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Consistent with the University of Utah’s sustainability goals, the purpose of these guideline is to support and facilitate the purchase of products and materials that minimize harmful effects to the environment from their production, transportation, use and disposition. It is the University of Utah’s preference to purchase and use environmentally preferable products whenever they perform satisfactorily and can be acquired at similar total value (cost/quality). We also strive to implement common purchasing programs to be used by all University of Utah personnel that support suppliers of environmentally preferable products, services and practices.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Resources

EPA's Comprehensive Guidelines
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EPA's EPP Website
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EPPnet Recycling Market Development
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Green Seal
A Green Seal Certification shows product has less impact on the environment and human health
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Standard for energy efficient consumer products
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Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool
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Certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions
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Encourages water efficiency
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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
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Office of the Federal Environmental Executive
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Office of Sustainability
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GSA’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing
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All University of Utah personnel will be encouraged to purchase environmentally preferable products whenever practicable.

  • The University of Utah will promote the use of environmentally preferable products, practices and suppliers by developing and implementing university-wide preferred supplier contracts and product standards.
  • The university’s Purchasing and Contracts Department will make every effort to secure contracts with suppliers that are environmental leaders in their respective markets whenever practicable.
  • Procure environmentally preferable products and services using criteria that have been established by governmental or other widely recognized authorities (e.g. Energy Star, EPA Eco Purchasing Guidelines).

Responsibilities of Purchasing and Contracts Department:

The University of Utah is committed to actions designed to conserve and protect the environment and will continue to implement those actions whenever possible, economically feasible, and compliant with the requirements of State and Federal regulations. It is the responsibility of the Purchasing and Contracts Department, in conjunction with all university departments, to promote the development and use of environmentally friendly products and services through the following activities:

Responsibilities of Departments:

Departments should use the list in this policy as a guideline for environmentally preferable products, specific to their department/mission or they should use campus agreements that cover the intended purchase. Factors that should be considered when determining the environmentally preferable good or service include, but are not limited to:

The University of Utah’s Sustainable Purchasing Checklist:

When purchasing, ask a supplier these questions. But first, determine if the product or service is truly necessary. Purchasing will need to be balanced with issues of product performance, cost, and availability.