Princeton University, NJ Green Purchasing Practices

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Princeton University, NJ, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


100% Post Consumer Content Recycled Chlorine-Free Paper Program: In 2006, the University standardized the use of 100% PCC paper for all general office and print lab use.

  • Departmental Compliance Status (as of July 2008): approx. 90%
  • Energy savings equivalent to energy use of 12 homes/year
  • Greenhouse Gas savings equivalent to taking 16 cars off the road for a year
  • What you can do: reduce paper consumption and encourage peers to comply with policy

Energy Star Products Program: Designed to monitor current offerings of ES compliant products and to negotiate terms favorable for replacement of non-compliant products.

  • Status: internal assessment in progress

Re-manufactured Toner Cartridge Program:

  • Status: Test currently being conducted by Purchasing. New Life Cycle information is being evaluated to assess actual environmental benefit of re-manufactured cartridges.

Bulb Recycling Program: Designed to recycle fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs.

  • Status: collection and processing review in progress in partnership with Building Services. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb recycling is also being assessed.

Dorm Furniture Recycling Program: Established in 2006 as a means of distributing used dorm furniture to needy organizations worldwide.

  • Fiscal year 2007 - 160.7 tons donated to organizations in Jamaica, Haiti, and the United States

Construction Materials Recycling Program: Developed to minimize construction waste to landfills. Institutional goal is 95% demolition and construction waste recycling.

  • Fiscal year 2007 - 9,428.3 tons of material recycled

Surplus and Salvage Program: This central surplus system is the university's most successful on-site recycling and reuse program.

  • Status: Data currently being compiled

Electronics Recycling Program: A part of the central surplus system, this program effectively keeps electronics out of the waste stream.

  • Status: Data currently being compiled

Reusable Office Supply Delivery Containers: In 2008 we deployed 1000 reusable containers through our office supply vendor OfficeMax. This will reduce or eliminate cardboard carton waste used by our vendor to deliver supplies to campus departments.

  • Anticipated annual prevention of 12,000 cardboard boxes from entering waste stream (6.4 tons)
  • July 2008 pilot program implemented with the Chemistry Department, School of Engineering, Molecular Biology Department, and Facilities.

Hewlett Packard Planet Partners Program: Currently being implemented and studied.


Cooperative Purchasing Program: Developed to encourage joint bidding opportunities to increase order volumes and better pricing for sustainable goods and services. We currently participate in CPPs with the following organizations:

  • New Jersey Higher Educational Purchasing Association (NJHEPA)
  • Associations of Independent Colleges & Universities of New Jersey (AICUNJ)
  • Philadelphia Area Collegiate Cooperative (PACC)
  • Princeton Area Sustainability Committee

RFP Sustainability Language: Includes language in Princeton's RFPs that reflects the institution's goals of becoming a more sustainable campus.

  • Status: complete

Green Office Supplies Expanded Use Program: An ongoing program to encourage campus departments to purchase environmentally friendly office supplies.

  • Status: internal assessment in progress

Media Programs: The use of various annual resources (Vendor Fiar, Newsletter, and website) to promote the use of environmentally-friendly products and services researched and tested by the Purchasing Department.

Life Cycle Assessment Study: Implemented to study and evaluate environmental burdens associated with the life cycles of materials and services, from cradle-to-cradle, and assess opportunities for minimizing those impacts.

  • Status: Funding has been secured from the High Meadows Foundation to hire a graduate student to conduct research and report on findings. Search currently in process.