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.

Additional Information:

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: 

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 Priority building materials chart (17.09 KB) 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.

Related Documents