Sustainable Procurement Factsheet - Office Products

The following factsheet has been developed to help Western staff and faculty members purchase sustainable goods and services. 

Quickly scan through an overview of where the sustainability risk lies within the specific product category, criteria to consider when deciding on your next purchase, eco-labels or certifications to look out for and the benefits of making sustainable choices. 

What are the risks?

  • Intensive Extraction. Logging contributes to deforestation and habitat loss.
  • Resource Use. Paper and plastic production consume oil, water and energy.
  • Excess Waste. Paper and plastic contribute vast amounts of landfill waste.
  • Toxic Chemicals. Office products can have harmful chemicals, a risk for both our health and the environment. 


What to look for;

Copy Paper

  • Look for opportunities to cut your paper usage where possible.
  • Choose products certified by a reputable forest management system such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  • Ensure paper is made with post-consumer recycled content, ideally over 30%
  • Purchase chlorine-free paper, look for Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) or Totally Chlorine Free (TCF). 
  • Check for non-toxic, natural or water-based adhesives

  Office Consumables

  • Purchase products that contain post-consumer recycled content.
  • Choose refillable, rechargable and reusable items
    for longevity.
  • Purchase biodegradable or compostable products
    (i.e. cornstarch, paper, bamboo and wood)
  • Look for non-toxic or waterbased inks, correction fluids and glues (soy or vegetable-based inks and alcohol based dry erase markers rather than ketone based)
  • Avoid pigments that contain heavy metals like fluorescents, warm red and metalic colours.

New developments in sustainable products are coming to market such as sugar paper. 
Graphic Services has made a successful switch to sugar paper supplied by Grand and Toy. 
Check out more about sugar paper here

Batteries lightbulb Toner


Look for:


Look for:


Look for:

ECOLOGO certifications Energy Star or Design Lights Consortium (DLC) certification ECOLOGO EPEAT, or GreenGuard Certification.
Rechargeable: nickel metal hydride LED bulbs or CFL as second choice Re-manufactured cartridges or made from recycled content. 
Single use: Lithium ion
(NMC or Iron Phosphate)
Low or no mercury
(RoHS certification)
Soy, vegetable or low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Avoid batteries containing nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd),mercury or lead.

Did you know that toners and waste bottles from MFD machines can be recycled? 
Simply give the toners and waste bottles to the delivery driver when your next office supplies order is delivered. 

Multifunctional Device
Can't wait until your next order; contact Staples or Grand and Toy for a direct pick up. 




Western's Preferred Vendors

  • Both Staples and Grand & Toy have options for 30% & 100% recycled FSC certified paper.
  • Grand and Toy identifies all items that are environmentally friendly with the go icon.

 environmentally friendly logo





After you buy - Recycle!

  • All-office related paper products can be recycled in the paper recycling bins on campus.
  • All plastics with a 1-7 recycling symbol on them can be recycled on campus (excluding Styrofoam and plastic bags).
  • Recycle your dead batteries at one of the designated drop off "Locations for Battery Recycling" at Western. Find a map of locations here.
  • Staples and Grand & Toy pick up and recycle our ink and toner cartridges from Western administrative offices and spaces. Please keep your toners and ink cartridges together in one location for pick up when stationery orders are delivered. 


Eco Label table