Green Purchasing

What is Green Purchasing?

It’s considering the environmental impacts of a product when you make purchases.   Following some basic guidelines when you shop will help us transition to an economy that makes better use of our natural resources, one that is less disruptive of the natural systems we depend upon—the air and climate; freshwaters and oceans, the plant and animal kingdoms.

It’s choosing products that…

  • Are the most energy efficient.
  • Have a high recycled content, especially “post-consumer” recycled content.
  • Reduce solid waste (have less packaging, are reusable, durable).
  • Are the least environmentally damaging through their life cycle:  in manufacturing, use, and disposal.  
  • Are made or grown locally.

How much of a difference can Tulane make?

At Tulane, we are about 18,000 staff, faculty and students. We are a very large consumer of energy and materials.  We use almost 5,000 cases of paper every year.  The energy bill for the Uptown campus can reach $7 million.  Small changes in the practices of a large institution can make a difference for the environment.

We are also very influential.  Our students learn from our practices and carry them on to communities and professions near and far.  Other institutions in the region look to Tulane’s leadership and example.  Perhaps most importantly, if we choose environmentally friendly products as we purchase, our vendors will make them more widely available to other customers.

Here in New Orleans, one of the most significant environmental issues we can address through green purchasing is global climate change. Generating electricity and burning fossil fuels is a major source of greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere. By buying more energy efficient appliances and vehicles we reduce those emissions. Buying recycled products also helps slow global warming, as manufacturing goods from recycled materials uses far less energy and causes less pollution that making them from raw materials.

For more information on environmental efforts and opportunities across campus, visit

Green Purchasing Product Information

The table below outlines key environmentally-friendly features and products to look for when purchasing for your office. One of the easiest ways to “green” your purchasing is to ask for ENERGY STAR labeled products when you buy electrical appliances and office equipment.  ENERGY STAR is a label given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the most energy efficient models of refrigerator, air conditioners, fax machines, televisions, etc. etc.  For more information on the ENERGY STAR label, visit