Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.30
Liaison Stephen Ellis
Submission Date May 31, 2024

STARS v2.2

Boston University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Gabrielle Brewer
Sustainability Analyst
BU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have written policies, guidelines, or directives that seek to support sustainable purchasing across multiple commodity categories institution-wide?:
Yes

A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:
The policies, guidelines or directives:

Boston University strives to be an industry leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving Zero Waste, as outlined in Boston University’s Climate Action Plan and Zero Waste Plan, by embracing best practices for sustainable sourcing and procurement of goods and services. For more information please see: https://www.bu.edu/sourcing/diversity-sustainability/sustainable-purchasing/


For every ton of material burned or buried locally, 71 tons of material were disposed upstream through mining, manufacturing, and distribution of products. The Zero Waste Hierarchy of Highest and Best Use recognizes that “more energy can be saved, and global warming impacts decreased, by reducing waste, reusing products, recycling and composting than can be produced from burning discards or recovering landfill gases.” The University seeks to identify, adopt, and promote measurable strategies to reduce its emissions from purchasing and waste-related activities. The University will rethink how it purchases goods and services. First, we will prioritize reduction of product purchases overall; then, consider used and surplus goods before considering new goods. BU aims to avoid single-use products and packaging, buy remanufactured or durable goods, and lease/share equipment. The University defines sustainable goods and services as those that deliver value (quality and cost) to BU, and for the environment and society. The University is committed to the stewardship of the environment, fair labor practices, supplier diversity, reducing the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals, and minimizing adverse effects of the University’s purchasing decisions. BU will source goods and services from strategic suppliers that are aligned with these goals. The scope of the Sustainable Purchasing Program covers consumable goods, chemicals for cleaning and landscaping, appliances and equipment, electronics, furniture, vehicles, and transportation products.


Separately, BU Dining and Auxiliary Services have developed goals and tracking sustainable purchasing of food and related non-food products.


Does the institution employ Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) when evaluating energy- and water-using products and systems?:
No

Which of the following best describes the institution’s use of LCCA?:
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A brief description of the LCCA policy and/or practices:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating chemically intensive products and services?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for chemically intensive products and services:

Yes, Boston University Facilities uses only Green Cleaning Materials. Custodial Services reported that 99% of all cleaning and janitorial products used by the University are Green Certified Cleaning products by Green Seal and EcoLogo, the highest standards available for sustainable cleaning products. The University began its Sustainable Cleaning Program in the 1990s to address concerns for worker safety and the desire to increase efficiencies. A major step was the installation of cleaning command centers to better manage chemical use, minimize packaging waste, reduce the University’s carbon footprint, lower the chances of chemical-related injuries, and meet the cleanliness goals of the University. Please see: https://www.bu.edu/sustainability/projects/sustainable-cleaning-program/


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating consumable office products?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for consumable office products:

Per the Sustainable Purchasing Program, Boston University recommends 100% post-consumer recycled content or agricultural residue content for copy paper. Additionally, other office products such as binders, clips, folders, and writing utensils could have recycled content and end of life recyclability. Boston University also has a managed print program, MyPrint, to reduce the amount of paper used by students at the university. Each undergraduate student is allocated 100 sheets of paper for Black-White printing, and each graduate student is allocated 500. Once they reach the quota, they are required to pay $0.08 per sheet of Black-White printing and $0.25 or $0.40 for color printing. Written standards for MyPrint for students can be found here: https://www.bu.edu/tech/services/cccs/printing/myprint/


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating furniture and furnishings?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for furniture and furnishings:

BU Sourcing & Procurement offers a furniture program that includes surplus, remanufactured, and new furniture options. The Sustainable Purchasing Program recommends a minimum standard that furniture be purchased with consideration to toxins and waste minimization and durability, without added flame retardants, and with one of the following certifications: GreenGuard Gold or BIFMA Level. In addition, Boston University has a stated preference for green building design and construction. All new construction projects beginning the design phase in 2018 or later will be designed to meet LEED Gold through BD+C and ID+C version 4.0 as laid out in the Climate Action Plan. For more information please see: https://www.bu.edu/sustainability/green-buildings/


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating Information technology (IT) and equipment?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for Information Technology (IT) and equipment:

The Sustainable Purchasing Program details a minimum standard of EPEAT Bronze for Electronics & IT Hardware purchases. Boston University utilizes EPEAT Gold standards in standard computer, laptop, and monitor purchases.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food service providers?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food service providers:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating garments and linens?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for garments and linens:

As outlined in the Sustainable Purchasing Program, all linens and uniform purchases must contain recycled content and/or organic materials, be produced without added flame retardants, and be sourced from ethical suppliers. The preferred standard also requires that the ability to reuse and repair be taken into consideration.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional service providers?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional service providers:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating transportation and fuels?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for transportation and fuels:

The Sustainable Purchasing Program states a minimum standard of hybrid or plug-in hybrid for vehicle purchases. The University will look to purchase electric vehicles for vehicle acquisitions as the technology becomes available for the various types of vehicles in the University fleet. Boston University has a transportation plan as part of the climate action plan. BU has pushed suppliers such as WB Mason to create greener transportation fleets. In addition, we are working to consolidate deliveries to continue to lessen the delivery and transportation footprint. In addition, BU subsidizes monthly passes for the MBTA and encourages carpooling with additional benefits. For more information, please see https://www.bu.edu/parking/. Specifically regarding air travel, the University will identify a carbon offset program for students, faculty, and staff which will begin to collect and report greenhouse gas emissions data to offer carbon offsets.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable procurement program or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

This represents FY2023 BU metrics.


The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.