City of Madison

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Green Purchasing

In keeping with the City’s vision and commitment of creating an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable green capital city, the City of Madison is working towards adopting green purchasing practices that incorporate the principals of sustainability. As a service provider, the City of Madison and its facilities and operations have a huge impact on the environment. Because the City is both consumer and steward of our environment, it must incorporate the principles of sustainability, such as green purchasing practices to ensure that our current and future needs can be met.

City Staff is currently drafting Green Purchasing Policies for office furniture, carpet, paints, office supplies, task lighting, electronics, and office lighting. The goal is to create Mayoral APM’s for all of these purchasing practices.

Printer and Paper Policy

Similar to Green Cleaning, the Printer and Paper Policy was created to save energy, natural and financial resources for the City of Madison, and to develop a sustainable policy that will optimize the City’s printing operations.

Overall goals include: reducing the number of printers, faxes and scanners currently in use, mandating the use and purchase of recycled or environmentally preferred paper, and developing a standard for the use and purchase of remanufactured toner.
When an agency the needs a printer, fax, scanner, or copier or the agency’s office space is being remodeled or relocated, printing practices will be impacted. The agency should work with Information Technology to review current print practices ensuring that the following points are addressed:

  1. The most efficient number of office equipment devices including multifunction devices) necessary to meet operational productivity are in place.
  2. Shared networked devices are in use to the maximum extent possible.
    1. Ideal printer to employee ratio shall be seven, or more, employees per device. Increase the employee to printer ratio by eliminating personal desktop printers through the installation of multi-function devices or network printers, which are shared in work areas.
    2. Combine multiple functions into one multi-function device (fax, copier, printer, scanner) whenever one or more of these functions is needed in conjunction with printing.
  3. Based on needs assessment, existing devices may be disposed of (sent to surplus) or re-deployed in other areas, provided that the department can document a valid business need for re-deployment of the device.

Default Device Settings

Default device configuration settings (duplex mode, color/black-and-white, idle time power off), set by Information Technology at installation time, should remain unchanged.


No less than 80% of the paper purchased by city agencies should be environmentally preferred paper. Characteristics of this paper include that it is made from 100% post consumer recycled paper, processed chlorine-free, produced with 100% green eCertified renewable energy, and has acid-free content.


The purchase of remanufactured toner cartridges is required for all printers for which remanufactured cartridges are available.