Green Purchasing

Responsible Purchasing Resources for Academic Institutions

Auburn University Sustainability Initiative has gathered this short list of resources for Purchasing and Procurement professionals. If you know of an additional resource that should be included here, please feel free to email

You can also download a pdf copy of the presentation that was given at the TAGM regional purchasers conference at AU in October 2007.

Responsible Purchasing in the Southeast: Buying for Now and the Future [PDF]

National Resources

  • Responsible Purchasing Network

    An excellent resource group developed by procurement professionals around the country. The RPN is a non-profit group and resources are provided for a reasonable membership fee, which allow it to operate.

    RPN purchasing guides

    This guide provides an in-depth analysis of individual products and purchasing options.

  • In the fall of 2007 the RPN worked with the US House of Representatives to help them switch to 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper for all Congressional printing!


  • US EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Site

    One of the best sets of resources in terms of calculators and information (see the links in the menu on the left on their site).


  • Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE)

    A Federal office that deserves much more recognition than it has. An incredible resource for large institutions to learn by seeing what the US Government is doing to incorporate sustainability in its activities. The link for their Green Purchasing information at the top of the home page.


  • US Energy Star

    An excellent collection of information and tools for institutional purchasers.


  • American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment

    A national movement gathering commitments from the leaders of the nation's higher learning institutions to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions over time.

National Educational Procurement

  • NAEP

    The National Association of Educational Purchasers has a complete microsite dedicated to sustainability and green purchasing.

    The organization's monthly journal consistently publishes articles related to responsible procurement.

    Educational Procurement Journal

  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

    Check their Resource Center in the menu on the left for information on green purchasing on campuses. Anyone who is at a member school can register for access to all locked information.

    The AASHE Bulletin

    This is an great free weekly e-newsletter that summarizes sustainability news from campuses across the country.

National Listservers

  • EPPNet

    Probably the most comprehensive listserve available to "responsible procurement" professionals around the country. Allows you to communicate with peers who are working toward the same goals, or have already encountered something you are dealing with.


  • Green Schools List

    An excellent resource for a wide variety of sustainability issues on campuses across the country.

Southeastern Academic Resources

Third Party Certifications

  • Green Seal

    The leading third-party non-profit certifier of a long list of environmentally responsible goods.


  • Greenguard

    A third-party non-profit certifier of building materials and buildings.

Books for Purchasers

  • Buying for the Future: Contract Management and the Environmental Challenge

    Kevin Lyons. 1999. University of Michigan Press

    "Drawing on his experience as the head of purchasing for a major American university, Kevin Lyons offers a practical guide to responsible purchasing. Working for a university with a population of 60,000 Lyons faced the challenge of how to reduce damage to the environment while still meeting the needs of this community."