What is it?

Procurement is the acquisition of goods and services. We consider procurement to be sustainable when it integrates requirements, specifications and criteria that are compatible with our vision of being ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable.

Why is it important?

We recognise the impact our purchasing activities have on the financial, social and environmental health of the University and the broader community. Through sustainable procurement, we can use our buying power to give a signal to the market in favour of sustainability (eg. encourage the innovative production of cleaner and more ethical products).

What are we doing?

Purchasing policy and handbook

The Purchasing Policy extends purchasing responsibility to include considerations of life cycle costing and the minimisation of adverse environmental and social impacts, with sustainability principles embedded throughout. This means that environmental, social and ethical criteria are taken into account in all purchases of goods and services, while still obtaining value for money. The Purchasing Handbook provides guidance regarding how to consider environmental and social impacts in your purchasing decision. The Purchasing Policy, procedure and handbook are available through Policy central.

Procurement training

We understand that sustainable procurement doesn't come naturally to every one. As a result we are running workshops to assist you in developing the skills and knowledge necessary for undertaking sustainable procurement. The workshop takes 2 ½ - 3 hours, and equips you with the 7 habits needed to incorporate sustainability into purchasing behaviours, and takes you through concepts such as life cycle analysis and greenwashing.

You will get a certificate for successful completion of the course and is something you can add to your curriculum vitae (CV). If you are interested in undergoing the training, please contact us.

Paper purchasing 

Purchase only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified recycled content oxygen bleached paper (OfficeMax product code 1924648) or 100% recycled content paper (OfficeMax product code 1992325 - make sure at least 10% of your teams paper purchase come from this source). This paper can be purchased through OfficeMax 

Please note that for both of these products the ream packaging is recyclable through the paper recycling bins.


The type of food available at Macquarie University embodies principles of Sustainable cateringAlongside the various Fair Trade options now lie a new range of healthy menu items, increased vegetarian, vegan, organic and gluten free options. Most packaging is now 100% biodegradable/compostable, and the sale of Keep Cups with associated financial incentives encourage patrons to bring their own mugs for coffee and tea.

You can also purchase fresh fruit and vegetables on campus through our regular Harvest Hub and food co-op options. You can't beat fresh, seasonal and local produce to boost your health and vitality!

What can you do?

  • Undertake sustainable procurement training.
  • Read the Purchasing policy, procedure and procurement handbook.
  • Check to make sure the suppliers you use follow sustainability principles. The procurement handbook has more information on things to look out for.
  • Ensure your department is purchasing 100% recycled paper (product code 1992325) at least 10% of the time.
  • Supply Fair Trade certified tea and coffee at your meetings.
  • Support Fair Trade by purchasing tea or coffee from any Campus Life run beverage outlet on campus. 
  • Seek Fair Trade options for cookies, chocolate and other items on campus (you will find Organic Times, Green and Blacks, and Alter Eco on campus).
  • Stick to the principles of Sustainable Catering by eating healthy, organic, seasonal, vegan and/or Fair Trade where possible, and minimise waste associated with packaging, disposable items and left-over food.
  • When purchasing office items, purchase items with the "Environmentally Friendly", "Recycled Materials" or "Australian Made" OfficeMax icons:
  • See the OfficeMax Environmental Catalogue (External PDF) for ideas for sustainable office purchasing.
  • Work with those suppliers you use regularly to see how the amount of packaging used can be reduced.

How can I find out more?

If you would like to find out more, please contact us or email us at

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