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GO GREEN! BUY GREEN! Green Purchasing at PSU. Julia Fraser: Graduate Research Assistant Campus Sustainability Office Green Teams Meeting July 15, 2010. What is “green” purchasing?.

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Green Purchasing at PSU

Julia Fraser: Graduate Research Assistant

Campus Sustainability Office

Green Teams Meeting July 15, 2010

What is green purchasing
What is “green” purchasing?

  • Green Purchasing is simply choosing products and services that reduce impacts on human health and the environment, where feasible.

  • Every PSU purchase has an impact on our community, human health, and our environment.

Go Green! Buy Green!

  • PSU’s green purchasing program seeks to support and encourage PSU staff, faculty and administrators to buy greener products.

  • A Buy Green Coordinator

  • [email protected]

  • Web page – coming soon…

  • Checklists, resources, facts sheets, cases studies and links to other programs

  • Market research and campus collaboration

What can you do
What can you do?

  • Reduce consumption

  • Ask for help or suggestions – we can provide research for you

  • Provide outreach and education

  • You can lead by example

  • Help implement purchasing standards

  • Pilot test “green” alternatives

  • Write up case studies to present to other Green Teams

  • Direct colleagues to Go Green! Buy Green! resources on campus

What does buying green look like
What does buying green look like?

  • Choosing:

  • Recycled content products

  • Energy-and water-efficient products

    • Standby power devices

    • ENERGY STAR products

    • EPEAT-registered products

  • Alternative fuel vehicles/alternative fuels

  • Environmentally preferable products

    • Non-toxic products and services

    • Food service

    • Building products

    • Green meetings and conference services

How to buy green ask questions
How to buy green – ask questions

  • What is the product made of?

    • non-renewable resources?

    • fossil fuels?

    • toxic components?

  • How was it manufactured?

    • processed with chlorine?

    • pollution producing?

    • other social or environmental impacts?

  • How much energy does it use?

  • How much water does it use?

  • How do I dispose of it?

How to buy green the basics
How to buy green – the basics

  • Look for these green attributes:

    • Durable/Reusable

    • Recycled content

    • Energy Efficient

    • Non Toxic

    • Third party Ecolabels:

      such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, EPEAT, Energy Star, FSC

How to buy green the basics1
How to buy green – the basics

  • Think about the total cost of owning the goods not just the initial purchase price

  • A more efficient product may cost more at purchase,

  • but will not cost as much to run over its life

Think about the life cycle of a cd
Think about the Life Cycle of a CD

  • Materials Extraction

  • Materials Processing

  • Manufacturing

  • Packaging

  • Transportation

  • Useful Life

  • Reuse, Recycling or Disposal

Best practices

Source Reduction

Recycled Products

Energy and Water Conservation

Toxics and Pollution

Social Equity

Best Practices

Source reduction

By less stuff - PSU ReUse Room!

- Facilities Surplus

Durable vs. Disposable

Consider total cost of ownership

Packaging: request recyclable packaging or less of it!

Source Reduction

Recycled products

Building materials - recycled plastic lumber

Office Supplies - pens, paper, binders

Textiles - towels, bags, shirts

Recycled Products

Buying recycled content products supports recycling markets,

keeping valuable materials out of the landfill.

Energy and water conservation

Energy Star Compliance

Water Sense

Responsible use

Turn off at night

Wise use of energy and water not only reduces costs,

but reduces the demand for fossil fuels

and conserves precious fresh water resources for everyone.

Energy and Water Conservation

Toxics reduction

Cleaning Products - Avoid Chlorine based products.

- Green Seal or EcoLogo certified

Paints - Low VOC paint

- Metro Recycled Paint

Electronics - RoHS, and EPEAT certifications

Textiles and Fabric - Carpet, curtains, upholstery

- Greenguard certification

Toxics Reduction

Social equity

MWESB vendors - Support Oregon MWESB

- Purchasing and Contracting

Local vendors - Keeps $ in state

- Supports local jobs

Ethics - Sweatshop produced?

- Working conditions - Environmental stewardship

- Community health

Fair Trade - Fair trade certification

Social Equity

Paper its an easy win
Paper – its an easy win

  • In FY09, PSU purchased 816 cases of virgin copy paper (36% of total).+

  • Switching to 100% post-consumer paper would

  • SAVE the equivalent of:

    • 528 trees*

    • CO2 equivalent of 2 cars/year *

    • 241,261 gallons of water *

    • enough energy to power 2 homes/year *

  • + 2010 PSU Paper Report

  • Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator.

What to look for when buying paper
What to look for when buying paper

  • Recycled Content

  • – 100% PCW (Post Consumer Waste) is best

  • Processed Chlorine Free

  • – No chlorine or chlorine compounds were used in the papermaking process. - Certified by Chlorine Free Products Association (CFPA)

  • Sustainable Forestry

  • - Look for FSC certified

Brands of paper to consider

Boise Aspen 50% or 100%

Grays Harbor 100

Office Depot Envirocopy

Office Max Recycled Multipurpose

And many more!!!

Brands of paper to consider

  • Reduce paper use!

  • By reducing your paper consumption you can offset the cost of recycled paper.

    • Give unwanted one-sided printouts a second chance as draft paper.


    • Dedicate one of the trays in the printer for printing with draft paper


Office supplies

Check the PSU ReUse Room first (they’re free!)

Choose durable and reusable vs disposable

Choose recycled content


hanging files

file folders

paper clips

binder clips

and more…

Office Supplies

Examples of greener products

Recycled content stick pens:

only $0.03 cents more per pen

100% recycled paper:

$0.38 cents more per ream than virgin

Recycled content paper clips:

$0.22 more per box

* Cost information from comparison provided by Office Depot

Examples of greener products

Lets kick canned air
Lets kick “Canned Air”

  • In FY09 PSU bought 240 cans from Office Depot

  • Its not even “air”:

  • Flammable and toxic compressed gases

  • e.g. Tetrafluoroethane

  • There are a lot of creative alternatives:

    • Giotto’s Rocket

    • A paint brush

    • Data Vac electric duster

      Save money & reduce waste

  • Toner cartridge recycling
    Toner Cartridge Recycling

    • PSU has a toner recycling contract with Sustain. Please use it!

    • > Justfill out a Work Order and PSU Recycles will do the rest!

    • > Set up a central collection point for cartridges

    • Helps us track our recycling!

    • Sustain will pick up the pallets of cartridges at no cost to PSU

    Close the loop try remanufactured cartridges
    Close the Loop! Try Remanufactured cartridges

    • Each new toner requires half a gallon of oil

    • to make the new plastic*

    • One remanufactured toner cartridge saves…

      • 0.5 gallon of oil notrequired for new plastic

      • 2.5 lbs metal and plastic saved from landfill

    • Plus – they are cheaper!! Save PSU some $$$ resources!

    • *Stopwaste.org

    Air travel
    Air Travel

    • 12,000 MTeCO2 from PSU air travel in FY08

    • 11% of PSU total emissions.*

    • PSUs Climate Action Plan Goals

    • Tracking travel data

  • Outreach and awareness of less carbon-intensive forms

  • Remove internal and OUS wide barriers to choosing less carbon-intensive forms of travel

  • Adding a box on travel forms acknowledging carbon impact

  • Creating an employee offset program

  • * PSU Climate Action Plan 2010

    • Questions?

    • [email protected]

    • We can provide research, resources and work with you to develop specifications, or just give you advice and ideas to help you GO GREEN! BUY GREEN!