Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

McGill University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Stephanie Leclerc
Sustainable Procurement Project Manager
McGill Procurement Services
"---" 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:

From the Procurement Policy (reviewed 2018):
"2.1.3. The University believes that its ultimate success in sustainable development depends on its principal actors being dedicated to a disciplined approach to sustainable procurement, incorporating the right balance of environment, society and economy considerations in each procurement activity.
a) The principle of Sustainability involves the foundation of a culture of responsible resources utilization based on careful, thorough evaluation of procurement requirements, while exploring opportunities that are environmentally responsible within the supply chain and promoting the reduction of consumption of energy and material resources.
b) Consequently, it brings about the duty to source exclusively from contractors who demonstrate a steady record of compliance with all environmental regulations and an organizational commitment to responsible environmental management, by minimizing waste and promoting environmentally friendly products and services.
c) This principle also requires aligning procurement activities with the University’s support of human rights, never allowing an association with companies seeming to condone human rights abuses, with its commitment to health and safety, demanding equal commitment from its subcontractors, and with its philosophy of building partnerships of productivity and respects with its neighbours, encouraging contractors to partner with merchants and residents of the University’s host communities.
d) The principle of Sustainability finally asks that the University solidify its supply base, teaming solely with business partners that provide an assurance of supply for the duration of their obligations, have competent and responsive personnel available, are able to continuously deliver the specified quality and are capable of doing business is a form compatible with the University’s cost efficiency objectives of reducing acquisition and life-cycle costs."

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:

LCCA is required for all construction and renovation projects. LCCA is also very much encouraged by McGill's Procurement Services for all purchases made outside of construction and renovation projects. McGill's IT Asset Management System is an enterprise-level management system used to record and track McGill IT assets throughout their "gate-to-gate" lifecycle at McGill.

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:

From the Procurement Services website:

"McGill University’s custodial staff and contracted cleaning services only use Ecologo certified products. If you need to buy cleaning products and/or soaps, please make sure these products are Ecologo or Greenguard certified, and verify that they do not contain the following elements:
- Microbeads
- Triclosan, Triclocarban, Hexachlorophene, Fluorosalan, Methylbenzethonium chloride or other similar antibacterial agents”
Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/procurement/sustainability/useful-tips

In addition, the McGill Office of Sustainability Workplace Certification program requires silver-level-awarded workplaces to purchase environmentally friendly certified soap and cleaners in kitchenettes, etc. Accepted certifications include: Ecocert, Ecologo, Greenseal, Safer Choice/Design for the Environment (EPA), USDA Certified Biobased, biodegradable.

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:

From Procurement Services website:

"Before purchasing products in this category, remember to apply McGill’s 4-R hierarchy (Rethink-Reduce-Reuse-Recycle), and be mindful of single-use plastics. Supplier(s) offering these kinds of product can be found on McGill Market Place (MMP). As part of their contract with McGill, these suppliers must highlight the more sustainable options in their catalogue. You can also buy some office supplies from the McGill Bookstore, where the team is continuously improving and diversifying its offer of sustainable products."

From the University "Guidelines for the Purchase and Use of Printing Paper and Printing Services":
"University faculties and units should always contact McGill University Printing Services with their printing needs prior to turning to an external provider of printing services. As an internal provider of printing services, McGill University Printing Services are governed by the McGill University Sustainability Policy and have incorporated the following best practices to their services:
- Use strictly 100% post-consumer recycled photocopy bond
- Use only 100% post-consumer recycled stock for the University’s letterhead paper and University business cards
- Provide 100% post-consumer recycled exam booklets
- Encourage the use of uncoated stock, and higher recycled content
- Imprint the appropriate environmental logos on their printed materials
Where McGill University Printing Services is unable to meet their printing needs, University faculties and units may turn to approved external providers of printing services. McGill’s external providers of printing services have been vetted on their adherence to sustainability principles and paper-related sustainability criteria through the public tendering process. They have incorporated the following best practices to their services:
- Maximize the use of post-consumer recycled papers and where possible, make use of vegetable-based or soy-based inks
- Unless a contractual exception is authorized, use only 100% post-consumer recycled stock, including for the University’s letterhead paper and University business cards
- Show all appropriate environmental logos on their printed materials produced for the University
- Incorporate social-economy activities, bringing positive social impacts to our spending."
Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/secretariat/files/secretariat/guidelines_for_the_purchase_and_use_of_printing_paper_and_printing_services.pdf

In addition, the McGill Office of Sustainability Workplace Certification program requires bronze-level-awarded workplaces to purchase office supplies from McGill's contracted suppliers (who in turn must adhere to sustainability criteria according to the Supplier Code of Conduct).

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:

From the McGill Office Furniture Standards (2017):

"Purchase of Eco-friendly Furniture and Life Cycle
As part of McGill University’s sustainable development, office furniture standardization takes into account environmental impacts. Suppliers who are most environmentally responsible were given preference [in creating the Office Furniture Standards]. Based on a life-cycle and related cost management approach, furniture selection factored in a prolonged use, thus reducing the amount of waste generated. A durability guarantee and upgradable features that allow greater item adaptability were taken into consideration. By upgradable features, we mean the possibility of adding new elements to an item in order to facilitate reuse, thus extending its original useful life (for example, adding a hutch on a desk, changing a workstation’s layout, etc.).

- Materials: Required products contain no dangerous materials (PVC, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, CFC or HCFC in the foam), nor dangerous flame-retardants. Manufacturing process must use a minimum percentage of recycled materials. Transport packaging must also contain a certain percentage of recycled materials, as well as being locally recyclable.
- Production: Furniture manufacturing must meet standards of sustainable forest management, and exclude products that release volatile compounds detrimental to indoor air quality.
- Transport: Reducing packaging weight and volume causes a significant improvement and a reduction of transportation-related energy consumption.
- Use: The optimization of the useful life of office furniture purchased by McGill University will be greatly enhanced by a collection of modular and complementary furnishings, easily reusable, swappable and repairable as needed. Removable and swappable components will allow a greater flexibility, hence a longer useful life.
End of useful life: Chosen products must be easily recyclable. To this end, easily degradable furnishings will be preferred. Packaging should be 100% recyclable."

Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/buildings/files/buildings/mcgill_november_2017_-_office_furniture_standards_0.pdf

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:

From IT Services Knowledge Base:
"In order to align with McGill’s policies on sustainability, the environment, and procurement, as well as to ensure the longevity of its information technology assets, IT Services is issuing the following standards for the purchase and reuse of IT equipment at McGill.
If your unit is replacing computers that meet the reuse eligibility criteria, you should make these computers available for reallocation by contacting administrative.desktop@mcgill.ca."

"The minimum standard requirements for the purchase of new computers are as follows:
Warranty: 3 years
- EPEAT Certification (desktops and laptops)
- EPEAT Certification (new displays)
- EPEAT SILVER Certification (printers)"
[Note: the above-referenced Knowledge Base article is password protected, so I cannot include a link to the information].

There are also sustainability goals in the university’s IT Asset Management Regulations. These goals include,
"- optimizing the life cycle management of McGill’s IT Assets while supporting the University’s education and research missions;
- Ensuring the safeguard of data confidentiality for McGill’s IT Equipment users;
- Raising the community’s awareness about the sustainable production and consumption of IT Equipment;
- Minimizing the negative environmental, economic, and social impacts which may result from the mismanagement of the institution’s IT Equipment;
- Incorporating, in its ongoing operations, the University’s 4R hierarchy (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) and contributing to resource conservation;
- Reconciling economic, environmental and social objectives"

Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/procurement/files/procurement/mcgill_it-asset_reg_25-04-16.pdf

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:

Procurement Services is currently working with internal stakeholders for the drafting and adoption of an annex to its Supplier Code of Conduct which will focus on requiring additional criteria for the suppliers of McGill branded items (what other Universities call a “Licensee Code of Conduct”). This will apply to all garments sold in our Bookstore, and is expected to be published in the next few months.

From Supplier Code of Conduct:
"2. Social Principles for Suppliers
McGill University seeks to uphold human rights and labour rights, locally and abroad, and expects its suppliers to do the same in their own operations and those of their own subcontractors throughout their supply chain.
2.1 Human rights
McGill University strives to align its procurement activities with its support and defense of human rights, and therefore demands from its suppliers that they work in step and conduct their activities and business relationships in full respect of the human rights described in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2.3 Labour rights
McGill University’s suppliers must abide by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions pertaining to the following matters: Forced Labour, the Freedom of Association, the Protection of the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, Equal Remuneration, Discrimination, Child Labour, Hours of Work, and Maternity Protection. Where local labour rights (or their implementation) differ from the requirements set forth in the ILO Conventions, the stricter requirements shall prevail and must be respected by McGill University’s suppliers and their own subcontractors.
3. Environmental Principles for Suppliers
McGill University recognizes the finite capacity of the biosphere to accommodate human activities and the need to minimize the use of natural resources and energy. It seeks to engage in business relations with suppliers who share this concern and who respect the following principles:
3.2 Environmental Management
Suppliers are expected to manage and reduce the negative environmental impacts of their operations, products, services, and those of their own supply chain, in light of their full life cycle. Suppliers should endorse the precautionary principle throughout their decision-making, and seek to apply principles similar to McGill University’s 4R hierarchy (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) in relation to the management of their energy, water, and material flows."

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:

As outlined in McGill's Green Building Standards:

"Design Standards, for the design and construction of facilities at McGill University, were created to ensure maximum quality and value in construction projects through uniformity, system or component quality, compatibility, functionality, and ease of maintenance. These Standards must be applied by all consultants (Architects, Engineers, lighting consultant, acoustical consultant, etc.) in the preparation of construction documents for any new construction or renovation project."

Examples of how consultants should adhere to Green Building Standards:
"- Consultant must estimate the impact of the project on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by estimating the consumption of the area and systems before and after project implementation. Use of McGill’s energy fiche is recommended." (p. 7)
- Consultants are asked to "refer to the MAT (Material Analysis Tool) website
http://www.materialanalysis.ca/en. This site was created to assist consultants and McGill in choosing healthier and environmentally‐responsible products. Performance criteria used for this assessment are: Certification of the company, product or product attributes; Durability of the product...; Rapidly‐renewable content of the product; Recycled content of the product and packaging; etc." (p. 11)
Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/buildings/files/buildings/mcgill_green_build_standards.pdf

Note: the above document is indicated as a "draft" on the Facilities website; however, according to the 2015 Progress Report on the Vision 2020 Sustainability Strategy, this draft was "completed and approved" prior to the report's release (p. 5)

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:

From the Vehicle Asset Management Procedure (2019):

“McGill University is committed to optimizing the lifecycle management of its assets and reducing the overall environmental impact associated with the management and operation of its fleet of Vehicle Assets. This includes strategic decision-making around fleet size, acquisitions, and decarbonisation, to align with the University’s long-term goal of being carbon neutral.”

The document also mandates that when a gas- or diesel-powered vehicle is to be replaced, it must be replaced with an "Electric or hybrid [vehicle] unless incompatible with projected applications" (p.10). Proceeds from these sales are put into the GHG Emissions Offsetting fund (p. 8).


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable procurement program or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

All Procurement Services Staff received a customized 6-hour training workshop helping them to apply lifecycle thinking in their work and understanding the social and environmental impacts of McGill’s supply chain. This training has now been adapted and made available to all McGill faculty members and staff through Organisational Development (OD).

McGill also publishes a Supplier Code of Conduct (see attached).

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.