Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 26.70
Liaison Raymond Bowdish
Submission Date Feb. 4, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York at Potsdam
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 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 commodity categories institution-wide?:

A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:

The policies, guidelines or directives:

State agencies and authorities are required to purchase commodities, services, and technology that meet the approved green procurement specifications.

Executive Order 4, Establishing a State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability Program, established the creation of green procurement lists and specifications of commodities, services, and technology for use by state agencies during a procurement. The specifications identify product criteria that will:

Reduce or eliminate the health and environmental risks from the use or release of toxic substances;
Minimize the risks of the discharge of pollutants into the environment;
Minimize the volume and toxicity of packaging;
Maximize the use of recycled content and sustainably managed renewable resources; and
Provide other environmental and health benefits.

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?:

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

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:


Affected entities are encouraged to purchase disinfectants and sanitizers that meet the following specifications to the extent practicable, consistent with existing laws and professional guidance issued by the State Departments of Health, Labor, Environmental Conservation, and Education. This specification is intended to harmonize with specifications included in the multi-state purchasing contract for Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies (also known as FAC85), but it does not create an obligation for affected entities to follow them.

Hard-Surface Disinfectants and Sanitizers

Products meeting the following criteria will meet the specification:

Registration by EPA pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as a hard surface disinfectant or non-food-contact surface sanitizer. Every pesticide product which is used, distributed, sold, or offered for sale in New York State must also be registered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Products requiring New York State registration include basic U.S. EPA registrations, supplemental (distributor) registrations and additional brand names.
Avoidance of active ingredients classified as known, suspected, reasonably anticipated, or probable human carcinogens per the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the National Toxicology Program (NTP) or the State of California.
Avoidance of active ingredients classified as chemicals known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm per the State of California Proposition 65.
Avoidance of active ingredients classified as asthmagens per the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) (listed with a G, Rs, Rrs or Rr designation).
Avoidance of active ingredients in the chemical class of nonyl phenol ethoxylates or other alkyl phenol ethoxylates (APEs).
Encouraged active ingredients (approved by the Massachusetts Toxics Reduction Task Force) include:
Hydrogen peroxide (including accelerated hydrogen peroxide) (except in mixtures with other active ingredients, such as peroxyacetic acid, that do not meet the criteria listed above)
Citric Acid
Lactic acid
Caprylic acid
All concentrated disinfectants and sanitizers should be designed and packaged as a Closed Loop Dilution-Control System, that meets the following requirements unless the product is in a portion controlled package:
No open containers. The container must have "spill-resistant packaging" that requires coupling to a specially designed device in order to dispense the product.
The container should not be able to be "practically accessed" during routine use. The packaging should not allow for access or exposure to the concentrated product after opening a cap or lid, or before or while connecting to the dispensing system.
The container should contain a backflow prevention system that meets the current American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) 1055 standard.

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:

Various national and international standards apply to computer products. They are defined here as a guide.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive – A European Parliament and Council Directive restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. It bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. For additional information on RoHS please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/regulatory-delivery.

ENERGY STAR® is a voluntary energy efficiency program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The ENERGY STAR® program makes identification of energy efficient appliances easy by labeling products that deliver the same or better performance as comparable models while using less energy and saving money. For additional information on the ENERGY STAR® program, including product specifications and a list of qualifying products, visit the ENERGY STAR® website at http://www.energystar.gov.

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) – EPEAT is a system to help purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on their environmental attributes through a set of performance criteria for the design of products. The EPEAT website registry includes products that have been declared by their manufacturers to be in conformance with the environmental performance standard for electronic products - IEEE 1680- 2006. Three of the 23 EPEAT required criteria are that the registered computers must be ENERGY STAR®, are in compliance with provisions of European RoHS Directive, and PC manufacturers have provisions of product take-back service. For additional information on EPEAT please visit the EPEAT site at http://www.epeat.net/.


Environmental Performance:

All Desktop, Notebook, and Tablet PCs shall be registered Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Silver or better in the EPEAT registration system and meet or exceed all of the following 6 optional EPEAT criteria for standard configuration and standard option form factors: Elimination of intentionally added cadmium Elimination of intentionally added hexavalent chromium Large plastic parts free of certain flame retardants classified under European Council Directive 67/548/EEC Batteries free of lead, cadmium and mercury (not applicable for Monitors) Large plastic parts free of PVC Packaging 90% recyclable and plastics labeled

This standard includes the requirements of RoHS, ENERGY STAR®, and Energy Law, Article 5, Section 5-108a.

Note: All Desktop and Notebook PCs purchased through OGS’ Aggregate PC Purchase Initiative are registered EPEAT Silver or better in the EPEAT registration system, and meet the above listed criteria. The Desktop PC-Business Class category is registered as EPEAT Silver and meets or exceeds numerous optional EPEAT criteria for standard configurations and standard option form factors. This enables NY State and Local Government to maximize Environmental Preferred Purchasing considerations by acquiring PCs that meet or exceed industry standards for energy efficiency and environmental concerns.

Affected entities not using the Aggregate PC Purchase Initiative are encouraged to purchase PCs which meet the EPEAT Gold standard and the 6 optional criteria listed above plus: Minimum postconsumer content guidelines

Bulk Delivery and Alternate Packaging:

New York State encourages the use of innovative packaging that reduces the weight of packaging and the generation of packaging waste. Bidders/contractors are encouraged to use reusable materials and containers and to utilize packaging configurations that take advantage of storage containers designed to be part of the product for the shipment of multi-unit purchases. New York State recognizes that these packaging methods are in the development stage and may not be currently available. Companies are urged to consider more of these options, and state contractors are urged to offer these services as part of their contract price list. Authorized users are urged to inquire about these programs when purchasing computers and determine the best solution for their needs.

Take-Back / Recycling*:

When replacing equipment, affected entities should work with the contractor during the purchasing process to evaluate available trade-in options, regardless of manufacturer. Contractors are required to offer programs that include take-back or trade-in, and proper environmental disposal of equipment (including equipment manufactured and sold by others).

State agencies are reminded to follow the NY State Finance Law § 167 regarding surplus property redistribution before utilizing take-back, recycling, or other options for disposition of any units that are still in operable condition. This standard requires donation of usable equipment to education (or other state agencies) prior to declaration of equipment as surplus or waste.

Affected entities are reminded to receive certification of data destruction from hard drives if surrendered with the machines; or, if for security purposes you are required to keep the hard drive, to negotiate this with the contractor as there may be additional fees or trade-in value reductions associated with retaining the hard drive.

If units are being transferred for disposition, a record of each disposition shall be retained by the affected entity. Documentation shall be provided to the affected entity demonstrating that these products have been disposed of in environmentally sound manner in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws. The contractor or disposing entity shall provide assurance to the affected entity that all exports of used electronics collected for reuse, recycling or disposal will be in compliance with the laws of the importing country.

*Note: One of the criteria for EPEAT certification is: “The marketing and sale to institutions of all covered products shall include the option to purchase, at a competitive price, a take-back or recycling service that meets the U.S. EPA environmental standard defined in the “Plug-In to eCycling Guidelines for Materials Management published May 2004.”

Disclosure of Flame Retardants in Computers:

NYECL §37-0111 recognizes that brominated flame retardants constitute substances hazardous to the environment, and prohibits any person to manufacture, process or distribute in commerce a product, or a flame-retardant part of a product, containing more than one-tenth of one per centum of pentabrominated diphenyl ether (pentaPBDE) or octabrominated diphenyl ether (octaPBDE), by mass. Brominated flame retardants are a class of halogenated flame retardants. Because New York State Executive Order No. 4 mandates ongoing development of lists and specifications for the procurement of commodities, services, and technology that reasonably will reduce or eliminate the health and environmental risks from the use or release of toxic substances, bidders responding to solicitations are encouraged to disclose all flame retardants used in the products offered, including but not limited to penta, octa or decaPBDE and submit with their response a description of their efforts, if any, to utilize non-halogenated or other flame retardant compounds and/or design strategies that reduce the need to utilize flame retardant compounds. In addition, bidders are encouraged to offer products that meet flame retardancy standards or flammability requirements without added flame retardants with particular attention to halogenated flame retardants. Voluntary responses received will be forwarded to the Executive Order No. 4 Interagency Committee on Sustainability and Green Procurement for informational purposes to enable its periodic review and supplementation of green procurement lists and specifications for use by New York State Agencies and Authorities.

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:

Containers and wrappers used to serve food, including but not limited to plates, bowls, hot and cold cups (including portion cups, lids and insulating sleeves); sandwich or other types of food wrappers made of paper, aluminum or other materials; food trays and liners; and food take-out containers with hinges, folding closures, or lids (e.g., clamshells, boxes, and soup containers). The specification does not cover containers or wrappers used at food processing locations, or used to ship food to retail or service locations. The specification does include requirements and desirable attributes for packaging used to ship empty food service containers to food service locations.

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:

Executive Order 4 (EO 4), first signed in 2008 and continued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011, established the following procurement requirements for janitorial paper products:

“Commencing no later than July 1, 2008, all … janitorial paper … purchased by each State agency or authority shall be composed of 100% post-consumer recycled content to the maximum extent practicable, and … janitorial paper shall be process chlorine-free to the extent practicable, unless such products do not meet required form, function or utility, or the cost of the product is not competitive.”

This specification needs to be updated because janitorial paper products typically do not contain 100% post-consumer recycled content. Many “green” janitorial paper products—also called sanitary papers—contain 100% total recycled content with lower percentages of post-consumer recycled content that are often equal to – or 5-10% higher than – the United State Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for specified categories of janitorial paper products. A table below, under the heading “Specifications,” provides the minimum percentage of post-consumer recycled content required for each category of janitorial paper products under EPA’s guidelines.

In addition, the original language in EO 4 does not contain restrictions on chemicals of concern other than chlorine. This specification establishes restrictions on additional chemicals of concern and requires that products be certified by one of the independent, third-party standard setting and certification programs Green Seal or UL EcoLogo.

Third-party certification provides assurance that products meet the requirements established in that program’s standards, which are multi-attribute, include performance requirements, and impose restrictions on the presence of certain toxic substances, such as formaldehyde and heavy metals. The use of third-party certification can also simplify the identification, evaluation, and solicitation process for green products.

Unfortunately, in the case of janitorial paper products, neither the Green Seal nor the UL EcoLogo standard require a minimum percentage of post-consumer recycled content or total recycled content. In addition, the two standards differ with respect to their restrictions on bleaching chemicals and other chemicals of concern. This means that purchasers will need to verify whether a product meets certain of the requirements set forth in this specification directly with the vendor, as described below.

Over 40 brands of janitorial paper products are currently certified by Green Seal. Many of these products contain 100% recycled/recovered material, including a high enough percentage of post-consumer recycled content to meet the US EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. A list of Green Seal- certified products can be accessed here.

There are currently 18 brands of janitorial paper products certified under the UL EcoLogo standard. A list of UL EcoLogo-certified products can be accessed he

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.