasing carbon offsets, you can demonstrate leadership within
your industry, support innovation and deliver eco-conscious programs to your constituency.
Free View Online/Download

Computers GuideResponsible Purchasing Guide for Computers
Our guide to purchasing responsible computers covers everything you need to know about how to procure socially and environmentally responsible computers that contain fewer toxic materials, operate more energy efficiently, and are designed for responsible disposal. The Guide includes a brief executive summary; an overview of relevant social and environmental issues; best practices for procuring and using computers; a review of pertinent certifications and standards such as EPEAT; examples of procurement policies and specifications being used by reliable institutions such as the State of California and the US Department of the Interior; and a list of Handy Facts for easy reference to the most important facts and statistics related to computers.
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Responsible Purchasing Guide for Copy Paper
This guide covers uncoated copy paper, also known as multipurpose office paper, and outlines best practices for paper and printing management. It also includes an environmental impact calculator; a examples of procurement policies and specifications being used by reliable institutions; a summary of relevant environmental standards; and a searchable database of recommended recycled-content alternatives.
Free View Online/Download

Cleaners Guide

Responsible Purchasing Guide for Cleaners
Our guide to purchasing responsible cleaners covers all the basics needed to procure cleaners that are less damaging to the environment and safer for people. The Guide includes a brief executive summary; an overview of relevant social and environmental issues; best practices for procuring and using green cleaners; a review of pertinent certifications and standards such as Green Seal, Environmental Choice and Design for the Environment; examples of procurement policies and specifications being used by reliable institutions such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New York; and a list of Handy Facts for easy reference to the most important facts and statistics related to green cleaners.
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Purchasing Guide for Faith Communities CoverResponsible Purchasing Guide for Faith Communities
The Guide provides key steps congregations can take, outlines ways to undertake each action, and calculates the positive impact of those actions. We selected 8 actions that have a significant environmental impact, help promote social justice, and are easy to implement. Click here for some free excerpts (pdf).
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Lighting Guide CoverResponsible Purchasing Guide for Fluorescent Lighting
This guide covers fluorescent lamps, including compact fluorescent bulbs, ballasts and tubes and outlines best practices for a responsible lighting system. It also includes a toolbox of impact calculators, a step-by-step CFL buying guide, and a sample policy, spec, and audit form.
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Dining Services GuideResponsible Purchasing Guide for Food Containers
This Guide is a companion to the Responsible Purchasing Guide for Food Services. RPN has prepared this Responsible Purchasing Guide for Food Containers for the County of Los Angeles. It serves to outline the basic social and environmental issues and costs related to polystyrene food container use, provide model policies and bid specs related to food containers, and address practical issues in waste management related to food containers.
Free Free download with site registration

Dining Services GuideResponsible Purchasing Guide for Food Services
This brand new guide offers a cornucopia of strategies and resources for establishing an institutional green dining program, reducing waste, sourcing local and sustainable food, and much more.  The Guide includes a brief executive summary; an overview of relevant social and environmental issues; best practices for implementing sustainable food service programs; short-term and long-term strategies for saving money, energy, and waste; examples of policies, specifications and standards, in addition to product listings and calculators to connect you with distributors, appliances, and more..
RPN Members: View Online/Download
Green Power Guide

Responsible Purchasing Guide for Green Power
Our guide to purchasing responsible green power covers everything you need to know about how to procure electricity that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves air quality, conserves water, and reduces hazardous waste. The Guide includes a brief executive summary; an overview of relevant social and environmental issues; best practices for conserving electricity, improving energy efficiency, and procuring green power from grid-delivered suppliers and renewable energy certificates (RECs); a review of pertinent certifications and standards such as Green-e Energy; examples of procurement policies and specifications being used by reliable institutions including the federal government, several state and local governments, and universities and corporations; and a list of Handy Facts for easy reference to the most important facts and statistics related to green power. 
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Dining Services GuideResponsible Purchasing Guide for LED Exit Signs, Street Lights, and Traffic Signals
This guide will help yo understand the energy savings possible through the adoption of LED lights. It contains instructions for writing and evaluating bid specifications for the most energy efficient LED products available, calculate cost and energy savings of LED products, and recognize reliable LED standards.
RPN Members: Download
Fleets Guide

Responsible Purchasing Guide for Light-Duty Fleet Vehicles
Our guide to purchasing responsible light-duty fleet vehicles covers everything you need to know about how to procure socially and environmentally responsible light-duty fleet vehicles that are made with fewer toxic materials, operate more energy efficiently, improve air quality and produce less waste. The Guide includes a brief executive summary; an overview of relevant social and environmental issues; best practices for procuring and using fleet vehicles; a review of pertinent certifications and standards such as the United States EPA and California Emissions Standards; examples of procurement policies and specifications being used by reliable institutions such as California; and a list of Handy Facts for easy reference to the most important facts and statistics related to fleet vehicles.
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Electronics GuideResponsible Purchasing Guide for Office Electronics
Our guide to purchasing responsible printers, copiers and fax machines covers everything you need to know about how to procure socially and environmentally responsible office electronics that are made with fewer toxic materials, operate more energy efficiently, improve air quality and produce less waste. The Guide includes a brief executive summary; an overview of relevant social and environmental issues; best practices for procuring and using office electronics; a review of pertinent certifications and standards such as ENERGY STAR; examples of procurement policies and specifications being used by reliable institutions such as Arizona and California; and a list of Handy Facts for easy reference to the most important facts and statistics related to office electronics.
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Paint GuideResponsible Purchasing Guide for Paint
Our guide to purchasing responsible paint covers everything you need to know about how to procure socially and environmentally responsible paints that are made with fewer toxic materials, improve energy efficiency and improve air quality, and produce less waste. The Guide includes a brief executive summary; an overview of relevant social and environmental issues; best practices for procuring and using paint; a review of pertinent certifications and standards such as Green Seal; examples of procurement policies and specifications being used by reliable institutions such as Connecticut and Minnesota; and a list of Handy Facts for easy reference to the most important facts and statistics related to paint.
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Responsible Purchasing Guide for Light-Duty Tires and Wheel WeightsLight-Duty Tires and Wheel Weights
Learn about the responsible purchasing, use, and disposal of tires and wheel weights. This Guide recommends low rolling resistance (LRR) tires, retread tires, and lead-free wheel weights and includes issues associated with conventional tires and wheel-weights; best management practices; a summary of standards for LRR testing methods and quality in retread tires; detailed analysis of cost, quality, and supply; and a comprehensive compilation of model policies and specifications.
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Light-Duty Tires and Wheel WeightsResponsible Purchasing Guide for Toner
This Guide provides information and recommendations on responsible use, purchasing, and disposal of toner cartridges for laser printers, copiers, and fax machines. Remanufactured toner and ink jet cartridges (remans) reduce waste, save natural resources, and cut costs by reusing empty cores and parts rather than disposing single-use products from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
RPN Members: View Online/Download

Other RPN Publications and Resources

EcoMarkets 2008 CoverResponsible Purchasing Trends Report 2010
The Responsible Purchasing Network consists of hundreds of institutional purchasers who spent at least $26.4 billion on purchases in 2009 according to the 130 respondents to RPN's annual survey. The percent of institutions with green purchasing policies jumped by thirteen points from 2008 to 2009 and a promising 89 percent plan on expanding their responsible purchasing even more next year. Learn more about the responsible purchasing trend with this free download.
Free Download

Trends Naspo CoverResponsible Purchasing Trends Report 2010- NASPO Edition
The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) edition of the Responsible Purchasing Trends Report includes responses from 26 State procurement programs and the District of Columbia. Respondents reported spending between $3-6.9 billion in 2009 on environmentally preferable or socially responsible goods and services.
RPN Members: Download

Paper Standards Comparison Chart
There are many different eco-labels for paper and sometimes it’s not always clear what differentiatesPaper standards comparison chart one from another.  To make it easier for organizations to purchase environmentally preferable paper,RPN created this Paper Standards Comparison Chart which outlines the differences between common eco-labels and their multiple standards. This chart also describes some ambiguous claims that purchasers should be mindful of anddefines several important terms associated with paper production and recycling.
Free Download

Factsheet for Cooperative Contracts

This factsheet, developed by RPN, outlines the benefits and potential hurdles of entering into a Cooperative Contractscooperative contract through a group purchasing consortium.  It also defines several key terms associated with purchasing consortia.  Several different consortia that offer contracts for educational institutions, non-profits and government agencies, among others, are also compared by outlining who can join their consortia, which environmentally preferable products they offer, their membership fees and purchasing minimums, links to their product database and their contact person.

Free Download  

EcoMarkets 2008 CoverResponsible Purchasing Trends Report 2009
The Responsible Purchasing Network consists of over 200 institutional purchasers representing more than $53 billion in annual spend and leverages the power of responsible procurement to conserve resources, mitigate pollution and waste, and promote a healthy economy. Responsible Purchasing Trends 2009 details what they have accomplished over the past year and foreshadows their priorities for the years ahead.
Free download with site registration

Trends Naspo CoverResponsible Purchasing Trends Report 2009- NASPO Edition
The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) edition of the Responsible Purchasing Trends Report includes responses from 46 State procurement programs and the District of Columbia. Respondents reported an impressive $2.7‐$10.2 billion spent on responsible goods and services in 2008. Fully half of the respondents report using Responsible Purchasing Guides and other RPN resources to green their procurement.
Free download with site registration
EcoMarkets 2008 Cover

EcoMarkets 2008
The EcoMarkets 2008 Summary Report covers marketplace trends and opportunities in green purchasing as well as the behaviors and characteristics of members of the Responsible Purchasing Network, North America's leading association of green institutional buyers.The report was produced through a partnership between the Responsible Purchasing Network, TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, and the North American Green Purchasing Initiative of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
Free download with site registration

EcoMarkets 2007 CoverEcoMarkets 2007
EcoMarkets 2007 reports on social and environmental attitudes and practices of North American institutional buyers. The report was produced in partnership by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc., the Responsible Purchasing Network at the Center for a New American Dream, and the North American Green Purchasing Initiative (NAGPI) of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
Free download with site registration

Grafitti Report CoverGraffiti Remover Research and Field Test Case Study: The Search for Safer Products
This report, a collaborative effort of the Center for a New American Dream and the City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development, describes test methodology in detail, identifies safer products, includes performance results and recommends development of national standards on graffiti removal products.
Free download with site registration

HEV CoverHarnessing the Power of Advanced Fleet Vehicles
This fact sheet for government officials, a collaborative effort of the Center for a New American Dream and the National Association of Counties, includes information on hybrid technology, applications for fleets, costs, benefits, and model availability.
Free download

Other Purchasing Resources and Publications

EP videoWatch RPN's EPP Video Online

RPN's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) video is now available for download or viewing online. This nine minute video explores the emerging realm of EPP, an innovative, market-based strategy that is saving money, protecting human health, creating jobs and reducing adverse environmental impacts.
Watch online, or free download

The Competitive Advantage CoverThe Competitive Advantage: EcoPurchasing by Sandra Cannon
This book is a persuasive primer on environmentally preferable purchasing for CEOs, directors and purchasers in the public and private sphere.
RPN Members: $30.00, one free copy included in new member kit
Contact us to request additional copy
Nonmembers: $35.00 Add to Cart