Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.85
Liaison Vic Shelburne
Submission Date Nov. 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Clemson University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 3.00 Mike Nebesky
Procurement Director
"---" 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 commodity categories institution-wide?:

A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:

The policies, guidelines or directives:


The purpose of this policy is to support the purchase of products that minimize the harmful effects of their use and final disposition upon the environment. Clemson University recognizes that the purchasing decisions of our employees can make a difference in favor of environmental quality. We prefer the purchase of environmentally preferable products whenever they perform satisfactorily and are available at a reasonable price.

A collateral purpose is to support markets for recycled goods and other environmentally preferable products and services.


A. "Environmentally Preferable Products" means products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product.

B. "Life Cycle Cost" means the amortized annual cost of a product, including capital costs, installation costs, operating costs, maintenance costs, and disposal costs discounted over the

C. "Recycled Material" means material and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste, and have been utilized in place of raw or virgin material in manufacturing a product. It is derived from post-consumer recycled material, manufacturing waste, industrial scrap, agricultural waste, and other waste material, but does not include material or byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process.

D. "Recycled Product" means products manufactured with waste material that has been recovered or diverted from solid waste. Recycled material may be derived from post-consumer waste (material that has served its intended end-use and been discarded by a final consumer), industrial scrap, manufacturing waste, or other waste that would otherwise have been wasted.


A. All Clemson University personnel will purchase recycled and environmentally preferable products whenever practicable.

B. Clemson University should promote the use of recycled and other environmentally preferable products by publicizing its procurement program.

C. The University Procurement Department will make every effort to secure contracts with vendors that are environmentally conscientious whenever practicable.

D. Procure environmentally preferable products and services where criteria have been established by governmental or other widely recognized authorities (e.g. Energy Star, EPA Eco Purchasing Guidelines).

E. Integrate environmental factors into the University's buying decisions where external authorities have not established criteria.

F. Examples of preferable practices or products:

Compact fluorescent lamps (Energy Star Seal on package)
Made of recycled materials, maximizing post-consumer content
Durable, as opposed to single use or disposable items
Non-toxic or minimally toxic, preferably biodegradable
Highly energy efficient in production and use
Manufactured in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner by companies with good environmental track records
Cause minimal or no environmental damage during normal use or maintenance.
Shipped with minimal packaging (consistent with care of the product), preferably made of recycled and/or recyclable materials
Recycled paper and paper products
Re-refined lubrication and hydraulic oils
Computers and electric appliances (Energy Star Rated)
Re-crushed cement concrete aggregate and asphalt
Cement and asphalt concrete containing glass cullet, recycled fiber, plastic, or tire rubber
Remanufactured tires and products made from recycled tire rubber
Green Sealtm cleaning products
Energy saving products
Waste-reduced products
Water-saving products
Office Supplies (marked with environmental sign)
Replacing disposables with reusables or recyclables
Taking into account life cycle costs and benefits
Evaluating, as appropriate, the environmental performance of vendors in providing products and services
Responsibilities of Procurement Department

Clemson is committed to actions designed to conserve and protect the environment, and will continue to implement those actions whenever possible and economically feasible. It is the responsibility of the Procurement Department, in conjunction with all University departments, to promote the development and use of environmentally friendly products and services through the following activities:

A. Reviewing contracts, bids and specifications for goods and services to ensure that, whenever possible and economical, they are amended to provide for the expanded use of products and services that contain the maximum level of post-consumer reusable or recyclable waste / or recyclable content, without significantly affecting the intended use of the product or service.

B. Consulting with all user departments to identify new environmentally friendly products and services as well as improvements/changes in industry standards that may impact the environment.

C. Requiring the use of recycled materials and recycled products by incorporating them in bid specifications where practicable.

D. Purchasing from suppliers that provide environmentally friendly products and services or suppliers that are environmentally sensitive in their daily operations.

E. Seeking new suppliers and encouraging existing suppliers to review the manner in which their goods are packaged. Working with suppliers in the areas of reduction and reuse of packaging materials.

F. Using cost/benefit analysis to arrive at the correct sourcing decision; one that remains economically practical, reflects effective purchasing practices and satisfies the requirements of the user department.

G. Making suppliers aware of the Clemson Sustainable Procurement Policy.

H. Developing tools to track goals, assist in identifying and financially justifying green products and services, make it easier to measure achievement of goals, and integrate green purchasing into every day decisions.

I. Utilizing the Sustainable Procurement checklist for use in University purchasing.

J. Participating in training for implementing and improving the procurement of environmentally friendly products.

K. Advocate for legislation that will further support sustainable procurement.

Responsibilities of Departments

A. Departments should use the list in this policy as a guideline for environmentally preferable products, specific to their department/mission. They should add or modify this list as necessary. Factors that should be considered when determining the environmentally preferable good or service include, but are not limited to:

Maximization of recycled products used in product or service life cycle
Environmental cost of entire product or service life cycle
Reuse of existing products or materials in product or service life cycle
Reconcilability of product
Minimization of packaging
Reduction of energy/water consumption
Toxicity reduction or elimination
Elimination of uncertified hardwoods in product or service life cycle
Durability and maintenance requirements
Ultimate disposal of the product

B. Inform employees of their responsibilities under this policy; provide them with information about recycled products and environmental procurement opportunities. Check the Procurement Web Page for frequent updates on vendor participation with environmental efforts.

C. Establish a yearly review committee to evaluate the efforts the department has made to help protect and preserve the environment and what the future goals are for the up-coming year.

D. Submit new ideas or suggestions to Procurement Services.


Nothing in this policy shall be construed as requiring a department, agency or contractor to procure products that do not perform adequately for their intended use or are not available at a reasonable price in a reasonable period of time.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Resources

A. EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (https://www.epa.gov/smm/comprehensive-procurement-guideline-cpg-program)

B. EPA's EPP Web Site (www.epa.gov/oppt/epp)

C. EPPNet (nerc.org/)

D. Green Seal (www.greenseal.org)

E. EnergyStar (www.energystar.gov)

F. Office of the Federal Sustainability (https://www.sustainability.gov/)

Clemson University Sustainable Procurement Checklist

When purchasing, ask a supplier these questions. But first, determine if the product or service is truly necessary. Purchasing will need to be balanced with issues of product performance, cost, and availability.

(1) Waste reduction: Is the product durable? Can it be easily and economically serviced and maintained? Is the product designed to reduce consumption and minimize waste? Is the product reusable? Is the product technically and economically recyclable in the immediate area? Do facilities and internal collection systems exist to recycle the product? Can the product be returned to the supplier at the end of its useful life? Is the product compostable and are systems in place to compost the product on or off-site? Will the product biodegrade over time into harmless elements?

(2) Packaging: Is the product necessary? Can it be eliminated? Is minimal packaging used? Is the product packaged in bulk? Is the packaging reusable or recyclable? Are recycled materials used to produce the packaging and at what percent post-consumer waste? Can the packaging be returned to the supplier? Is the packaging compostable?

(3) Material source: Are recycled materials used in the product? If so, what percentage? What percentage of post-consumer materials is used? If wood is used in the product, what is its source and how is it harvested? Is the product manufactured from tropical rainforest wood?

(4) Energy efficiency: Is the product energy efficient compared to competitive products? Can the product be recharged? Can the product run on renewable fuels? Does the product require less energy to manufacture than competing products?

(5) Supplier environmental record: Is the company producing the product in compliance with all environmental laws and regulations? What is the company's record in handling environmental and safety issues? Can the company verify all environmental claims? Does the manufacturer/supplier have a company environmental policy statement? What programs are in place/planned for promoting resource efficiency? Are printed materials available documenting these programs? Has the company conducted an environmental or waste audit? Is the product supplier equipped to bid and bill electronically? Has an environmental life-cycle analysis of the product (and its packaging) been conducted by a certified testing organization, such as Green Seal?

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 less comprehensively, e.g. for certain types of systems or projects and not others

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

Clemson requires a Life Cycle Cost Analysis Evaluation for large capital project. For example, during the bidding process for a chiller it was required that all vendors provide a 20-year LCCA. The bid was awarded to the vendor demonstrating the lowest 20 year life cycle cost.

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating chemically intensive products and services (e.g. building and facilities maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing, landscaping and grounds maintenance)?:

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

.Clemson adopted a Green Cleaning Policy in 2015 that includes all buildings including rented and leased space. The goal of this policy is to reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological, and particulate matter and reduce the environmental impacts of cleaning products, disposable janitorial paper products, and trash bags. This policy measures it’s success through the percent of products that meet most of all of the sustainability criteria outlined in the policy as compared to total spending on each product. It also measures the percent of new and existing employees who are trained on this policy.

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating construction and renovation products (e.g. furnishings and building materials)?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for construction and renovation products:

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating Information technology (IT) products and services (e.g. computers, imaging equipment, mobile phones, data centers and cloud services)?:

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

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food services (i.e. franchises, vending services, concessions, convenience stores)?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food services:

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:

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional services (e.g. architectural, engineering, public relations, financial)?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional services:

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating transportation and fuels (e.g. travel, vehicles, delivery services, long haul transport, generator fuels, steam plants)?:

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

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating wood and paper products?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for wood and paper products:

Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating products and services in other commodity categories that the institution has determined to have significant sustainability impacts?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for other commodity categories:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.