Employee Green Guide: Purchasing & Surplus

Pitt is committed to stewardship, equity, and diversity through sustainable purchasing, conservation, materials reuse, and other practices.


Pitt Surplus Property repurposes items from across campus, both through resale and collection. Surplus accepts office and classroom furniture, equipment, electronics, and more. Anyone at Pitt or in the public can purchase items from Surplus Property. Surplus picks up and delivers items across campus by request.

University Stores

Did you know you can search for “Sustainable Picks at The University Store on Fifth, The Pitt Shop, and Maggie & Stella’s ? For a product to be considered, it must one or more verifiable criteria below (and learn more):

  • Locally owned and manufactured
  • Made of sustainable materials
  • Climate neutral certified
  • Supports zero waste and reusable habits
  • Fair trade
  • End of use recycling program from manufacturer
  • Diverse ownership


One of the best ways to be more sustainable is to reuse or repurpose items when possible, including furniture, office supplies, and more.

When salvaged, reused, or repurposed items are not available, seek out products with third-party sustainability certifications that verify efficiency, material content, sourcing, and more.

Examples of product certifications to look for include:

  • Energy Star (electronics, appliances, and more)
  • EPEAT (electronics)
  • Fair Trade (food, retail items, and more)
  • Forest Stewardshop Council (paper and wood products)
  • Green Seal (cleaning products)

Pitt’s contracted suppliers and purchasing processes are set up to help you choose more sustainable items from more diverse companies while getting the best price and adhering with the University’s financial requirements.

More Ways to Reduce & Reuse

For more information regarding purchasing & surplus policies or commodity specific programs, check out Pitt Purchasing’s Sustainability information, which provides options and considerations by commodity!


The University of Pittsburgh is committed to fostering a diverse supplier base, helping ensure that businesses of diverse backgrounds and ownership have the opportunity to become valued suppliers as a means of improving the general economic well-being of the community and functioning of our local and national economies. Pitt defines diverse suppliers as diverse, minority, and women-owned enterprises.

Additionally, every University Responsibility Center has its own diverse purchasing goals! Learn more and find a list of diverse Pitt suppliers here.

Follow along with our efforts to work with more diverse businesses on our Vendor Diversity Dashboard!