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Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

Learn how Environmentally Preferable Purchasing helps your department and the environment.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) is defined as the procurement of items that have minimized or reduced environmental effects. The purpose of EPP is to give preference to environmentally preferred products whenever possible. The University of California Office of the President has included EPP in its sustainable practices policy guidelines (PDF), which include goals and implementation procedures.

Benefits of EPP

  • Environmental: Reduces & prevents waste, resource consumption, pollution/toxin exposure
  • Financial: Reduces costs including material, waste disposal, operating, maintenance, and replacement costs

Practices: Before making a purchase, consider the total cost of ownership, including environmental, maintenance and disposal costs

Sustainable Procurement 101 (PDF) tips can save money, reduce waste, improve competitiveness and build the universities' reputation for reducing the harmful impact of pollution.

Purchasing in Marketplace

Buying Green Products in Marketplace

When searching for products in Marketplace, look for the green product flags below. Filter by Green Product Flags in order to only see green flagged products in your search results. Note: products flags only apply to hosted catalog searches (excludes Punchout and iRequest items).


Supplier identified that this product is made from recycled content.

See product description for percentages.


Suppler identified that this product is environmentally preferable.

See product description for specifications


UCSD Procurement & Contracts vetted the product and identified that the product meets our environmentally friendly standards

Quick Tip: Create an Advanced Search to see only the UCSD Green Flag products in your search results.

Buying Local

Look for the California supplier flag to find local, California suppliers CA. Buying local reduces fuel use from transporting goods.

Purchase from on-campus retailers, such as Core Bio Services, in Marketplace

Use Marketplace to Your Advantage

Store Packing Slips electronically to avoid printing & paper use: Marketplace Electronic Packing Slips

Consolidate Orders to reduce packaging waste
  • Shared Favorites Folder: A Shared Favorites Folder is a Favorites folder accessible to a group of multiple Marketplace users of your choice, making group purchases easier. To set up a Shared Favorites folder, fill out a Shared Favorites Request form (PDF) and send the form to the Marketplace Help Desk through the UC San Diego Services & Support portal.
  • Shared CartsA Shared Cart is a Marketplace shopping cart that can be loaded and submitted by multiple Marketplace users, making group purchases easier. Learn More about Shared Carts in Marketplace
  • Why consolidate? To avoid unnecessary packaging waste (pictured below)
  • LargeBoxSmallItem

Other Purchasing Guidelines & Resources

Buy used goods from Surplus Sales

Learn more about how departments purchase from UC San Diego Surplus Sales

Free Chemicals


EPP Guides

End of Product Life

Purchasing comes with disposal responsibilities

Make sure you dispose of things properly whenever possible


  • Extra chemicals? Donate to Chemcycle
  • Send excess university property to Surplus Sales. Surplus will sell back to UCSD or the community at a lower price.
  • Expanded Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Cooler Packaging and Gel Packs
    • From Sigma-Aldrich: Instructions Here
    • From Life Technologies: Drop off clean Life Technologies coolers AND gel packs next to the Core Bio Services receiving doors. CORE will return the coolers and gel packs to Life Technologies for reuse
    • Non-Life Technologies gel packs: Please give them to a Core Bio Services sales associate at the front desk. CORE partners with UCSD's Athletic department to reuse gel packs among athletic training staff. Deliveries are made monthly

Recycle: See How to Recycle at UCSD

Proper Landfill Disposal


These links provided material for this page. Use them for more detailed information on EPP.

For more information, contact greenprocurement