Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Aug. 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Columbia University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.25 / 3.00 Wendy Johnson
Dir, Business Services
Purchasing
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

Columbia has included sustainable purchasing in it's 2017 Sustainability plan, which includes strategies for incorporating sustainable purchasing habits and green products into the University operations. Columbia central procurement integrates sustainability into the procurement process for all applicable product and services. In order to be recognized as a "preferred vendor" a supplier has to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, and the ranking process used in selecting a vendor provides points for(and prioritizes) those who align with Columbia's sustainability values. Once a vendor is hired, a sustainability clause is added into the contracts with the vendors.


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

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:

Life Cycle Cost Analysis is required as a component of Local Law 87. Columbia University as a policy conducts energy audits of buildings in excess of 50,000 square feet, and as a component of these audits, a life cycle analysis is performed.


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)?:
No

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

n/a


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

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

Columbia is committed to a construction impact mitigation program that incorporates strategies, tools and technologies for reducing diesel emissions. This includes on-site field compliance, air monitoring, and ensuring that construction equipment use air pollution control devices and Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel. Columbia has also formally committed in it's sustainability plan to build all new construction to a minimum of LEED Silver.

https://sustainable.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/Columbia%20University%20Sustainability%20Plan(1).pdf

https://facilities.columbia.edu/sustainability/greenbuilding

https://news.columbia.edu/content-topics/clean-construction


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)?:
Yes

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

Electronic recycling is a standard at Columbia, and there are policies for the proper and safe removal and disposal of all electronics on campus. Environmental Health and Safety regulates the removal of electronic products through the Hazardous Waste Management Program.

https://research.columbia.edu/content/electronics-recycling
https://research.columbia.edu/content/hazardous-waste-management
https://policylibrary.columbia.edu/sanitization-and-disposal-information-resources-policy

Additionally, the University provides purchasing recommendations for students, faculty and staff, including that University constituents purchase equipment that meets Energy Star requirements.

https://cuit.columbia.edu/system-recommendations-purchase-considerations


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

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

Columbia includes language in all requests for proposal (RFP) for food services that indicates a preference for both Minority & Local Vendors, as well as a stated preference for 100% recycled material.

See below for actual RFP language specifically for food services:

"Request for Proposal of Cafe Services

Minority & Local Plan: We encourage bidders to explore potential partnering or subcontracting arrangements with MWL vendors to maximize Minority & Local participation. Please detail any plans you may have with regard to creative partnering or subcontracting with MWL vendors. Columbia attaches great importance to the bidder’s ability to utilize MWL (Minority, Women, and or Locally) owned businesses in the performance of this contract. This can be accomplished by, 2nd Tier MWL vendor usage, opening of a facility within the New York Empowerment Zone (NYEZ) region, maximization of minority, women owned and local subcontract participation and innovation in recruitment and training of employees through community work force development.

Environmentally Preferable: Columbia continues to expand our efforts to enhance the long-term sustainability of the University, our local community, our city, and ultimately, our world. Please state in as clear and concise manner as possible your company’s commitment to environmentally preferable packaging, paper goods and materials. It is Columbia’s preference that paper goods used are from 100% recycled materials."


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating garments and linens?:
No

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

n/a


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional services (e.g. architectural, engineering, public relations, financial)?:
No

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

n/a


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)?:
No

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

The University does not currently have published criteria for transportation. However, a large effort outlined in Columbia's Sustainability Plan released in 2017 addresses how to evaluate transportation and fuels.

As part of Columbia’s transition to track and report GHG emissions through The Climate Registry (TCR), Columbia will track transportation-related contributions to the Scope 1 and 3 emissions categories in the inventory.

For the purpose of GHG accounting and reporting, the forms of transportation and associated emissions are grouped into three categories:

1. mobile combustion of fuels in transportation sources controlled by the University, for example, fleet vehicles;
2. commuting—the transportation of students and employees between their homes and their “worksites” in vehicles not owned or operated by the reporting company; and
3. business travel—transportation of students and employees for University-related activities in vehicles not owned or operated by Columbia.

The first is classified as direct, Scope 1 emissions; the last two, as indirect, Scope 3 emissions.

Columbia has not yet accounted for transportation-related GHG emissions. In order to do so, a baseline of its current operations must be established and included in the GHG inventory. It will also integrate the University’s commitment to sustainability into vehicle purchasing decisions, including guidelines to make low-carbon vehicles preferential. This approach will expand—to discussions with shuttle service contractors to talk about alternative fuel models, and with vendors that deliver products and supplies on campus to talk about low-emission delivery vehicles and/or decreased frequency. Additionally, Columbia will invest in attractive transportation options that incentivize commuters to choose alternatives to driving cars to get to campus.

Columbia’s efforts in this area will also improve local air quality, which is a primary concern for residents of dense urban neighborhoods such as Morningside Heights. Studies have shown the link between human health and vehicle emissions, especially because mobile source emissions occur at ground level where human activity is the greatest.

The University is committed to enhancing a sustainable urban campus with innovative transportation options, serving as a model for New York City and beyond.

Columbia's transportation goals and strategies are outlined in the following link:
https://sustainable.columbia.edu/content/transportation


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating wood and paper products?:
No

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

n/a


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?:
No

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

n/a


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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