Welcome to Green Campus Initiative - Working Together for a Sustainable Future
Building a Green School Greening your K-12 School Colleges & Universities
It's not easy being green! - Kermit T. Frog   Home Colleges & Universities 12 Steps toward Sustainability Administrative Purchasing

 
Administrative Purchasing
Universities have large amounts of financial capital that can be directed towards advancing a sustainable society. By supporting businesses that provide sustainable products, a university is ensuring the continuing viability of environmentally friendly industries. Additionally, many sustainable practices decrease expenses.
    Consider wood or straw furniture when greening your K-12 school, as these contain fewer VOC's. True linoleum is also a good choice rather than carpeting or vinyl, as it is a durable, gradually-hardening surface made from wood flour, cork, and linseed oil.
  Organizational Assistance   Best Practices  
  • Only Buy What You Need
    Bulk purchasing is generally more economic for an organization as large as a university, but it can also waste materials and energy when excess supplies are discarded. Advances in technology can lead to many items being obsolete within a short period of time. These outdated technologies are generally less efficient and therefore waste energy through their continued use. Thus purchasing only what is required in the foreseeable future may create savings that can be generated by switching to more efficient technologies.
  • Buy Environmentally-Friendly Products
    To further reduce environmental impact, universities should purchase environmentally-friendly products. Using plant-derived inks and glues rather than synthetics is far less toxic to the environment. Purchase paper that was not manufactured with toxic bleaches and chemicals. Consider purchasing wooden or straw furniture and low-VOC carpeting. Low-VOC carpeting reduces the amount of indoor air pollution and can create a more enjoyable work environment. Organic furniture sequesters carbon dioxide and can earn your buildings LEED points.
  • Use Energy Star Standards
    Energy Star products are great investments. The additional cost of these products is paid back several times over during the product’s life cycle. Reducing energy used translates into lower energy bills and decreased pollution.
  • Buy Post-Consumer Recycled Materials
    Recycled paper is now a very common product in office supply stores, but there are other post-consumer goods that a university can purchase. These include recycled ink cartridges, along with paper, aluminum, plastics, concrete and textiles.
  • Rely on Sustainable Goods and Services
    When contracting a private company to provide a service, require the supplier to utilize environmentally friendly practices. Suppliers and contractors should embody ethics that parallel those of the institution that they serve. In this manner a university serves to create business competition for the sustainable future.
  • Encourage Sustainable Behavior in Suppliers
    Universities have multi-million dollar budgets which can have great economic impact. Use an institution’s buying power to influence the market to encourage the growth of suppliers that are environmentally safe, renewable, and efficient. Purchasing from these producers will create an incentive for competitors to adopt more environmentally responsible business practices. Through such actions a university can encourage “Green” competition in the market.
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Organizational Assistance Best Practices


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