Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.19
Liaison Ryan Todd
Submission Date April 30, 2024

STARS v2.2

California State University, Sacramento
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.75 / 3.00
"---" 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?:

A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:

The policies, guidelines or directives:

The following policies are part of the larger California State University Sustainability Policy: 1. Campuses shall promote the use of suppliers and/or vendors who reduce waste, re-purpose recycled material, or support other environmentally friendly practices in the provision of goods or services to the CSU under contract. This may include additional evaluation points in solicitation evaluations for suppliers integrating sustainable and socially responsible practices. (14-New; 22-Revise) 2. To move to zero waste, campus practices should: (1) encourage the use of products that minimize the volume of trash sent to landfills or incinerators; (2) participate in the CalRecycle Buy-Recycled program or equivalent; and (3) increase recycled content purchases in all Buy-Recycled program product categories. (14-New; 22-No Change) 3.Campuses shall continue to report on all recycled content product categories, consistent with PCC § 12153-12217 and shall implement improved tracking and reporting procedures for their recycled content purchases. (14-New; 22-No change) 4. Campuses shall align procedures with state initiatives to report environmental product declarations for select construction materials, consistent with PCC §3500-3505 and state mandates. (22-New) 5.Campuses shall promote circular economies 2 by seeking to reduce waste when considering materials purchases, including but not limited to, office supplies, equipment, classroom supplies, and promotional and giveaway items by minimizing purchase of items that have a short useful life, are unable to be recycled, and/or are made of unsustainable or carbon intensive materials. (22-New)


The California State University (CSU) has published sustainability criteria for consumable office products as part of its commitment to environmentally responsible procurement practices. These criteria are detailed in the CSU Buy Recycle Handbook & Policy, developed in alignment with the State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC), a collaborative initiative between the Department of General Services (DGS) and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). This campaign enforces the Public Contract Code (PCC) sections 12200–12320, mandating state agencies and the Legislature to prioritize purchasing recycled-content products (RCP) over non-recycled alternatives. CSU policy encourages campuses to adhere to the Buy Recycle Campaign by establishing procedures that ensure the procurement of goods containing recycled content, or those that can be recycled or reused. The CSU Buy Recycle Handbook serves as a comprehensive guide for campuses and administrative offices, detailing the requirements and providing “desk instructions” for Buy Recycle Coordinators to effectively execute their duties. These instructions, alongside the Buy Recycle policy in the CSU Policy Manual for Contracting & Procurement, were crafted specifically for CSU, ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Campuses need to consult both the handbook and the policy manual, particularly in cases of inconsistency, where the policy manual takes precedence. The procedural guidelines in the handbook are intended as a model and can be adapted to fit specific campus needs and procedures. For additional information on the SABRC and state requirements, refer to the CalRecycle website at CalRecycle Buy Recycled: https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BuyRecycled/StateAgency/.  

Does the institution employ Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) when evaluating energy- and water-using products and systems?:

Which of the following best describes the institution’s use of LCCA?:
Institution employs LCCA as a matter of policy and standard practice when evaluating all energy- and water-using products, systems and building components

A brief description of the LCCA policy and/or practices:

In the California State University Sustainability Policy Section I number 2 relates to Sustainable Building and Land Practices and it states: 2. Capital planning for state, non-state facilities and infrastructure shall consider features of a sustainable and durable design to achieve a low life cycle cost. Campuses shall design, construct, operate, and maintain green building certified high performing buildings, regardless of funding source, that improve occupant productivity and wellness, optimize life-cycle costs, and minimize carbon impact. Principles and best practices established by leading industry standards or professional organizations shall be implemented to the greatest extent possible. (04-Adopt; 14-Move; 22-Return & Revise) Section I number 4 states: 4. In order to implement the sustainable building goal in a cost-effective manner, the process will: identify economic and environmental performance measures; determine cost savings; use extended life cycle costing; and adopt an integrated systems approach. Such an approach treats the entire building as one system and recognizes that individual building features, such as lighting, windows, heating and cooling systems, or control systems are not stand-alone systems. (04-Adopt; 14-Move' 22-Return) Section

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating chemically intensive products and services?:

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

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

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

 The CSU has worked to create sustainability guidelines and improve efficiency during the procurement process. For example for consumable office products: 

The Staples and CSU auto-substitution program explores various synergy projects designed to reduce expenses and provide sustainable solutions for the campuses. It has been determined that collectively the CSU could save several hundred thousand dollars annually while offering sustainable alternatives with the Staples auto-substitution program. This program has been implemented throughout the CSU and requires full participation by all campuses.

Additionally, the campus substituted the OEM toners for Sustainable Earth Toners which have no difference in print quality or page yield with the SEB remanufactured cartridge. The cartridges contain only quality toners that work well with the OPC drum and other replacement parts to meet OEM performance.

Finally to ensure the sustainable procurements protocols of the agreement with staples. The CSU named Staples the primary contracted source for office supplies. 

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

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

All campus offices and/or departments must check the campus surplus "Hornet Surplus" before purchasing new furniture. If in the current inventory in "Hornet Surplus," the desired item is out of stock or doesn't match the measurements needed it is an exception to buy new furniture. The new furniture product must follow the  following criteria:

  1. All purchased new furniture shall meet one or more of the following certifications: BIFMA Level, Cradle to Cradle (C2C), SCS Indoor Advantage Gold, and GREENGUARD Gold. 


  1. All furniture shall be free of flame retardant chemicals at levels above 1,000 parts per million (ppm) in both standard and optional components, excluding electrical components.


  1. End-of-life procedures shall prioritize 1) repurposing furniture with other departments on campus, 2) selling or donating to local non-profit or state organizations, and 3) sending to a recycler that directs the furniture away from landfills.


  1. Indoor furniture includes chairs, workstations, desks, tables, storage units, integrated visual display products, hospitality furniture, and furniture used in student housing and student areas.


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

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

To provide a more consistent, sustainable, and supportable technology experience, Sacramento State has an established campus technology standard for all University-managed devices used by faculty and staff, or individuals utilizing campus labs or check-out devices.

Campus Technology Standards

For faculty and staff, the University supports an Apple and Lenovo laptop and desktop standard, which includes standardized packages of pre-installed software, system, and security configurations.
While students may purchase/use whichever devices they have access to, we recommend the following minimum standards in order to be compatible with University systems.

Benefits of standardized offerings include:
• Compliance with CSU and Sacramento State Workstation Security Standards
• Computers that are configurable and compatible with information security tools and requirements, have regular security patching, and are ready for use across all enterprise campus technology services
• Consistently high-quality hardware components, ease in troubleshooting issues, and extended warranty support.

Additionally, all the recommended devices are EPEAT Gold Certified. Extending the importance of product stewardship for advancing sustainability.

Campus Device Standards

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food service providers?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food service providers:

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating garments and linens?:

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

All CSU contracts for the procurement or laundering of apparel, garments or corresponding accessories or the procurement of equipment, materials, or supplies, other than procurement related to a public works contract, shall require the contractor to certify that it has maintained a "sweat-free" workplace in compliance with Public Contracts Code Section 6108 and that they adhere to the Sweatfree Code of Conduct as set forth by the California Department of Industrial Relations. https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/7865355/latest/#autoid-2yrak

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional service providers?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional service providers:

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating transportation and fuels?:

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

Requests for fleet vehicle purchases from both self-support (auxiliary) and general fund/academic departments shall be justified in writing and the justification at a minimum shall include the following information, including but not limited to a statement of how the proposed purchase supports CSU's policy to encourage and promote the use of alternative transportation and/or alternative fuels to reduce GHG emissions related to university associated transportation, including commuter and business travel and an evaluation of lower-carbon transportation alternatives evaluated. California State and Federal Fleet mandates: Federal Energy Policy Act – 75% alternative fuel light-duty vehicles AB 32's Bio-energy Action Plan requires 50% of the above 75% light-duty vehicles to be flex fuel (reference: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/flextech.shtml) 10% of all light-duty fleet purchases by campuses and CSU shall be zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) in FY 2017/18, increasing by 5% annually through FY 2024/2025 to a total of 50% of light duty fleet vehicles purchases. For the purposes of this section, ZEVs are fuel cell vehicles (FCV), battery electric vehicles (BEV). Sufficient charging/fueling infrastructure shall be available to support ZEV purchases and utilization. Exemption to above ZEV/BEV requirement: If the campus has Telematics in 100% of ZEV fleet including Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)3 and Hybrid vehicles4 with quarterly reports demonstrating proper charging and use of PHEV vehicles. PHEV vehicles shall be considered ZEVs for purchasing vehicles. Purchasing of light duty vehicles shall follow a priority order. If purchasing other than priority 1 vehicle type, justification in writing must be submitted for each lower priority order type of vehicle. Campuses should consult the DGS lists of vehicles but are not required to use DGS procurement. Other local procurement options that offer better value can be utilized within campus procurement standards and the limits of this section. CSU shall give preference to DGS management memo 12-03: solar reflective colors for light-duty vehicle acquisitions. CSU's shall follow DGS Management Memo 15-03 (SAM Section 3620.1): average MPG requirements for light-duty vehicle acquisitions for any internal and flex fuel vehicle purchases. For the CSU fleet vehicles policy, please visit: https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/6637418/latest/ Campus Transportation and Parking: It is the policy of the CSU to meet the transportation needs of students, faculty, staff and visitors at its campuses with safe, equitable, and cost-effective options. CSU will use the lowest life cycle cost evaluation and greatest number of students, faculty, staff and visitors per vehicle mile traveled (VMT) served to determine its investment of scarce funding into transportation infrastructure that increases mobility and access for all. The CSU shall use transportation options that have the lowest total cost of ownership, lowest carbon emissions and best fit for regional transportation needs to mitigate congestion and pollution while maintaining access to campus. For the CSU Transportation and Parking policy, please visit: https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/7728108/latest/

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable procurement program or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.