City of San Francisco Precautionary Principle Ordinance

In June 2003, the City and County of San Francisco became the first entity in the US to incorporate the Precautionary Principle into law by passing the Precautionary Principle ordinance. The San Francisco Department of Environment was tasked with taking this pioneering step and figuring out practical implementation of the concept. Environmental & Public Health Consulting joined the team that created criteria for selecting which of the City’s goods and services would be selected for action. The team of staff and consultants held numerous stakeholder meetings with citizens and City staff, and created priority lists for action. The most successful implementation became the Precautionary Purchasing Program, which has now been translated into SF Approved, a list of green products approved for City use and as a resource for Green Businesses, as well as a model for other municipalities and institutional purchasers nationwide.