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Purchasing

Campus Sustainability Office


Cut down the forest of desire, not the forest of trees.

                  ~Dhammapada 283~


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.

The Green Procurement Working Group is the body responsible for planning and coordinating green procurement initiatives and strategies at the University.  The University's Purchasing agents also play an active role in green procurement planning and initiatives. 

Since 2005, the University has:

  • 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.
  • Begun 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.
  • Begun developing a mass-based system for tracking procurement.