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Haverford College

Greening Haverford

Sustainable Campus Operations: Green Purchasing

Haverford College has a deep concern and respect for all communities of which it is a part, both social and ecological.

Our mission, therefore, is to educate our community towards an awareness of global concerns and to set a positive example of forward thinking, environmental stewardship for our campus and for other colleges to follow. To do this, Haverford College works to ensure that environmental concern is an integral part of Haverford College's daily life. This green purchasing policy exhibits Haverford's commitment to environmental stewardship. Encouraging the purchase of green products, Haverford will set a positive example and play a significant role in the advancement of environmental stewardship on the campus and in the local and greater community.

This environmental purchasing policy of Haverford College has been set up to provide guidance in the purchasing of products and services that meet the environmental goals of our college.

Detailed information for each section is included in the Appendix PDF.

If you feel that something has been omitted or is incorrect, please contact

I. What is Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)?

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) refers to purchasing products that have a reduced negative effect on human health and/or the environment when compared to similar products and services.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing or "green purchasing" is one very visible way to demonstrate Haverford's commitment to the environment.

II. General purchasing guidelines:

Purchasing preference (whenever feasible) should be given to products that:

  1. Cut back on greenhouse gas emissions or are made with renewable energy.
  2. Decrease the use of toxins detrimental to human health and to the environment.
  3. Contain the highest possible percentage of post-consumer recycled content (a finished material that would normally be thrown away as solid waste at the end of its life cycle, and does not include manufacturing or converting wastes).
  4. Cut back on air, land, and/or water pollution.
  5. Reduce the amount of waste they produce.
  6. Are reusable or contain reusable parts (rechargeable batteries, refillable pens, etc.).
  7. Are multifunctional (i.e., scanner/copier/printers, multipurpose cleaners) and serve to decrease the total number of products purchased.

Favor should also be given to suppliers who:

  1. Offer environmentally preferable products
  2. Can work to exceed their environmental performance expectations
  3. Who can show documentation of their supply-chain impacts

Environmentally preferable products and services of similar quality and price to conventional counterparts should gain a purchasing preference. When the greenest option is not available, too costly, or impractical, Haverford College should look at how the products are produced, as well as the environmentally and socially responsible management practices of suppliers and producers.

The Haverford College policy of purchasing environmentally preferable products is one element in our continuing, long-range commitment to the environment. By adopting this policy, we hope to likewise engage the producers and suppliers of office products and services we use to utilize business practices that also reduce their impact on the environment.

III. Industry approved eco-labels

Haverford College is committed to purchasing products that have earned industry approved ecolabels and certifications or that meet the standards said ecolabels and certification programs wherever possible and practical.

Examples of such programs include, but are not limited to:

All suppliers are encouraged to visit the websites for these ecolabeling and certification programs for complete product specifications and updated lists of qualifying products.

IV. Requesting environmental standards and commitments

Haverford should include a clause in its bidding specifications that reads:

"Haverford College is committed to buying products with recycled content or environmentally sustainable alternatives. Please offer any alternatives that you feel are available for this product and supply all relevant specific information about the product."

All Requests for Proposals and Requests for Information from Haverford College should include the following statement:

"In adherence with The College's strong commitment to sustainability, Haverford College actively researches and solicits quotes on environmentally preferable goods and services. Environmentally preferable goods and services are those which have a reduced negative effect on human health and/or the environment when compared to comparable products and services. Such goods and services include, but are not limited to, those which are made from recycled content, conserve natural resources, minimize pollution, reduce the use of water and energy, reduce environmental health hazards to workers and our community, support strong recycling markets, reduce materials that are land filled, increase the use and availability of environmentally preferable products, and produced locally."

Contractor Statement

In an effort to track the environmental characteristics of the companies with which we work, The College requests that you list and describe your specific sustainability initiatives as they relate to manufacturing processes and corporate practices.

  1. Does your company have a policy on corporate sustainability?
  2. Does your company have policies specifying your commitment to sustainability in the following areas?
    • Reducing, reusing and recycling resources
    • Disposal of organic and other solid waste
    • Conservation efforts in regards to transportation
    • Conservation efforts in regards to energy
    • Conservation efforts in regards to water
    • Disposal of hazardous waste
    • Giving back to the community

V. Cleaning and Housekeeping Products

When supplying college restrooms, offices etc., Haverford College's Housekeeping Department will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making green purchases.

Office Depot carries a full line of green products.

VI. Dining Services

Haverford College Dining Services is committed to providing the most environmentally friendly dining program possible and one that supports the College Community.

  • This includes, but is not limited to, purchase of local fruits and vegetables, local meats and dairy products.
  • Dining Services will use biodegradable products such as plates, cups, napkins and take- out containers whenever possible.

For a detailed description of Dining Services' green practice, please refer to the Current Practices section in the Appendix PDF.

Visit Sustainability and Dining Services' website


When planning your next Haverford College catered event, environmentally preferred products will be supplied unless otherwise specified.

For tips on how to "green" your next catered event please see catering section at the end of this document.

VII. Furniture

Haverford College purchases significant amounts of furniture each year for both dorms and offices.

  • Dorm Furniture
    When purchasing dormitory furniture, consider buying products recommended by the Forest Stewardship Council, or Savoy Furniture (Read their Environmental Policy) PDF
  • Campus Office Furniture
    • The Purchasing Office is responsible for purchasing campus office furniture, as well as furniture for other areas on campus. Sustainability information of each manufacturer will be provided by the Purchasing Office
    • The Purchasing Office also oversees two storage areas where used furniture is kept in storage. Please consider used furniture before purchasing new.
    • Please contact Nikoletta Millas at Ext. 1032, or by email

VIII. Computer and Related Information Technology Equipment

Office, lab, classroom and other computers, along with related IT equipment (printers, monitors, projectors, tec.) are purchased through Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS).

When purchasing this equipment IITS strives to meet both the College's academic and operational needs and our commitment to sustainability and a healthy environment. This includes purchasing equipment with an eye towards its entire lifecycle from manufacturer, through use, and beyond to recycling. IITS strives to meet our mission through the use of EPEAT registered and verified products earning at least a Silver rating.

IX. Ordering Office Supplies

Office Supplies (Non-stocked): Office supplies are currently purchased through the Haverford E-Market (BI-CO) purchasing system which features a multitude of sourcing possibilities for office supply needs.Access the System Site >

Note: If you have not logged onto this site before, please contact the purchasing office (ext. 1032 or email ) for additional support.

Office Depot is the campus preferred supplier for office supplies (a featured supplier on the E-Market system). They have a vast array of products including those made from recycled materials (a catalog of their products is distributed throughout the campus quarterly). Office Depot is not the only supplier for sourcing office supplies. By entering an item description (i.e. recycled notepads) in the "shop" query, the system will bring up that category from several suppliers for your selection purposes. You can also enter Office Depot item # (from the Office Depot catalog) and the system will bring up that particular item for ordering.

Note: Please order office supply products made of recycled materials whenever possible. When purchasing copy paper, it is strongly suggested to select paper that contains at least 30% recycled material.

X. Promotional Materials

  • Use electronic communication for invitations and confirmations. Let this communication point people to programs they can print if they need to do so.
  • Consider not providing programs to each attendee, but rather posting a few in central locations
  • Provide paper recycling bins in strategic locations for the programs and other paper that you do provide for the guests.
  • Make sure whatever you do print is printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified recycled paper with soy-based ink if possible. Make sure to print on both sides all of your materials.

XI. Promotional Products

The following are websites of companies with great amounts of recycled promotional products:

XII. Disposal of Retired Information Technology Equipment

When computers and related IT equipment has served through its useful life Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS) can help you continue the college's commitment to sustainability through recycling. Typically the cost to recycle equipment is very modest and serves the best interests of the Community by keeping hazardous material out of landfills.

IITS participates in a number of recycling programs from Dell, Apple and Lenovo, and can help you find the right solution when it's time to retire old equipment. Contact for assistance with recycling electronic equipment.

XIII. Vehicle Purchase

When purchasing vehicles for the college, Facilities Management will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making green purchases.

XIV. Grounds and Arboretum

When purchasing supplies for the college, Grounds and Arboretum will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making green purchases.

This includes, but is not limited to, purchase of organic fertilizers, pesticides, and soil conditioners whenever possible.

XV. Laboratory Purchasing

When purchasing supplies for college laboratories, the science department will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making green purchases.

This includes, but is not limited to, purchasing mercury free equipment whenever possible, purchase lab materials in bulk to reduce packing materials, purchase products with reduced or recycled content packaging and purchase energy efficient lab equipment whenever possible.

For more information contact Joanne Brown at

For a detailed list of how to green campus laboratories, please see the Laboratory Supplies section in the Appendix PDF.

XVI. Maintenance

When purchasing supplies for the Maintenance Department, Facilities Management will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making green purchases.

This includes, but is not limited to, repair and upgrade of plumbing and electrical systems, paint and painting supplies, general supplies for routine maintenance.

View the Appendix PDF