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Sustainable Purchasing

Vision Statement

Swarthmore College purchases with environmental and social consciousness, as well as fiscal responsibility.  We are committed to being leaders in sustainable purchasing and using best practices in order to reduce consumption and waste production, operate at maximum efficiency, and to have a positive impact on our environment, economy, and society.


Guiding Principles

1. Environmental Responsibility

We are committed to improving our environmental performance through reducing waste, conserving energy, and recycling and disposing of our products responsibly.

2. Fiscal Responsibility

We are committed to reducing unnecessary cost and expenses by appropriately limiting consumption and waste, promoting energy efficiency, and actively seeking the most financially viable option.

3. Social Responsibility

We will uphold consideration of the human impacts that are a result of the manufacturing and disposal of our products, and include these considerations in their purchasing decisions.


Sustainable Printing Instructions for Community Members

  • The Sustainable Printer Purchasing Policy serves as a guide for all members of the Swarthmore College community on printer purchasing practices, in accordance with both Information Technology Services and sustainability standards. The info graphic [pdf] describes rationale for the necessity of a Sustainable Printer Purchasing Policy.
  • Disposing of unneeded printers or electronic equipment
    • Employees that wish to dispose of electronic commodities, including printers, may contact ITS help desk for details. Instructions will be provided, but generally employees will hold onto their product until late July/early August.
  • Buying sustainable copy paper
    • Purchase by using the eMarket Portal, choose WB Mason's 30% Recycled
      • 8 1/2" x 11" Letter, Catalog Item #WBM20030, 5000/CT
      • 8.5" x 14" Legal, Catalog Item #WBM20314, 5000/CT
      • 11" x 17" Ledger, Catalog Item #WBM20317, 2500/CT  
  • Buying and recycling toner cartridges
    • Purchase by using the eMarket Portal, choose Office Basics for HP toner cartridges for deeply discounted rates on high volume cartridges. To find the Office Basics contracted pricing please follow the HP Instructions [pdf].
    • Recycling process is detailed in the Waste Disposal Guide.

Additional Information about Swarthmore College's Sustainability Leadership