Question: Can we capture the expense associated with green purchasing. Our angst is that expenses for overhead are already captured in "indirect" but we want to calculate the difference between the green purchase and the not so ecologically conscious other options available to us, e.g., paper cups over Styrofoam, fair trade coffee over regular coffee, cost of organic produce over regular produce, etc.
Recommendation: The IRS in its instructions to the Form 990 Schedule H specifically excludes costs related to health care organization's internal environmental responsibility activities. This would include the costs of green purchasing. Therefore we do not recommend reporting this expense as community benefit or community building. However, you can report all of your environmental activities in a narrative report that accompanies your quantifiable report.