Sustainable Purchasing


U-M Procurement Services is focused on building a pipeline of socially impactful supplier options to procure sustainable products and services.


Program Objectives

  • Serve as an advocate for U-M’s  sustainability goals
  • Encourage the development of environmentally friendly practices within our supplier and campus communities
  • Promote suppliers whose businesses provide environmentally sustainable products or services
  • Reflect our commitment to be an economic partner to the communities in which we conduct business

Sustainable Procurement

U-M recognizes the importance of sustainable—and socially responsible—procurement and its economic and environmental impact to the community. Sustainable procurement refers to the purchasing of products and services that have a reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services.

This comparison considers a variety of factors, including raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal.  Examples of sustainable products include—but are not limited to—products  that:

  • Are made from recycled or environmentally preferable content.
  • Are able to be recycled or composted in U-M waste programs.
  • Contribute less overall greenhouse gas emissions than alternatives.
  • Offer alternatives to hazardous or toxic chemicals.
  • Use energy- and water-efficient manufacturing processes.
  • Use alternate fuel and renewable energy.
  • Use minimal or eco-responsible packaging.

Examples of sustainable services include—but are not limited to—services that:

  • Have company-supported commitments to sustainable practices.
  • Refurbish items to lengthen their use (e.g., the UManage Program).
  • Reuse items to extend their lifespan (e.g., Property Disposition and the Lab Reuse Program).
  • Offer packaging and take-back programs.
  • Implement efficient waste management systems that prioritize recycling, composting, and reducing single-use items.
  • Are sourced from environmentally responsible suppliers that prioritize sustainable materials, ethical labor practices, and reduced packaging.

Units are encouraged to purchase sustainable goods and services to both achieve value and support U-M’s sustainability initiatives

solar panels at um

Making Eco-Friendly Choices: Examples of Sustainable Procurement Behaviors

  • Prioritize ordering goods and services from the University-Wide contracts established by University of Michigan Procurement Services.
  • Prioritize products and services that have obtained environmentally sustainable certifications.
  • Substitute sustainable products where appropriate including recyclable, compostable, and reusable materials.
  • Refrain from the procurement and use of single-use plastic.
  • Host virtual instead of in-person events whenever possible.
  • Utilize alternative options to paper consumption such as embracing digital file management solutions.
  • Consider building layout efficiencies to minimize energy expenditures.

Buying Green in M-Marketsite

M-Marketsite is U-M’s online catalog ordering system that allows employees to securely place orders from multiple suppliers.

For more information on U-M’s sustainability initiatives and goals, please visit the Planet Blue and Office of Campus Sustainability websites.