Materials & Purchasing
A university needs resources. At NC State, sustainability starts at the source as more economically, environmentally and socially beneficial products makes their way on campus.
Every year, NC State conducts over hundred of millions of dollars worth of purchasing.
While the federal government sets guidelines for spending money on environmentally-preferable products, state and local agencies do not have to adhere to these policies. North Carolina state agencies are required to follow Executive Order 156, which includes requirements for purchasing environmentally-preferable products. The order also contains guidelines for environmental sustainability and solid waste reduction. NC General Statute 143-58 specifies that state agencies shall use or require use of products with recycled content and eliminate procedures that inhibit such purchases.
As state and local government agencies purchase more environmentally-preferable products, the price of these goods will decrease, and markets will be created for collected recyclables.
Featured Campus Projects
Graduation Gowns Made of Plastic Bottles
The red NC State graduation gowns worn at the university’s commencement ceremony are woven with special thread made from recycled plastic bottles (23 bottles make one gown). Since NC State began using the eco-friendly gowns in 2011, graduates have saved more than 200,000 bottles from landfills. Plus, 25 cents from each gown purchase is donated to campus sustainability programs.
Housekeeping Cleans Green
University Housekeeping is leading the way in green cleaning. Housekeeping staff undergo regular training to ensure we are continuously delivering a clean, healthy environment for building occupants. NC State’s comprehensive approach to green cleaning saves the university $48,000 a year and includes saving energy and water, improving indoor air quality, furthering recycling efforts, increasing occupant productivity and purchasing environmentally-friendly products. Learn more
What You Can Do
NC State recognizes the many choices in procuring materials and services for your work. For purchases greater than $5,000 NC State’s Materials Management 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:
Indicates products made of recycled content
Cradle to Cradle for recognizes sustainable product life cycles
Energy Star for energy saving products
Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) for responsible forestry products
WaterSense for water saving products
USDA Organic for agricultural products
Green Seal for manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally responsible products
Greenguard for products that ensure optimum indoor air quality