Arts Lecture Hall with students walking in front


  • Evaluate life cycle cost and require sustainability disclosure from suppliers for all purchases over $100,000 by 2020

  • Establish baseline data and targets to improve the percent of campus-wide purchases that meet third-party standards for paper, electronic equipment, and cleaning supplies by 2018

Supporting SDGs

SDG 12 - responsible production and consumption

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As a large organization, the University of Waterloo can use its purchasing power to encourage suppliers to provide more sustainable product offerings. Procurement and Contract Services has developed several relationships and tools to enable more sustainable purchasing in the following areas:

Office paper  |  Paper towels  |  Electronics

Office paper

Procurement and Contract Services provides a variety of paper products available for purchase, many of which have recycled content.

When purchasing paper for your department, consider using paper that has high recycled content. A box of paper with 30% recycled content is actually cheaper than purchasing virgin paper! Visit the Procurement and Contract Services site for pricing and information.

Paper towels

All paper towels and toilet paper in University of Waterloo washrooms come from 100% recycled content. This ensures no new trees are used and helps prevent deforestation.

You could be drying your hands with last month's recycled budget report!


Technology creates many solutions for sustainability challenges, but it often creates its own problems. Electronic devices often contain metals that are mined from parts of the world with poor environmental and human rights practices. Many of those same metals are also toxic when sent to landfill. Our increasing use of technology also increases our energy consumption, which contributes to climate change.

Here are a few tools to help minimize technology's negative impacts:

  • EPEAT: When purchasing computers, consider devices that with an Electronic Product Environmental Assessment (EPEAT) certification at
  • EnergySTAR: When purchasing appliances and electronic equipment, ensure that your product has an EnergySTAR certification.
  • Green IT Advisory Group: To learn more strategies like double-sided printing, sleep/eco-mode, and more, visit the Green IT Advisory Group website.