Sustainability

Welcome to the University of Oregon's Purchasing and Contracting Services website on sustainability and suggestions for environmentally friendly purchasing, contracting, and procurements. Examples of environmentally preferable characteristics include products and services that conserve energy and water, minimize generation of waste and releases of pollutants; products made from recycled materials and that can be reused or recycled; energy from renewable resources such as biobased fuels, solar and wind power; alternatively-fueled vehicles; and products using alternatives to hazardous or toxic chemicals, radioactive materials and biohazardous agents. The University of Oregon is committed to sustainable behavior including purchasing practices.

Questions to ask about your purchase:

  • May a reused product meet your needs?
  • 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 its lifetime?
  • Is the product non-toxic or minimally toxic (preferably biodegradable)?
  • Can the product be 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?

Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Links:

UO Sustainability
Campus Recycling
Paper Standards Comparison Chart
Responsible Purchasing Network
Energy Star
Green Seal Product Search Tool
EcoLogo Product Search Tool
Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center
Environmental Protection Agency
National Institute of Health, Green Purchasing
TreeHugger: "What is the impact of the internet?"
Environmental Protection Agency Energy/Resources Calculator
Berkeley Carbon Footprint Calculator
Pharos Project (requires sign up)
Consumer Reports' Greener Choices
Declare for Building Products

DAS Sustainability Buyer's Guides:

Janitorial Services
Personal Computers
Office Supplies
Janitorial Supplies
Tires