Sustainability Office

Sustainable Queen's
Sustainable Queen's

​​Purchasing Practice

Bottled Water-Free Campus

The campus bottled water ban became effective September 1, 2012.  Single-use bottled water is no longer available on campus and the community is encouraged to make use of reusable water bottles.  To support the ban, approximately 40 new bottle-fill stations have been installed across campus to allow easy bottle refills and track the amount of plastic bottles avoided.  As of May 2014, this initiative has reduced the purchase and consumption of roughly 750,000 plastic bottles on campus since its inception. In addition to reducing waste, the bottle water-free campus initiative promotes free access to water rather than its commercialization. 


Queen’s University has established a Preferred Furniture Vendor Program for office furniture that allows Queen’s to select and purchase quality furniture products that not only address performance, functionality, maintenance and aesthetics, but also address sustainability and the environment. Our agreement is with Teknion Furniture and more sustainability information can be found at:

Sustainable Furniture Initiatives
  • Select products and materials that minimize VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds) that impact indoor air quality.
  • Ensure that the furniture manufacturer has the products tested for low VOC emissions and certified by an independent third party, such as Greenguard.
  • Partner with furniture manufacturers and dealers that have developed and implemented environmental policies and procedures and carry products that reduce waste and conserve natural resources, such as ISO 14001, Environmental Management System.
  • Select wood products that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) that are not endangered or protected wood species.
  • Request the furniture manufacturer state what percentage of the product is produced using recycled-content materials, through post industrial, post consumer and recovered materials; and, what percentage of the product can be recycled at the end of the lifecycle, to divert these materials from landfills.
  • Choose furniture products that provide credits towards LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) CI (Commercial Interiors) and NC (New Construction).
  • Provide an alternate to standard construction, using a modular wall partition system manufactured by a furniture company. This product can also be reconfigured, reducing the amount of product that would end up in a landfill, as well as reducing the amount of drywall compound, dust and debris on a construction site.



Queen’s Hospitality Services is committed to helping protect our community and environment.  They have developed programs that will help to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve the capability of our environment. One example is the fact that 60% of our food is sourced locally. Current initiatives can be seen on the Hospitality Services website.

“Paperless” Sourcing Process

Strategic Procurement Services started using the Bonfire digital tendering solution in January 2014 and now all public tenders are received and evaluated electronically. This process eliminates the need for suppliers to print hardcopy responses and have them couriered to Queen’s. Early estimates indicate that using a digital tendering solution will save suppliers having to print roughly 300,000 pages per year just for Queen’s.