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Mission Statement

Caltech’s Green Purchasing Policy demonstrates our commitment to environmental sustainability. By purchasing "Green" products, Caltech will lead the way in playing a significant role in the development of environmental sustainability on campus and in the local community.


Caltech will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making Green Purchasing decisions. We will promote the purchase of products with the highest percentage of recycled content available, provided that the products meet acceptable use and performance standards.

Green Purchasing

Green Purchasing is the practice of procuring goods and services that cause less harm to the environment, and the living beings that depend upon it for survival. Green Products are those manufactured with more environmentally-friendly materials or which are produced with minimal impact to the environment.

Caltech will strive to purchase materials that are:

  • Durable, as opposed to single use or disposable
  • Non-toxic or minimally toxic, preferably biodegradable
  • Highly energy-efficient
  • Recyclable or safely disposable
  • Made from raw materials obtained in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner
  • Manufactured in an environmentally sound manner 
  • The cause of minimal or no environmental damage during normal use or maintenance
  • Shipped with minimal packaging (consistent with care of the product), preferably made of recycled and/or recyclable materials

Products that meet the above criteria will be considered Green Products.

The Custodial Department's Green Purchasing Policy demonstrates the committment to environmental sustainability.  By purchasing 100% recycled, EcoLogo certified hand towels and tissue paper, we are making a positive impact on the environment.  Based on the annual consumption of these products, each year we will save:

  • 34,840 pounds of waste paper
  • 53 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 71,422 kilowatts of electricity
  • 21,920 gallons of water
  • 1,045 pounds of air pollutants
  • 296 trees


The Caltech Sustainability Committee will be responsible for the annual review of Green Products. Upon completion of this review, new products or categories may be targeted for inclusion in Green Purchasing initiatives.

When appropriate, Caltech will include a clause in its bidding specifications that reads: "Caltech is committed to buying products with recycled content or environmentally sustainable alternatives. Please offer any alternatives that you feel are available for this product and supply all relevant specific information about the product."

Any existing limitation within Caltech’s Policies and Procedures prohibiting or restricting the purchase or use of recycled product shall be amended to encourage the purchase and use of recycled products to conform to this policy.