Purchasing Practices

Sustainable Procurement at Penn

Penn's Sustainable Purchasing Initiative seeks to increase the purchase of products with a reduced or minimal (ideally zero) environmental impact as compared to other similar products/services that serve the same purpose.

Purchasing Services supports the purchase of recycled content, environmentally preferable and bio-based products through the inclusion of environmentally friendly products in preferred contract supplier online product catalogs in the Penn Marketplace. Penn Marketplace-participating suppliers are encouraged to include products that promote environmental stewardship in their online product catalog and Penn faculty and staff members are empowered to select environmentally friendly products for their purchase requirements. Purchasing Services offers supplier specific environmentally friendly product catalogs in the Penn Marketplace.  

Stationery and Business Cards

Penn branded business cards and stationery, printed on Mohawk Via 30% PC Bright White which is made with 30% post-consumer process chlorine-free waste fiber, can be ordered from Maximum Graphics via the Penn Marketplace, or for University purchasing card cardholders, from the Maximum Graphics purchasing card enabled online ordering web site. The selection of this paper was based in part upon the manufacturer's environmental performance. Mohawk's Environmental Management System incorporates measures which ensure biosphere protection and sustainable use of natural resources, materials, and energy. 

Paper

Managed Print

Members of the Penn Community seeking to significantly reduce their office printing costs and environmental impact can take advantage of Penn’s Managed Print Services (MPS) Program. The MPS Program is a service that analyzes and manages document input/output devices to: improve efficiency and productivity; reduce electronic, paper and plastic (ink/toner) waste; lower the total cost of office printing, reduce support burden to IT staff and manage the printer fleet with greater visibility.

Green Packaging

University preferred contract suppliers partner with Purchasing Services to identify opportunities to reduce the amount of product packaging that will in turn end up in the University’s waste stream. For example, Purchasing Services, together with Telrose and Office Depot, now have a minimum order value of $25 for all office supply orders. This simple change can potentially eliminate over 3,000 packages reducing of over 17,000 lbs. of CO2, and eliminating over 8,500 lbs. of packaging waste (cardboard and pillows).

Quench Tap Water Filter

TAP WATER FILTERS

Campus-wide preferred purchasing agreements were made with providers such as Quench water filters, which replaced bottled water in many offices across campus. The Quench system works by UV filtration, purifying and cooling municipal water. This eliminates the need for plastic bottles and bottled water, cutting down on costs and greatly reducing the University’s carbon footprint.

Lab Supplies and Services

Penn Purchasing offers a number of services to help make Penn’s lab’s greener. These include securing contracts for recycling freezers, lab equipment, centrifuges and rotors and offering GreenGlo Safe DNA Dye  and sustainable laundry services.

Energy Star

Energy Star

The University is committed to purchasing Energy Star qualified products such as printers, computers, and appliances. Penn Computing Green Information Technology (IT) program has established recommended guidelines for IT purchases that include Energy Star 4.0 compliant desktops, replacing CRT monitors with LCD monitors, and encouraging the purchase of small form factor or all-in-one desktops instead of mini-towers or towers.

Beyond its purchasing guidelines, Green IT provides resources to help users throughout the University improve the sustainable aspects of their computing operations by reducing energy consumption and producing less e-waste.

 

BEN's Attic

Ben's Attic

BEN’s Attic, a website developed by Purchasing Services, allows Penn faculty and staff to exchange and purchase surplus University-owned property. All faculty and staff are able to browse the site to see if there are any items they may need before purchasing new. You must be a TAC (Transaction Authorization Card) holder (or a TAC holder’s designee) in order to post items or make purchases. Items are listed by category and can be sold or given away at no cost. Users can also request an email notification of items by category as they become available.

If you have any questions regarding the usage of Ben’s Attic or would like to set up an account, please email benattic@exchange.upenn.edu.