Toolkit for sustainable purchases

EPFL’s best practices to be implemented in order to purchase sustainably.

General principles of a sustainable purchase

  • Meets a need in a responsible manner by promoting sustainable solutions
  • Respects people
  • Takes the environment into account throughout the product’s lifecycle
  • Aims for cost optimization

Habits to adopt

1. Assess the need
  • Avoid the purchase by reusing what you already have or by repairing it
  • Purchase according to the principle of sobriety: only buy the products that you really need and make sure the quantity corresponds to the actual needs
2. Check availability on campus
3. Rely on sustainability labels whenever possible
  • Labels inform you if a product is certified as meeting environmental and social standards
  • Consult
  • Look for the “Ecological option” indicator in suppliers’ catalogues
4. Adopt a “lifecycle” standpoint
  • An eco-responsible product is designed to minimize its environmental impact, particularly regarding the choice of materials it is made of
  • Favor the purchase of sustainable products: products with a long lifespan, strong and recyclable materials, repairable or guaranteed products, rechargeable products such as toner cartridges, etc.
  • Take into account the products’ end-of-life: what will become of their components? Can they be recycled or reused?