The Purchasing Department supports Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) practices and encourages the purchase of products and services that effectively minimize negative environmental impacts through their material composition, manufacturing, transport, packaging, energy, consumption, maintenance, and recycling or disposal. The University of Utah is committed to sustainable behavior including purchasing practices. In our efforts to request and purchase the most energy efficient and least waste-producing products that meet our needs, we rely on the expertise of our Office of Sustainability.
Buy Green

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guidelines

Get started buying “GREEN” today. Ask yourself the following questions about your purchase.

  • Is the product energy efficient in production and use?
  • Does the product have a high recycled/post consumer contract?
  • Is the product reusable?
  • Does the product have less, recyclable, or biodegradable packaging?
  • Will the product last (is it durable)?
  • Was the product produced locally or regionally?
  • Overall, is the product the least environmentally damaging throughout it’s lifetime (i.e. manufacturing, use, and disposal)?
  • Is the product non-toxic or minimally toxic, (preferably biodegradable)?
  • Can the product by recycled and, if not recyclable, may it be disposed of safely?
  • Is the product made from raw materials obtained in an environmentally sound sustainable manner?
  • Overall, is the product the least environmentally damaging throughout it’s lifetime (i.e. manufacturing, use, and disposal)?

Buying “GREEN” helps to:

  • Improve safety and health of our students, staff, faculty, and the public.
  • Conserve natural resources and energy.
  • Stimulate new markets for recycled materials and create jobs.
  • Improve awareness of environmental stewardship.
  • Comply with environmental laws and regulations.

Examples of preferable practices or products:

  • Computers, laptops or monitors that are EPEAT Silver rated or higher (to see whether your product is EPEAT rated, search the EPEAT Registry)
  • Recycled copier and printer paper (30% or greater post-consumer fiber)
  • Utilizing and supporting small businesses and local businesses.


Other websites you may want to refer to for Environmentally Preferred Purchasing information:

University of Utah Office of Sustainability

Energy Star

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)

Federal Energy Management

Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center

National Association of Educational Procurement

EPA-Paper and Paper Products

Environmental Protection Agency

National Institute of Health, Green Purchasing

Conservatree (Paper)

State of Utah Contracts

Forest Stewardship Council

US Green Building Council

NASPO Green Purchasing Guide