Procurement resources

Guidance documents and tools

A groundbreaking resource, featuring stories from 25 health care organizations around the globe, offers a roadmap to develop a sustainable purchasing strategy that prioritizes community and environmental health and safety while reducing costs.

This tool was jointly developed by Health Care Without Harm and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to help policymakers, manufacturers, suppliers, procurers, and health care facilities monitor greenhouse gas emissions, resource depletion, chemical / toxic impact on human and environmental health, and human rights, labor rights and gender equality. Download.

Product specifications and criteria

  • Sustainable procurement criteria for examination and surgical gloves: Standardized tender criteria addressing priority sustainability issues for examination and surgical gloves [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [Chinese]
  • Toolkit - Sustainability criteria for examination and surgical gloves provides additional resources to support the implementation of the standardized tender criteria for gloves [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]

  • Surface disinfection: Procurement criteria for chemicals used to disinfect surfaces [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
  • Hand hygiene: Procurement criteria and safer alternatives for products used for routine hand hygiene [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
  • Instrument disinfection: Evaluation of procedures, procurement criteria, and benefits of products used for high-level disinfection of instruments [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]

  • Sustainable procurement quick guide - Reducing PVC and DEHP in IV bags: Criteria, recommendations, and alternatives to PVC/DEHP products for IV bags, as well as links to case studies and references. [English] [Spanish]
  • Sustainable procurement quick guide - Reducing PVC and DEHP in medical products: Criteria, recommendations, and alternatives to PVC/DEHP in medical products, as well as links to case studies and references. [English] [Spanish]

  • Disinfection tunnels factsheet: A document on the use of disinfection tunnels and disinfectant spraying of the general population. [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
  • Health care waste management: A comprehensive document with the latest information and recommendations on how to address waste management in a coronavirus context [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [Bahasa] [Polish]
  • Antimicrobials in hospital furnishings - Do they help combat COVID-19?: No current high-quality evidence indicates that adding antimicrobial agents to the surfaces of products adds significant value beyond the array of the CDC's recommended procedures for preventing SARSCoV-2 transmission or health care-associated infections. [English]


Protection without pollution: COVID-19 waste-reduction strategies
  • Guidance for sustainable glove purchasing: As health care facilities rethink their purchasing and supply chains in the wake of COVID-19, this guidance can serve as a roadmap for advancing sustainable options [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
  • Guidance for immunization waste management: The huge need for masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, millions of COVID-19 tests, and lifesaving hospital treatment for victims of the disease has, in many cases, led to an increase in health care waste. This guidance provides recommendations on how to better manage and safely dispose of waste associated with immunization. [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
  • Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment for immunizations practices: This document is for health professionals who are using PPE as they administer vaccinations. It will help vaccine administers ensure infection prevention while reducing unnecessary product use and waste. [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]

Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth case studies

A collection of 14 stories of people working to build more sustainable health care systems [English] [Spanish]. Part of the Sustainable Health in Procurement Health Project (SHiPP).

Health care organizations around the world share their purchasing successes and learn from each other

  • Fluid management in the operating room: A case study on how one health care organization reduced waste and increased staff safety by switching to a fluid management system
  • Reusable textiles: A case study on the strategies and implementation process taken by one health care organization to move away from disposable to reusable textiles to save money and reduce waste
  • Reusable trocars: A case study of the process used by one health care organization to evaluate and compare total costs of reusable and disposable trocars to find significant cost savings

Selection of best practice and case studies. Learn more [English] [Spanish].

Purchasing goods and services

PVC/DEHP-free medical devices

Anesthetic gas toolkit: Guidance for health systems to reduce GHG emissions linked to anesthetic gases

Non-Toxic Health Care: Alternatives to Hazardous Chemicals in Medical Devices: Phthalates and Bisphenol A, 2019 [Spanish].

Mercury-free devices

Reprocessed medical devices: Resources to guide implementation of reprocessing and buying back reprocessed devices

Sterilization containers: Resources to guide the implementation and purchasing of rigid sterilization containers to reduce the use of disposable blue wrap.

Green cleaners

Hand hygiene: Procurement resources for sustainable hand hygiene products

Freight, reducing impacts: Resource to reduce transportation emissions

Sterilants and disinfectants: Resources on safer alternatives

Waste treatment technologies

  • Alternative waste treatment technologies: A global inventory of alternative waste treatment technologies with vendor list of suppliers of alternative technologies around the globe
  • The health care waste treatment technologies database: A web tool, searchable by type of treatment and available location, to help staff responsible for procuring health care waste treatment technologies to identify alternatives to incineration
  • Global database of safe and sustainable healthcare waste treatment technologies: To aid in the procurement of appropriate technologies, Health Care Without Harm first published a database of non-incineration healthcare waste treatment technologies in 2007. The 2014 version has been fully updated and provides listings of suppliers from one hundred and six countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe. Many of the suppliers also ship globally.


Furniture: Purchasing resources on healthy furniture for interiors of health care facilities

Reducing health care impacts

  • Chemicals of concern to health and environment: This document combines a list of 200 chemicals from various authoritative lists and environmental conventions that are carcinogenic, toxic, mutagenic and reproductive hazards. [English] [Spanish]
  • Chemicals of concern for the health sector: This document is based on the report Chemicals of Concern to Health and Environment. It includes the list of chemicals used by the health care sector and/or included in health products. In addition, the document includes case examples that demonstrate how hospitals have successfully substituted chemicals and chemicals in products with more sustainable alternatives. [English] [Spanish]

Tools and strategies

Greenhealth cost of ownership calculator: A tool to provide a framework to compare product costs and calculate the total cost of ownership

Greenhealth Exchange: Purchasing cooperative that makes it easy to source products and services used in health care settings that are good for people and the planet.

Additional resources

General information and brochures

Overview of the growing movement for sustainable procurement in the health sector, SHiPPs key objectives, and alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more.

Results and achievements of the first 4-year implementation of SHiPP, and strategies to scale-up solutions at the global level. Learn more.