Procurement and Waste Management

We purchase many goods and services and seek to follow a circular-economy approach in our practices.

AGEPoly delivering equipment for an event © EPFL Adrien Buttier

We purchase many products and services every year to conduct our educational, research and innovation activities. In doing so, we follow a circular-economy approach that includes carefully pinpointing our needs, extending the lifespan of our equipment and recovering our waste.

We currently estimate that adding purchased products and services to our measured carbon emissions (excluding IT-, food- and travel-related emissions, which are already accounted for) would double our carbon footprint. We are therefore committed to adopting a holistic approach to purchasing – whether for selecting suppliers or specific products and services – that incorporates environmental, social and economic factors and considers the entire life cycle of the product or service in question. This entails forming partnerships with suppliers who share our vision and also empowering our community by guiding them towards sustainable practices. The EPFL Sustainability Team within the Vice Presidency for Responsible Transformation (VPT) and the Procurement Team of the Vice Presidency for Operations (VPO) work closely together to promote sustainable purchasing at EPFL.

Sustainable purchasing

We are committed to instilling a culture of sustainable purchasing at EPFL, and have identified three areas in which we can do this.

Guide our community towards more sustainable purchasing practices

  • Pinpoint needs
  • Encourage the sharing of equipment
  • Favor products and services with long life cycles (reuse, repair, renovate, recycle)
  •  Taking purchases into account in EPFL’s CO2 footprint

Establish a sustainable supply chain

  • Maintain a responsible financial relationship with suppliers
  • Select suppliers according to a transparent, fair and impartial process, based on predefined and objective criteria
  • Systematically engaging in reflection in favor of including
    selection criteria related to sustainability in calls for tenders

Form partnerships with suppliers who share our vision

  • Assess our suppliers “sustainability” performance
  • Maintain a constructive and open dialogue aimed at questioning our practices and suggesting improvements

More information

Waste management

Each year, our caretakers handle some 2,000 tons of waste produced on our campuses. The main challenge is to remove our community’s waste while also reducing the volume of incinerated waste and increasing our recycling rate.

We have set the following waste management objectives:

  • Reduce the amount of incinerated waste by 30% (100 kg/FTE/year today) and increase our recycling rate to 80%, by 2025, while promoting reuse
  • Raise our community’s awareness by issuing guidelines for waste management and recovery
  • Encourage innovation in waste management by monitoring and improving our waste management channels

If you would like to see more data about waste management at our Lausanne campus (our satellite campuses use different processes), please send your request by email.


Claire Saout
[email protected]