Through its purchasing choices, Elon has the ability to influence the market and educate the campus and surrounding community. The university has adopted Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines to aid decision makers in purchasing environmentally preferable products and services. The Guidelines include a number of general, overall strategies as well strategies in specific areas including source reduction, operations efficiency and toxics and pollution.


Remanufactured toner cartridges for laser desktop printers are purchased, and the used toner cartridges are sent back to the company to be remanufactured. The use of virgin paper for copy machines, printers and general office use has been phased out and replaced with tree free paper or 50% post-consumer recycled content paper.

Print Services has paper with recycled content and forest and/or environmental certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Green Seal available for large and special printing needs.  Recycled content percentages and certifications will vary based on paper type and color.  See Print Services website for more details.

Furniture & Appliances

The majority of furniture items purchased have a third-party designation demonstrating environmental and/or air quality performance. Many furniture items also have recycled content and/or were manufactured in North Carolina. Energy Star rated appliances are purchased.


University Communications creates and prints hundreds of publications each year. A significant effort has been made to use paper with post-consumer recycled content and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. At a minimum, all publications use paper with 10% post-consumer recycled content. Some publications are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled content and FSC certified paper. Select publications use soy based ink, which is available from some printing companies. Elon’s requests for paper with recycled content and FSC certification have made these products more available in the local area.

Environmental Services

The Environmental Services department purchases green products for custodial services including cleaning chemicals and janitorial products and equipment as part of the  Green Cleaning Program. Cleaning chemicals must be Green Seal certified, certified under the EcoLogo Program of Environmental Choice or have EPA’s Safer Choice label.


Sustainable purchasing is addressed in the University’s Green Building Policy and commitment to LEED certification.


The University has over 50 alternative fueled vehicles used by the Facilities Management, Campus Safety and Police, Admissions, Advancement and other departments.