“Sustainable purchasing” means making decisions about purchases and services based not only on quality and cost, but also on environmental and social aspects. These aspects include reducing waste, recycling, having organic or recycled content, fair trade, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Below are summaries of several campus-wide programs and systems incorporating principles of sustainable purchasing.
Printer and Toner Cartridges
UVM’s average spend on desktop toner cartridges each year was over $100,000 before Covid-19! Now, we are averaging about $55,000 each year, and that spend continues to decline. We have made great strides in lowering our printing since going remote in 2020. We hope to see our desktop toner usage continue to decline, both from printing less and from having less desktop printers.
Purchasing Services strongly discourages desktop printers and recommends using only the multi-function printers (MFPs) leased by your department. MFPs use less toner, less electricity, are better for the environment, and are more secure than a desktop printer. They will also save your department money, as toner is already included in your Kyocera lease. There are impacts to the machines we use, you can make a difference with your choices. MFPs are the sustainable choice!
You can recharge your empty printer toner cartridge for less than buying a new one. Vermont Toner Recharge will pick up your empty toner cartridge and deliver you a new one. Not all models apply.
The contract for leased Kyocera departmental multi-function copiers requires the vendor to accept and recycle all Kyocera multi-function printer cartridges. Customers can request recycling boxes from our Kyocera sales rep. The boxes are approximately 14”x14”x32” and include a prepaid UPS shipping label. Fill the boxes with depleted Kyocera toner containers, seal, and send to their recycling facility partner, Close the Loop.
Staples accepts all used empty cartridges and toner for recycling, regardless of brand. These can be given to the Staples delivery person the next time a delivery is made, or they can be shipped for free to Staples.
Used empty cartridges and toner bottles can be sent via campus mail to the recycling office, in original packaging if possible. Small items can be placed in campus Techno Trash bins. For larger toner items or that ditched desk-top printer, enter a Famis service request for pickup. See UVM's What to Recycle Guide.
Purchasing Services has developed Sustainable T-Shirt Purchasing Guidelines for departments. Please look over our guidelines and incorporate them into your next purchase of t-shirts or clothing for campus. Our goal is to convince departments (you!) to switch to sustainable clothing over the next year or two.
Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE)
The University encourages doing business with minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBE) whenever possible. We continue to identify MWBE in our supplier files. UVM departments can reach out to Purchasing Services for a recent list of MWBE suppliers already doing business with UVM. The State of Vermont's directory of self-certified MWBE is also available.
If your department is looking to purchase a new or used vehicle, your starting point is UVM’s fleet vehicle procurement procedure. This procedure ensures that vehicles are only purchased when needed, are rightsized for the job, and that selection decisions take into account the short- and longer-term environmental impacts. Learn more about UVM’s efforts to green the fleet and what highly efficient or alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) will meet your department’s or school’s needs.