recycled office paper

91 percent of the office paper purchased on campus is 100 percent post-consumer recycled chlorine-free paper.

Since 2008, the Purchasing Department has worked with suppliers to encourage more efficient manufacturing and delivery processes that fulfill the University’s evolving sustainability requirements. Some of Princeton’s most aggressive green purchasing initiatives include its transition to chemical-free “blue” cleaning products and its policy to purchase only 100 percent post-consumer chlorine-free recycled printer and copier paper. Princeton also participates actively in one national and four regional purchasing cooperatives, which provide opportunities for broader sustainability impact among suppliers.


Encourage sustainability in the supply chain and procurement of purchased goods and services.


  • printer

    In 2017, Princeton transitioned suppliers for a new campus-wide copier program. The new multi function devices default to double sided print and black and white to minimize both paper and toner usage.  Energy usage in an idle state is significantly lower than past machines therefore requiring less electricity.

  • Aspen Recycled Paper - 100% Post-Consumer Content

    In 2017, 91 percent of general-use office paper purchased was 100 percent post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper, up from 67 percent in 2008.

  • OfficeMax remanufactured ink cartridges

    In 2017, the portion of re-manufactured printer cartridges purchased increased to about 53 percent from just 1 percent in 2009.

  • STARS Silver Award

    The AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) allows metric-driven progress assessment across operations and academics for North American higher education and has recognized Princeton at the Silver leadership level

  • green seal cleaning product logo

    About 60 percent by volume of chemical cleaners and soaps purchased were Green Seal™ certified, an increase from 34 percent in 2010.

  • printer

    The University purchased about the same amount of paper per capita in 2016 as last year, and 143 fewer tons than 2008. Since 2009, when a student print quota was instituted, sheets printed in computer clusters and public libraries have declined by 35 percent.

Amount and Type of Paper Purchased 2017

paper graph
paper graph

In 2016, 91 percent of general-use office paper purchased was 100 percent post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper, up from 67 percent in 2008.

What’s Next

  • Explore the Vendor Practices Life Cycle Assessment model for incorporation into the Procurement Department’s bidding process.

  • Explore compostable coffee pod options to enhance breakroom sustainability activities.

  • Continue the project of implementing a managed print environment across a subset of campus locations to pilot the benefits of an integrated print environment.

  • Pursue opportunities to partner with local catering/food delivery services to enhance commitment to sustainability in areas such as food sourcing, packaging and food waste.