Circular procurement

Circular procurement

Circularly designed products reuse all input materials at each stage of their design, extraction, manufacturing, and disposal. They are designed to integrate reused/recycled materials, and they prioritize being durable, reliable, repairable, upgradeable, and/or recyclable.

Use Central Stores programs for e-waste


Best practice: Drop-off electronic waste with Central Stores.

Action: E-waste contains hazardous materials that should not be deposited in the garbage. If repairing, upgrading, or refurbishing devices is not possible, bring electronics to Central Stores for disposal. The team manages a program with a certified e-waste recycler to properly recover the raw materials in e-waste and add them back into the value chain. Visit the Central Stores website for info on accepted items, and the Waste Sorting Guide for drop-off locations for ink and toner and small e-waste items.

Long-lasting products

long-lasting technology

Best practice: Purchase new products that are lost-lasting.

About: Keeping products for longer saves natural resources and reduces the impacts from mining, manufacturing, and processing new materials (e.g., metals and plastics)21. In fact, the lifecycle carbon footprint of a typical computer decreases by 30% by extending the life of the PC by two years26

Recycled content


Best practice: Prioritize products with post-consumer recycled content, particularly plastics, wherever possible.

About: Post-consumer content means some of the materials used to make the product have previously been recycled. This saves natural resources, means fewer plastics are ending up in the ocean and less mining is required20. Suppliers should be able to supply information regarding recycled content in their products26.

Vendor takeback program


Best practice: Prioritize working with vendors who support takeback programs for packaging and electronics.

About: Vendors are increasingly developing programs to take back devices that may be older but are suitable for refurbishment and can be given a second life. Keeping products in use through these takeback programs, rather than sending them straight for recycling, can significantly reduce the per-unit environmental impact. Vendors are often in the best position to facilitate refurbishment, since they created the products in the first place, and it aligns the incentive to create longer-lasting and more durable products.

[20] (Taylor-Smith, 2019)

[21] (Green Economy Canada, Sustainable IT Procurement Pilot: Implementation Workshop, 2021)