Sarah O’Brien is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Stakeholder Engagement for the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC). Ms O’Brien’s career has focused for 20 years on sustainable purchasing and supply chain issues, working with healthcare, government, and enterprise purchasers and suppliers, with a special focus on the procurement of more sustainable electronics.
Ms O’Brien was a member of the original multi-stakeholder team that developed and launched the EPEAT sustainable procurement tool for electronics, and for a decade led global purchaser and manufacturer engagement with the EPEAT system for the Green Electronics Council. Prior to joining SPLC in late 2018, she was the founding Director of the multi-stakeholder Clean Electronics Production Network (CEPN) working with leading global IT companies, NGO advocates, researchers and IT suppliers on the elimination of worker exposure to toxic chemicals in the electronics supply chain.
In the early 2000s, Ms. O’Brien developed and managed the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program of the nonprofit Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (now Practice Greenhealth) and served as a Senior Outreach Associate for INFORM’s PBT-free purchasing program, working with states across the country to reduce their procurement of products containing mercury and other persistent toxics. Prior to this, she worked as a state and regional toxics and environmental health advocate for the National Wildlife Federation and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, involved in passing the world’s most stringent mercury and disclosure law in 1998, developing a comprehensive school toxics elimination program for the state of Vermont and co-authoring numerous publications on mercury in products.
Ms O’Brien received a BA from Yale University and a Masters degree in anthropology from Temple University.