stack of credit cardsAs consumers, what and how we buy can positively influence the supply chain.  Thoughtful purchasing benefits the environment and reduces waste. 

Raw materials, farming, manufacturing, transportation, storage, trading and marketing all contribute to the sustainability of a product or service.  The item’s life cycle and end-of-life disposal have financial, environmental, social and ethical impacts.

 What can you do?

  1. Ask the question... Do I really need to purchase this?
    Can existing products or equipment be used instead of buying new goods? Can I reuse, hire, lease, share or buy secondhand?
  2. Source a pre-loved product
    Buy and sell second hand items where possible.  Pick up text books at Secondhand Texts & Stationery on campus or check our Warp it to source pre-loved furniture or office and lab supplies.
  3. Buy environmentally preferred products
    Look for products with good energy and water efficiency ratings and buy local where possible.  Opt for items with recycled content and that can be recycled.  Choose items with long warranties and with low operating, maintenance and consumable costs.  Avoid products with hazardous and toxic materials.  Deal with suppliers that have social and environmental policies and who minimise their packaging.
  4. Minimise consumption
    Avoid printing and set up on-demand and duplex settings, especially on shared printers.  Take your own bags when shopping, and use a reusable mug or Sustainability keepcup at coffee shops. Stock the office kitchen with reusable crockery and cutlery and request these when catering at functions.
  5. Trash or treasure?
    Although you may no longer have a use for an item, there may be someone looking for that exact product.  Reuse, recycle or donate items that are no longer of use.
  6. Business practices
    Ethical farming and fair terms of trade support sustainable businesses, particularly in developing countries.

Sustainable Purchasing Guides