Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.02
Liaison Rochelle Owen
Submission Date July 21, 2021

STARS v2.2

Dalhousie University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.75 / 3.00 KAREINA D'SOUZA
Sustainability Manager
Office of 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:

Dalhousie has a number of sustainability considerations and requirements in RFP, tenders, and contracts with business partners. Depending on the scope of the service and/or goods, specific sustainability requirements are outlined by vendor – for example diversion targets for building projects and local food sourcing requirements. For all contractors, regardless of goods and services, set university environmental standards are required and outlined in documents such as contracts and contractors check lists. All contractors must follow legal labour standards such as minimum wage.

-Procurement Policy: https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/university_secretariat/policy-repository/ProcurementPolicy.pdf


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:

Dalhousie University has a Purchasing Policy that governs purchasing at the University.  In this Purchasing Policy, Section Three on Sustainability Purchasing includes that the “Procurement decisions will consider the total cost of ownership of an item based on analysis of vendor’s response to the above criteria”. 

In addition “Employees are required to utilize sustainability considerations when purchasing for university requirements.” Sustainability considerations are highlighted on the Office of Sustainability website in a Sustainable Procurement check list. In the Procurement check list, items are listed including life cycle costing; “Total cost of ownership (life cycle costing) should be evaluated. This includes capital, operating and disposal costs. Costs include factors such as utility consumption and costs; maintenance and management, durability.

https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/sustainability/website-content/educational-material/Sustainable%20Procurement%20Check%20List%20oct%202012.pdf


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:

Dalhousie has the Green Cleaning Policy which states that:

Cleaning products shall:
• have a neutral pH (closer to 7) compared to those with extreme pH (closer to 1 or 14)
• be readily biodegradable
• have no or low levels of dyes and fragrances
• have no or low VOCs
• have no carcinogens
• use materials derived from renewable resources compared to those from non-renewable resources
• have a high flashpoint compared to those with a low flashpoint as outlined on the product’s MSDS
• have zero hazard rating from the HMIS (Hazardous Materials Identification System) rating
• have multiple uses and be able to effectively be used with cold water
• be available as concentrates and/or concentrates used in dilution control

Janitorial products shall have:
• high post-consumer recycled content
• no chlorine-bleaching
• no use of de-inking solvents
• consist of Micro Fiber cleaning tool technology where applicable
• no triclosan in hand sanitizers and other cleaning products

Custodial products must meet EcoLogo and/or Green Seal certification where products are available. Custodial products should be packaged in recycled packaging that is recyclable. Preference shall be given to products that meet the goals of this policy to the greatest degree.

pdf of policy: https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/university_secretariat/policy-repository/Green-Cleaning-Policy-2017May.pdf


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:

Dalhousie passed a paper policy regarding paper use on campus.

Paper purchased by Dalhousie units should be purchased at the Dalhousie Print Centre which offers the 100% post-consumer paper as the base paper for the university. Both in Halifax and at the Agricultural Campus, the base office paper is FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) or SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified.

https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/university_secretariat/policy-repository/PaperPolicy.pdf


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

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

Dalhousie strives to have furniture and building materials purchased and disposed of in a sustainable manner. The sustainable procurement checklist highlights providing goods that are:
• durable, long lasting, reusable;
• non-toxic or minimally toxic;
• produced locally for economic and environmental benefits;
• meeting the most recent versions of third-party sustainability certification standards as applicable to operations and products such as Green Guard, EcoLogo, FSC, and LEED requirements.

A notable initiative is the Surplus Goods program run by the Procurement Department. Surplus materials are equipment, furniture, and supplies that were purchased with university funds and are no longer required. This process administered by the Procurement Department allows departments and individuals to bid on surplus items for reuse.

Dalhousie has the Sustainable Building Policy which formalizes Dalhousie’s existing practice and commitment to green building through new constructions and renovations. that states all new building over 10,000 square feet should aim for LEED® Gold Certified, or higher.

https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/university_secretariat/policy-repository/SustainableBuildingPolicy.pdf


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:

Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) has a signed a Sustainability Policy and Statement of Principles. Our Procurement Policy reflects the importance of sustainability considerations. In meeting these policy objectives the University works to use sustainability criteria in purchasing. Information Technology products are covered under the Dalhousie Sustainable Procurement Checklist which states:

Products should:

-Meet the most recent ENERGY STAR certification (in all areas for which ENERGY STAR ratings exist) or meet the performance requirements for ENERGY STAR certification.

-Meet Efficiency One energy efficiency standards for relevant products.

-Meet Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) silver or higher standards.

-Obtain or meet the most recent versions of third-party sustainability certification standards as applicable to operations and products such as ENERGY STAR, Green Guard, Blue Angel, EcoLogo, FSC, Fair Trade, Canadian Organic, and LEED.

Procurement Policy:

https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/university_secretariat/policy-repository/ProcurementPolicy.pdf

Sustainable Procurement Checklist:

https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/sustainability/website-content/educational-material/Sustainable%20Procurement%20Check%20List%20oct%202012.pdf


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

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

The Office of Sustainability provides criteria to Ancillary Services when RFPs are released to the market. In June 2017, The Office of Sustainability provided the following criteria that was incorporated in the vending services RFP. The Office of Sustainability Executive Director reviewed the responses with Ancillary Services.

The successful Proponent must appropriately source separate and transport waste, compost and recycling to the waste management facilities in areas indicated by Dalhousie as in accordance with waste management, handling and recycling policies set by Dalhousie. Compost, waste and recycling must be moved to the approved locations in a timely manner (Refer to the Dalhousie Waste Management Plan and Organics Management Guideline (attached)).

The successful Proponent is responsible for cooperating with pest control initiatives in foodservice areas. Dalhousie will contract and pay for pest control services.

Sustainability Expectations with Respect to Foodservice

Food vendors are expected to address sustainability issues values, objectives and targets set out in the Dalhousie Sustainability and Healthy Food Framework.

Vendors should identify how they will by meeting the following goals:

Engagement and Reporting: achieving greater awareness by nurturing a culture of sustainable food and healthy eating.

Support University education and engagement efforts to promote awareness and understanding of sustainable food systems and nutrition. Specific examples include initiatives such as maintaining a clear and comprehensive website and social media platforms, farm-to-table programs, events, waste and food signage and bin systems, and working with the campus community on collaborative research projects.

Provide annual reports to the University documenting achievements in meeting agreed targets listed in the Dalhousie Sustainability and Healthy Food Framework.

Provide annual data for the STARS reporting (Food and Beverage Purchasing and Sustainable Dining sections). This information is to be used for public reporting purposes; and

Participate in a campus Sustainable Foodservices Forum or committee where ideas for improvement can be shared and discussed.

Social, Personal and Ethical Responsibility: transitioning to ethically sound sources; fulfilling the university’s social responsibility through its food provision and operation; encouraging individuals to take responsibility of assuring their health and nutritional status.

Explore partnerships with meat and poultry suppliers who rear animals with described animal welfare standards.

Outline vendor commitments to animal welfare standards.

Develop cooperatively with Dalhousie purchasing policies that cover issues such as sustainable seafood, food service franchises, ethical and social standards, food donation and food waste, packaging, and toxicity in the environment and in species.

Ecological Responsibility: minimizing negative ecological effects associated with food use and operations (reducing energy and water use and food and packaging waste leading to reduction in green house gases and natural resource consumption,…).

Utilize sustainable, “green” cleaning products that are third-party certified.

Work in concert with Dalhousie to reduce energy, water, and waste impacts in food operations.

Offer food and beverage products that meet third-party certification for organic, fair trade, and sustainable food. Percentage targets are outlined in the Dalhousie Sustainability and Healthy Food Framework.

Comply with, and participate in, all present and future provincial and campus waste management recycling and composting programs. This will include: Proper source separation of all streams including organics, paper,cardboard, recyclables, metals, and hazardous waste. Failure to not properly sort material will result in a waste handling fee.

Provide and collect materials from all catered events that serve beverages or other items and deposit in proper bin (organics, paper, recyclables, and waste).

Offer other waste management programs including, but not limited, to:

Trayless dining in all dining halls.

Discount for the use of reusable mugs in any operation on campus.

Prohibiting the use of Styrofoam and unnecessary products and packaging (ex. not offering plastic straws unless needed).

Maximizing opportunities to reduce overall packaging in catering, retail and dining hall.

Switching to resuable food containers (which are unbleached and contain high levels of recycled content) or biodegradable containers at all food service locations.

Offering only reusable dishware in dinning halls. Offering and promoting reusable options in retail and catering.

Actively working on strategies to reduce disposable plastic packaging including beverage containers.

Using paper products made with high levels of post-consumer recycled content.

Participating in annual waste audits.

Reducing food wastage (pre and post consumer).

Local Economics and Agriculture Support: working with current food providers and suppliers to source local when possible and makes sense from an ecological perspective, and developing new connections with local producers and vendors.

Maintain minimum annual levels of local foods procurement and grow procurement to meet targets in the Sustainability and Healthy Food Framework.. Proponents are expected to propose sustainability purchasing targets in their proposals. The University will work with the successful Proponent to finalize the targets.

Support local cooperatives and SME that have social responsibility policies, where possible.

Well-being, Nutrition and Food Safety: reviewing and improving the nutritional values of the food products served by changing or adjusting the ingredients or the practices; promoting healthy options and healthy eating habits; ensuring that foods served on campus meet the latest principles and regulations of food safety; promoting concepts of food security.

Provide food that meets best practices for health and nutritional standard.

Provide food that meets a variety of dietary needs – ex. vegan, allergies, cultural considerations.

Support students with health and nutrient advice.

Existing Sustainability Practices

The following sustainability practices are already in place at Dalhousie University and will need to be maintained

Operational initiatives:

trayless dining;

meeting waste bin signage and standards;

reusable mug price credit $0.20; use of environmentally friendly disposable packaging;

education programs like Farm-to-table program where local farmers and food is highlighted in dining halls;

reusable dishware in dining halls, and reusable options in catering;

energy and water efficient practices and purchases;

use of bulk condiments where feasible; and

pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste reduction through the use of menu planning, cooking techniques, waste sorting, and education.

Menus:

plant forward menu in line with Best Practices like recent Canada Food Guide;

seasonal menus featuring local commodities (produce, protein, grains, prepared products like baked goods);

Express’ coffee program offers fair trade and organic coffee, teas and chocolate bars to meet Fair Trade Campus certification;

MSC certification and other sustainability seafood certifications for fish;

retail and catering products featuring local and organic ingredients.

Procurement:

purchasing food from local entities;

No Styrofoam used as food packaging;

Purchasing third-party certified products (fair-trade, organic, MSC, ASC, Ocean Wise, …)

procurement of meats from inspected local meat suppliers;

use of recycled content, chlorine-free food napkins and other packaging products; and

use of ECOLAB environmentally friendly cleaning agents.

Waste management:

recycling in all locations; and

post-consumer composting in many locations.

Value- Added Options

Offering single-use beverage containers that have higher recyclability and lower life cycle environmental impacts

Offer new programs to reduce catering and retail waste

New menu and food planning approaches that are plant forward


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:

We are Fair Labour Association Affiliated and utilize codes of conduct.


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

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

Sustainability criteria are worked into the individual aspects of a bid for a project performed by professional services. Even if they are not on the note to vendors page, professional services are encouraged to highlight their sustainability features in their bids.

"Vendors are advised that sustainability elements are part of procurement considerations at Dalhousie University. Vendors are encouraged to highlight sustainable elements of their responses to quotations and sealed bids even if they are not specifically requested in the quotation or bid document." -taken from the procurement website (https://www.dal.ca/dept/procurement/supplier-information.html)


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

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

For transportation and delivery services criteria is asked about the efficiency of fleet and delivery efficiency software. Sustainability is a category requested for all goods and services: https://www.dal.ca/dept/procurement/supplier-information.html

In all tender and RFP documents vendors are requested to follow the vehicle idiling standard as part of general conditions

We are in the processing of evaluating our vehicle fleet. The review is to ensure that assets in the vehicle fleet appropriately meet the required demand and usage. The assessment will compare each vehicle and/or vehicle type with potential management options of rental/carsharing; right sizing, Hybrid technology, and electric. Each management option will have detailed – total life cycle costs (2020); total life cycle costs (2030); green house gases (2020); green house gases (2025); criteria air contaminants (2030); criteria air contaminants (2030); and other noted features.

https://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/campus-initiatives/Procurement_and_Waste.html

For the Agricultural Campus the main heating source for the co-generation system is biomass. A biomass values statement was created for purchasing guidance. Supply focuses on waste products such as bark and sawmill residue and yard waste from the local area. A small amount of the tonnage is categorized as research fuels. This enables the University to try new fuels that support sustainability objectives.

In all tender and RFP documents vendors are requested to follow the vehicle idling standard as part of general conditions


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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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.