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Purchasing

Campus Sustainability Office


Student standing in front of Wesley Hall

The University's Green Procurement Policy [PDF] prescribes reducing demand for purchases, substituting preferable products for products with negative environmental and health impacts, and using life-cycle accounting to make procurement decisions. 



Since 2005, the University:

  • Strengthened sustainable procurement requirements for vendors; adopted language encouraging recycled and refurbished products whenever applicable and giving preference to environmentally certified vendors (current standards used: EnergyStar, GreenGuard, ISO 14001, FSC).

  • Encouraged vendors to go beyond baseline standards, giving preference to products that exceeded standards by 15% or more.

  • Worked to ensuring that furnishings and equipment follow agreed-upon processes when no longer required to assess future possible use and then stored or disposed of in the most environmentally-friendly manner.

  • Began the process of working with school boards and not-for-profit organizations to assess their needs and how the University can help increase usable lifecycles for furniture through donation and reuse of equipment (both directions).

  • Established a requirement in RFPs (requests for proposals) and tenders that companies purchase carbon offsets for travel undertaken to complete a contract.

  • Participated in the development of a new Board level purchasing policy.

  • Began developing a system for tracking procurement.
  • Became a member of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), an independent labour rights monitoring organization that conducts investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe. WRC affiliate universities receive regular reports on conditions in factories that produce collegiate apparel, with specific reference to whether factories are in compliance with universities' codes of conduct. As part of our membership, the WRC works to verify that all clothing products that carry the UWinnipeg logo have been produced using fair labour practices.

  • Continues to benefit from Diversity Food Services, the University’s subsidiary food provider which operates on a social enterprise model while maintaining a commitment to local, organic and fair trade products. Food and beverage purchasing is a key component of UWinnipeg’s sustainable procurement program. 

>>Nearly 60% of the food and beverages sold on campus are recognized as environmentally responsible, and when it comes to animal products, which typically have greater environmental impact, only 36% of food items sold on campus are produced from animals, of which 75% are considered local, organic or sustainable. Diversity also has plans to produce more products in-house, including honey and ice cream. 

>>Diversity’s commitment to local and ethical purchasing has had important benefits for the agricultural economy in Southern Manitoba. Several of Diversity’s suppliers have been able to expand their operations as a result of UWinnipeg’s large, stable demand for local produce, dairy and meat, resulting in increased market availability of sustainable food products in our province. 


Note: 

  • Our current goals can be found in our 2017 Sustainability Strategy HERE
  • Details on our most recent accomplishments can be found in our annual performance reports