Guide for City Staff

San Francisco’s Green Purchasing Program identifies products that are safer for our health and environment. This website is your one-stop shop to comply with the City’s green product requirements.  We work with City departments to create a environmental purchasing criteria for each product category. When available, we also list compliant products, relevant City contracts, vendors, and other helpful information. 

For product categories listed as Required on this site, City staff must buy only products that meet the City’s purchasing criteria.  This applies to all products and services: direct purchases, contracts and delegated/Prop Q purchases (anything under $10,000).  See this summary of Required and Suggested product categories and criteria you can paste into contracts

Resources on this page:



Required products meet City requirements for environmental and health impacts, performance and cost. City departments must follow these criteria in their purchases.


City staff are encouraged to use Suggested products. These are products that meet city criteria for environmental and health impact, but may lack complete performance and cost data. Using "Suggested" purchasing criteria is optional but highly recommended.


Limited Use products are allowed only in special circumstances. These include some lighting products (bulbs and ballasts).

Never choose:

Products that do not meet the purchasing criteria listed for the above Required product categories should be considered prohibited.  In addition, some product categories are explicitly Prohibited due to specific legislation.  See a partial list of Prohibited products.


Other ways to help your department buy green 

Stay up to date on the latest in city green purchasing by signing up for our newsletter.

  • Remind other City staff to do the right thing: by email, department newsletters, purchasing forms, and staff handbooks.
  • Use this site for choosing and rating products.
  • Sign up to test Suggested green products to help other city staff.
  • Ask SF Environment for assistance.

City green purchasing legislation

If you comply with information above, you don't have to read laws below.  The City's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance is based on the Precautionary Principle, which is now the first chapter of the Environment Code.  Other current ordinances, regulations and executive orders that require green products are below.

Other ordinances in the Code:

  • Integrated Pest Management Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 3): Limits the use of pesticides (as a last resort) to products on the City's Reduced Risk Pesticide List
  • Healthy Air and Clean Transportation Program (Env. Code, Chapt. 4): Regulates the purchase of green vehicles for City fleets
  • Resource Conservation Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 5): Establishes requirements for recycled content paper and PVC plastics
  • Green Building Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 7): Requires the purchase of green products for interior furnishings and materials such as carpet, resilient flooring, furniture and paint in regulations below.  It applies to all municipal new construction, major renovation and tenant improvement projects, and for purchases made by or on behalf of City departments for such projects.
  • Tropical Hardwood and Virgin Redwood Ban (Env. Code, Chapt. 8)
  • Arsenic Treated Wood Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 13): Limits the use of arsenic-treated wood
  • Bottled Water and Package Free Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 24): No one shall sell or distribute packaged drinking water that's one liter or less
  • Flame Retardant Ordinance (Env. Code, Chapt. 24): Bans the sale of upholstered furniture and certain juvenile products containing flame retardants.


Executive directives:

Annual reports of City staff that bought green

We use vendor sales reports to track the city's green product purchases by department and purchaser. See the latest annual report for the percentage of green purchases in each category and city purchasing champions that help us meet our goals: