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 or “green” products and services are those that have a lesser or reduced impact on the environment over their life cycle, as 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

The cost of the product through its useful life depends on:

  • 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 Rutgers’ waste disposal costs)
  • reduce the impact on the environment


How to Make Green Purchases

Rutgers units, staff and faculty can make a positive impact on the environment each time that they make a necessary purchase, and can do so without compromising safety, quality or budget by considering products and services that cause minimal or no environmental damage during normal use or maintenance. These products are those that 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 making purchases, 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)