Sustainable Procurement

University Procurement and Logistics supports MSU's sustainability goals as identified by Campus Sustainability by providing responsible procurement and supply chain guidelines and practices.

Environmental considerations are a factor when Procurement negotiates strategic contracts. Since these contracts provide the best value to the university, please visit Spartan Marketplace prior to using other buying methods.

All things being equal—price, quality, shipping, terms and conditions—a sustainable product should be selected for purchase.

Green Purchasing Guidelines

Though not exhaustive, the following are guidelines for sustainable procurement decisions.

Certifications and rankings

Manufacturing and Production

  • Look for products that are recycled, remanufactured, or have re-used content
  • Use companies that implement environmentally preferable manufacturing techniques
  • Buy locally produced or grown products to reduce transportation costs and support local communities

Packaging and Distribution

  • If possible, consolidate shipments to reduce environmental impact as well as cost to MSU
  • Ask if modifications can be made to packaging to reduce material used and downstream waste
  • Consider alternative service delivery options, such as remote diagnostics

Use and Maintenance

  • When buying equipment and supplies, consider all aspects of use including cost and operating expenses—electricity, steam, water, and supplies used over the life of the product. Procurement can assist with this analysis.
  • Use teleconference options as compared to face-to-face meetings requiring travel
  • Avoid waste—buy in bulk when appropriate
  • Look for items with warranties, so they can be fixed instead of replaced
  • MSU Surplus Store: repurpose previously used items


  • Consider supplier take-back, resale, recyclability, and repurposing options at the end of product life

Buy Locally

University Procurement and Logistics encourages purchasing goods and services from local suppliers whenever possible.

Michigan State University was the first university to partner with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Pure Michigan Business Connect to increase spend in Michigan. The university has committed that at least half of its spend is in Michigan. For more information visit MiSpartan Impact.

Though no universal standard definition exists today for buying locally, Procurement typically considers purchases made within Michigan to be local. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin are considered regionally local.

Note that buying a product from a local supplier does not necessarily mean it was produced locally—tracing a particular product back to its manufacturer is often difficult. Buying locally is one consideration of many in understanding our environmental footprint.

Read more about University Procurement and Logistics' sustainability efforts.