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Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Why Think About What We Purchase?

Purchasing items that consume unnecessary packaging, contain toxic chemicals, and must be disposed of in the garbage or hazardous waste (not recyclable) contribute to the extraction of unnecessary natural resources, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution which are associated with health problems such as asthma, endocrine disruptors and mental illness[i].

The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program aims to decrease the negative impact of building materials, patient care equipment and supplies on environmental and human health. The program requires collaboration with clinicians and key departments such as PHSA Supply Chain, Infection Prevention and Control, Workplace Health & Safety and Facilities Maintenance in order to signal to health care vendors the importance of environmental and human health. In 2018, weighted environmental questionnaires were included in procurement processes related to human waste management systems, nursing trays and adult disposable incontinence. 

By making changes to our procurement processes, we support the achievement of environmental sustainability targets related to reduced energy and water use, GHG emissions, waste generation and harmful chemicals.

Share Your Product Concerns

Are you concerned about the environmental impact of the products you use at work? Tired of throwing away items that can’t be recycled or have excess packaging?

Help us gather data, track trends, and let our vendors know about your environmental concerns:

Go to the PHSA Supply Chain Customer Portal and report a Product Concern.

You can choose from 3 environmental concerns:

  • Excess Packaging
  • Not Recyclable
  • Other

PHSA Supply Chain will use this information to identify priorities and how environmental criteria can shape future procurement processes.


[i] http://www.who.int/hia/hgebrief_health.pdf; Environment News Service,2009; Health Canada,2002;Ruzickova et al,2004; Thornton et al.; Ruzickova et al.,2004;Moore et al.,2001;Li et al.2000;Poon et al.,1997; Broman et al.,1991;Fein et al.,1984;Safe et al, 2009; Swan et al.,2005;Glasser et al.,1991;Katami et al.,2002;Singh & Prakash,2007;Dyke et al.,2003