Description of Environmental Purchasing Policy

The Vehicles section of the Environmental Purchasing Policy pertains to the usage of Gasoline, Vehicles, and Car and Truck rentals.

According to the Policy, all purchased fuel and vehicle maintenance must be in line with Ecologo Standards.  The Policy recommends that when purchasing a vehicle or truck, a US EPA Certified SmartWay vehicle is the most ecologically sound way to go.  The Policy also recommends that in situations where cars or trucks are inappropriate choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle at hand and, if possible, use only Ecologo Certified products for the maintenance of the chosen vehicle.

Waste-Reducing Alternatives to Purchasing Vehicles

Minimize the purchase of private vehicles by using public transportation and car shares through companies like Zipcar. Purchase a used car (as long as it complies with Ecologo Standards).

What to Consider when Purchasing Vehicles

Co2 emission levels and type of vehicle technology: Different vehicle technologies have different environmental effects – be sure to know your options before making a decision.  Some technologies include electric, hybrid, bio-diesel, ethanol, LPG, fuel cell, compressed natural gas, petrol, and diesel.  Renewable technologies are most sustainable – whenever possible, avoid petrol and diesel.
For more information about the environmental impact of the car of your choice, visit

Size of the car: Lighter usually have better fuel economy than heavier ones, so limit the size of the vehicle you select.

Your Sustainability Preferences: Often, rental companies try to persuade customers into purchasing special deals which offer cheaper or larger vehicles, yet do not comply with Ecologo standards.  It is important that you request the vehicle of your choice and don’t be afraid to pass up “special deals” that might not fit the environmental profile you are looking for.  Ask specifically about their more sustainable options when procuring a car or truck, and let the company know that sustainability is important to your purchasing/renting decision.

Possible Vendors

Below is a list of vendors in the NYU area that offer environmentally friendly interior furnishings. This is not a comprehensive list, and the Sustainability Task Force has not formally evaluated the vendors listed. However, based on thoughtful research, we believe that the following vendors are a good starting point for purchasers in search of sustainable products and services.

Additional Resources and Information

Keys to Green: Enterprise, National, and Alamo offer Ford, Toyota and Saturn hybrids, as well as carbon offsets through TerraPass: $1.25 to offset the carbon emissions generated by their car rental). TerraPass applies the funds toward an emission offset project for clean energy (wind farm), farm power (methane digesters) or landfill methane capture.

Go Green, Save Green: The “Go Green, Save Green” hybrid search link on the Orbitz Web page lets you search specifically for hybrid rentals from Hertz, Avis, Budget, National, Alamo and Fox.

Environmental Driving Tips

•    Lighten your load weight by not carrying unnecessary items.  Remove excess weight from your trunk, and if you have a removable roof rack and aren’t using it, take it off.

•    Stick to the speed limits – driving at high speeds expends extra fuel.

•    Drive smoothly, avoiding heavy accelerating and braking.

•    When stationary for a long time, switch off the engine.

•    Closing windows will make the car more efficient by being more aerodynamic.

•    Make sure your tires are properly inflated, as underinflated tires cause more resistance.

•    If possible, carpool to reduce the number of cars on the road.

•    Installing diesel particulate traps on shuttle buses to significantly reduce particulate pollution.

•    For more tips to driving green, see

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions of vendors for inclusion in future versions of the Environmental Purchasing Guide, please leave a comment in the box below.


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