Healthy Purchasing Initiative
On September 20, 2012 Multnomah County passed a resolution to begin the Healthy Purchasing Initiative in partnership with the City of Portland to help limit exposure to toxic substances through the purchase of safer products.
The two governments will share knowledge and develop best practices around incorporating the Health Product Declaration into the procurement and contracting processes, with the goal of showing the market that consumers want to know about product content, as well as call on the manufacturers to create healthier alternatives.
Healthy Purchasing Resolution
HPI Frequently Asked Questions
Healthy Purchasing Coalition
With the assistance of private sector and non-profit partners, Multnomah County is collaborating with other regional governments to address healthy purchasing decisions through a Healthy Purchasing Coalition. The Coalition is exploring an array of tools and methodologies for purchasing safer and less toxic goods while driving positive change in the marketplace.
For more information about the Coalition and its partners:
Coalition Agreement , between our state, local, and federal agencies in the greater Portland area and beyond
Healthy Purchasing Guide , developed to help navigate how to approach different procurement strategies that avoid toxic materials and promote safety
Healthy Purchasing Fact Sheet , developed by the Oregon Environmental Council, a non-profit coalition partner
For more information about the intersection of healthy purchasing and green building materials:
The Living Building Challenge is a building standard that strives for net zero energy, waste, and water, while using non-toxic materials.
This Priority Building Materials list identifies the building materials that are the most toxic and should be avoided if possible.
The Health Product Declaration is a collaborative, transparent reporting standard for building products.
Healthy Purchasing Coalition key focus areas
1. Reviewing organizational policies
2. Identifying pilot projects, commodities, or contracts
3. Integrating into contracts (such as the elimination of certain chemicals such as formaldehyde or requiring HPDs for specific products)
4. Establishing market feedback loop
5. Setting goals and measure progress over time
6. Sharing with partner organizations
The Health Product Declaration
The Health Product Declaration (HPD) is one tool for transparency and content disclosure to help agencies make more informed purchasing decisions.
Right now, we have limited information about what chemicals are in the goods we use, and in most cases, our laws don’t require this type of information to be shared with the public. Of the approximately 143,000 chemicals used in commerce globally, the federal government has only required health and safety testing on a few hundred of them.
HPD is an open standard designed to enable the transparent disclosure of chemical ingredients and associated health information for building products. It was created by a voluntary association of experts in the building industry. More than 30 engineers, architects, and contractors as well as Google participated in the development of the HPD. As part of the pilot, 30 manufacturers fully disclosed the content of 35 products.
- Healthy Purchasing Guide