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Purchasing Efforts

Along with the variety of purchasing habits described in the food and agriculture, operations, waste, and other initiatives sections, the following purchasing efforts take place at the College: 

  • Recycled paper Pomona's paper purchasing standard is at least 30% post-consumer recycled content for all standard white copy paper. A large percentage of colored, specialty, and non-standard-size paper also contains recycled content, as do many College publications. College business cards and letterhead also contain 30% post-consumer recycled content. A variety of offices on campus now purchase 100% post-consumer recycled paper, in part due to credits available for offices participating in the Green Office Program. 
  • Green cleaning In Fall 2008, campus Housekeeping made a committment to 100% green cleaning supplies (aside from using up old stocks of the prior materials). This includes green cleaning chemicals, the use of micro-fiber cloths instead of disposable towels and the purchase of EnergyStar-certified laundry machines to wash them, 100% recycled content paper towels and toilet paper, and a transition to foam soap dispensers. Progress is being made towards meeting 100% green cleaning standards.
  • Activeion cleaning Dining Services has purchased Activeion units for cleaning dining hall areas. These units use absolutely no chemicals or solvents for cleaning, but instead rely on the natural sanitizing and cleansing power of ionized water. See more about the units, including a video from Bill Nye the Science Guy, at the Activeion website.
  • EnergyStar-certified Appliances The College is committed to purchasing EnergyStar-certified energy-efficient appliances whenever available and financially reasonable. This includes laundry equipment, computers, refrigerators, and a variety of office equipment.
  • Biodegradable to-go containers and disposable diningware All to-go containers and silverware in the dining halls are biodegradable and all napkins are 100% recycled. Silverware is Spudware, made from potatoes. Catering orders can specify biodegradable diningware when selecting disposable options (non-disposable options are also available).
  • Greenware sustainable event kits Greenware event kits provide reusable plates, bowls, cups, and silverware, along with 100% recycled napkins and composting materials. Kits are custom sized and checked out to students, staff, and faculty for campus events. 
  • Preserve recycled diningware Dining Services is now starting to use Preserve diningware in all dining halls. Preserve products are made from 100% recycled plastic and can be reused for a lifetime.
  • Green furniture The College’s interior designer has produced a guide to sustainable furniture purchasing options for residence halls, from which the College makes decisions about new furniture.
  • Pesticide and fertilizer reduction The Grounds Department has implemented a number of practices to help reduce stress on the turf and ornamentals, thus reducing pesticide and fertilizer use. Integrated Pest Management practices are used across campus.

Progress toward goals for 2020

The following table includes relevant objectives from the College's Sustainability Action Plan.

How we're doing - 2020 Goals
Data point09-1010-1111-1212-132020 Objective
% white copy paper 100% PCW, FSC-certified, PCF 0.55% 10% Data not available 0.7% 90%
% non-standard (e.g. other sizes, colors) copy paper at least 30% PCW 1 8% Data not available 7% 90%
College letterhead 100% PCW, FSC-certified, PCF 0% 0% Data not available 0% 100%
% offices in Green Office Program 8% 12% Data not available 10% 30%
Compliance with Sustainable Operations and Maintenance Standards Yes Yes Data not available Yes Yes