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Using certified green printers and specifying environmentally preferable papers and inks are just a few of the ways Alameda County implements green printing practices.

Print Services

Alameda County outsources all of its professional print services work to a pool of 21 certified Small, Local and Emerging Businesses, 9 of which are certified Green Business Printers. To help our departments green their print jobs, we identify certified green printers on our vendor list and we promote using environmentally preferable papers and inks through our Green Printing Best Practices* tip sheet.

How We Did It

  • Specified minimum recycled content for commonly available papers based on the federal recycled content purchasing guidelines — Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines.
  • Compiled a Green Printing Best Practices* tip sheet for employees to use during the design and printing phases of their project.
  • Encourage vendors to become a certified Green Business Printer.


Vendors told us that they generally quote virgin paper (which has zero recycled content) in a low-bid competitive environment in order to win business. We leveled the playing field by requiring all vendors to provide contract pricing for certain print jobs using recycled content paper. Now County departments can be assured they are getting best value when ordering items like business cards and flyers.


  • Using recycled content paper helps support home and office recycling programs by creating a demand for recyclables. It also saves trees and other resources like energy and water, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
  • Certified Green Business Printers have shown their commitment to improving their operations and promoting green printing practices to their customers.
  • Educating County employees about design considerations to reduce paper waste and ink/toner use through the Green Printing Best Practices* tip sheet will provide additional environmental benefits.