Guide to Green Purchasing

NC State University recognizes the many choices in procuring materials and services for your work. To help you think through your choices we have compiled questions to consider, logos to look for and additional resources for consideration.

For purchases greater than $5,000 our Purchasing Department can provide guidance towards greener purchasing. For purchases less than $5,000 please consider the following information in evaluating your options.

Questions to ask when making purchases:

  • Does it contain recycled content?
  • Is it durable and will it last a long time?
  • What maintainence is required?
  • Can it be recycled?
  • Does it save energy?
  • Does it save water?
  • Are their equivalent options with less packaging?
  • Is it available in bulk?
  • How far with it be shipped?
  • Are raw materials being extracted to make it?

Look for these logos:

3 arrow recycling logo for products made of recycled content
Cradle to Cradle Cradle to Cradle for production processes over product life cycles
Energy Star for energy saving products
Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) for responsible forestry products
Greenguard for indoor air products
greenseal Green Seal for manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally responsible products
usdaorganic USDA Organic for agricultural products
WaterSense for water saving products


Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines – US Environmental Protection Agency
Contracts Containing Recycled Content – NC Purchase & Contracts
Environmentally Preferable Procurement – NC Dept. of Envi. & Nat. Res.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing – US Environmental Protection Agency
Green Your Work – New American Dream
NC Project Green

For more information contact:

Blain Woods, Assistant Director, Purchasing Department
Lindsay Batchelor, Sustainability Program Coordinator