Green Purchasing Program

When making purchasing decisions, Rutgers tries to give equal weight to environmental and social considerations as we do to price, availability, and performance.

What is Green Purchasing?

We consider environmentally preferable, or “green,” products and services those that have a lesser or reduced impact on the environment over their life cycle when compared to competing goods or services. 

Environmentally preferable products may

  • have reduced packaging
  • be easy to re-use, refurbish, remanufacture, or recycle at end of life
  • have lower greenhouse gas emissions and air contaminants
  • use energy or water more efficiency
  • use alternative sources of energy or fuels
  • support reuse and recycling 
  • be made of renewable resources
  • contain fewer toxins or hazardous substances 
  • promote practices that support and sustain healthy communities and social structures

When we examine the cost of the product through its useful life, we consider the

  • initial cost
  • operating costs
  • maintenance costs
  • depreciation costs
  • upgrade costs
  • disposal costs


Green Purchasing helps Rutgers

  • reduce energy and water consumption (which can reduce costs)
  • use resources more efficiently
  • reduce waste (which can reduce our waste disposal costs)
  • reduce our impact on the environment
  • improve our workers' safety and health
  • reduce university liabilities

Your Role

As a staff or faculty member, you can make a positive impact on the environment every time you make a necessary purchase. You can do this without compromising safety, quality, or your budget by considering products and services that cause minimal or no environmental damage during normal use or maintenance and are

  • durable, as opposed to single use or disposable items
  • nontoxic or minimally toxic, and preferably biodegradable
  • highly energy efficient in production and use
  • manufactured in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner by companies with good environmental track records
  • shipped with minimal packaging (consistent with care of the product), preferably made of recycled or recyclable materials

When shopping on RU Marketplace, also look for

  • recycled paper and paper products
  • office supplies marked with an environmental sign
  • EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) Silver or Gold registered desktop computers, laptops, and monitors
  • Energy Star electric appliances
  • Green Seal™ cleaning products
  • energy-saving products
  • waste-reduced products
  • water-saving products
  • locally-produced goods and services (to reduce emissions associated with transport)