Before we buy

Understanding the value of things

Purchasing and consumerism have become sharp probolems of the modern society which accelarate social inequalities and climate change. Let's discuss the questions one must ask before making a buying decision to ensure a sustainable purchase.

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  • Is the available product used? Consider purchasing used or remanufactured products such as laser toner cartridges and furniture whenever practical and cost effective without compromising safety, quality or performance.

  • Must consider total cost of ownership!

  • Does another department have a surplus of the product they are willing to share?

  • Does another department have the product but is not using it?

  • Can the existing product be economically and sustainably refurbished?

COST OF OWNERSHIP: While many items look like they are a good price at point of purchase, take in to account a product’s total life cycle cost. Consider:

  • acquisition,

  • extended warranties,

  • operation,

  • supplies,

  • maintenance,

  • support,

  • disposal costs or trade-in value,

  • and expected lifetime compared to other alternatives.

When to buy? If a purchase is necessary, look for a product with some or all of the following characteristics. They may be relevant to your acquisition whenever practical and without compromising safety, quality, or your budget. Consider if product:

  • is durable and expected to last

  • is made in whole or in part from recycled material(s) or from a renewable resource

  • failure parts can be replaced, recycled or returned for reuse or remanufacture

  • is energy and water efficient

  • is shipped securely with a minimum of packaging; all packaging is made from recycled materials and is itself 100% recyclable; or, Supplier takes back packaging for reuse