Purchasing Services seeks to increase awareness and enable the purchase of products with a reduced or minimal (ideally zero) environmental impact as compared to other similar products/services that serve the same purpose in support of Penn’s Green Campus Partnership. Our preferred suppliers, in particular Penn Marketplace participating suppliers, are encouraged to include products that promote environmental stewardship in their online product catalog and Penn faculty and staff members are empowered to select environmentally friendly products for their purchase requirements.
Green Purchasing Best Practices
Penn faculty and staff can have a significant impact on the environment by simply utilizing the BEN Buys purchasing system to select green products to meet their purchase requirements. Small changes toward the section of green products can:
Penn faculty and staff can contribute to improving the environment by:
Consolidate orders: By increasing the number of items ordered in a single order, you reduce the number of campus deliveries and packaging waste. Our suppliers use fewer shipping cartons shipping cartons. Whether that box contains a single pen surrounded by foam packaging or is filled with packages of pens, some note pads and a pack of Post-Its is up to you. Plus, Telrose/Office Depot offers an additional 3% discount on office supply orders with a total dollar value over $200 in order to incent buyers to consolidate orders.
Switch to On-line ordering: Eliminate the need for paper purchase orders, save time, energy, and money.
Make use of electronic or CD-ROM catalogs: Saves paper, eliminates the need to dispose of bulky catalogs every year, and frees up valuable desk space for important things like pictures of the kids or a nice CO2 absorbing office plant.
Buy items which contain recycled material: We are all aware that there is recycled paper available, but did you know that there are binders, pens, pencils, and notebooks that contain recycled material? There is also flooring and construction material, office furniture, and playground equipment that employ recycled material. There is even one supplier that uses recycled chopsticks to create pencil holders and fruit dishes.
Choose renewable resources: Lessen the demand for limited natural resources by making the renewable choice. Request vegetable based inks be used when printing your next brochure, or consider building materials obtained from sustainably harvested forests.
Opt for the non-hazardous alternative: By purchasing alcohol thermometers as opposed to ones filled with mercury you can lessen disposal costs while removing the potential for a hazardous chemical spill. Likewise the purchase and use of non-toxic cleaning supplies, like those with the Green Seal certification, can improve worker safety by reducing exposure to noxious chemicals.
Look for the most energy efficient model: The US EPA Energy Star program rates and certifies hundreds of energy efficient products. By choosing Energy Star, you are helping prevent global warming and promote cleaner air without sacrificing the product quality and performance you expect.
Buy locally: It takes fuel to transport goods. Proximity to production not only reduces the energy use required to bring the item to market, it also helps to support the local economy.
Buy only what you need: While it may appear economical to purchase in quantity, the truth is that often the cost to dispose of unused supplies, especially chemicals, far exceeds the original price of purchase.
Spread the word: Once you see how simple it is to "Buy Green" make sure that everyone else know too! Show the office next door how the 50% post consumer recycled paper you are now using works just as well as the virgin forest paper they use.
Did You Know?
SciQuest Incorporated, Penn’s eProcurement and Penn Marketplace business partner, announced that Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine has recognized the company with a 2009 Green Supply Chain Award.