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Bottled Water Policy

Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish limitations for the purchase and use of bottled water on campus in compliance with Executive Order No 22 (EO22): Leading by Example: Directing State Agencies to Adopt a Sustainability and Decarbonization Program; as well as to further promote green and sustainable practices to reduce the College’s carbon footprint and waste generation.

Persons Affected

Faculty, Staff

Policy Statement

In 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul issued EO22: Leading by Example. The order was issued in an effort to conserve both natural resources and fiscal resources, as well as promote sound environmental practices and make State agency operations more environmentally responsible. The order requires the phase out of the purchase and use of bottled water at all campus facilities.

Under EO22, the purchase of bottled water products for consumption by faculty, staff, students and visitors is not an acceptable use of state funds. Departments are not permitted to use state funds to purchase bottled water products of any kind, unless they have been granted an exemption. This policy does not apply to the purchase of bottled water for emergency needs.

EO 22 allows the purchase of bottled water under the following exemptions:

1. Exemptions for Certain Routine Activities - a need to purchase bottled water due to health or safety reasons on an ongoing basis as part of their operational needs;

2 . Exemptions for Purchasing Bottled Water at an Individual Facility - a need to purchase bottled water for an individual facility due to issues with the potable water supply.

Some examples of exemptions include, but are not limited to, the purchase of bottled water for student athletes when access to clean/safe drinking water is not available or the purchase of bottled water for large scale campus-wide events in which the campus would reasonably be expected to provide clean/safe drinking water. Departments may request an exemption by following the procedures listed below.

If an exemption is granted, the department must procure water that is bottled as local as possible to their location. When procuring bottled water, departments should purchase bottled water packaged in aluminum cans. If aluminum cans are not available, carboard or paperboard boxed water may be purchased. Single-use plastic bottles should only be procured if there are no other available alternatives.

Bottled water is no longer available at catered events of fewer than 50 people. This threshold has been established based on the campus food service provider’s limited access to a filtered water source and the limitations they face in providing safe alternatives to bottled water for larger groups. Once a reliable filtration system capable of supporting catered events of more than 50 people can be identified and installed the College will further reduce use of bottled water at such events.

The College will offer our campus community and guests reasonable alternatives to plain, bottled water. These alternatives include:

1. Hydration stations located in Campus Center, Gleeson Hall, Horton Hall, Knapp Hall, Laffin Hall, Lupton Hall, Nold Athletic Complex, Quintyne Hall, University Police Station, Service Building, School of Business, and Whitman Hall. Additional hydration stations will be installed where possible.

2. Promoting the use of reusable bottles.

3. Use of water pitchers, reusable cups and infused water canisters at catered events whenever possible. Recycling bins will be provided when water bottles are used at catered events for larger groups.

This policy does not preclude students, faculty and staff from independently purchasing and using bottled water products on campus, although we strongly encourage the use of reusable bottles and campus hydration stations in their place. Departments wishing to retain water coolers/bottled water must remit payment from PERSONAL funds directly to the vendor.


1. Any department that wishes to purchase bottled water under one of the aforementioned exemptions must submit a request to the Office for Sustainability.

2. The Office of Sustainability will review the request and submit the EO22 Bottled Water Exemption Form to GreenNY for approval. Once received, the Office for Sustainability will provide the department with a written notification of the status of the request.

3. For purchases that have received an exemption, the Food and Beverage Justification Form must be completed and submitted to the Controller’s Office at least four (4) weeks prior to the intended date of purchase. The department must use the form to describe how the water purchase falls within one of the aforementioned exemptions and why single-use bottles must be purchased.

4. Exemptions are granted indefinitely. If an exemption is no longer the department must notify the Controller and the Office for Sustainability, who will have the exemption nullified.


Bottled Water Products – any water purchased for the consumption of staff, faculty, student, visitors, or any other users of FSC facilities. This includes both smaller single-use bottled water (such as 16-ounce bottles) as well as larger reusable containers (like 5-gallon water coolers). Bottled water may be packaged in several kinds of materials such as plastic, aluminum, or cardboard. All bottled water, regardless of the type of container it is in, is covered by EO22’s purchasing restrictions.

State Funds – any funds managed by a campus department. This includes, but is not limited to, state purpose, IFR, and SUTRA funds.

Related Documents

Food and Beverage Justification Form

Executive Order 22

Responsible Office

Controller's Office

Policy History

Date of Permanent Approval: April 9, 2019

Effective Date: August 26, 2019

Revised Date: May 7, 2024