Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.15
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Paul Barzak
Director
Strategic Sourcing
"---" 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:
The policies, guidelines or directives:

GREEN PURCHASING INITIATIVE - BEST PRACTICES

WHAT IS GREEN PURCHASING?

“Going green” is no longer an obscure point somewhere near the bottom of a priorities list. Also knows as “Environmental Preferable Purchasing (EPP) or sustainability, green purchasing has become a major focus of government, industry and the general public all over the world. The green program involves the purchase of products and services that minimize negative effects to the environment. It entails buying products that have a smaller impact on the environment than comparable products. Green program items include services that conserve energy, minimized generated waste; products made from recycled materials that can be reused or recycled; products used as alternatives to hazardous or toxic chemicals. Alternative fuel vehicles, bio-based products, energy efficient products and non-ozone depleting substances are other EPP products. A successful EPP or green purchasing program typically starts with a few carefully targeted purchasing changes. With established procedures and methods, those purchasing changes allow the selection of green products that are safe to use and benefit the environment. Using these products creates markets for processed and used materials, thus conserving natural resources and energy. Also, buying recycled products results in reduced solid waste, less air pollutants, reduced water pollutants and decreased greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Specific circumstances might arise that preclude the purchase of products made with recovered materials. These circumstances are the price of a designated item made with recovered materials is unreasonably high; there is inadequate competition; unusual and unreasonable delays would result from obtaining recovered products; the recycled content item does not meet the reasonable performance specifications requested by the requisitioner.

Why buy green or recycled products? Recycling is more than just dropping off cans, bottles and newspapers at the curb or local collection facility. Diverting recyclables from the waste stream is the first of three steps in recycling or going green. The second step occurs when companies use recycled products to manufacture new products. The third step comes when buyers purchase items made from recycled materials.

Buying green is important to the reduction of pollution, the conservation of natural resources and energy and the creation of awareness to the environment. Inadequate knowledge about the subject of green purchasing is usually the key barrier to implementing a green purchasing program.

GREEN PURCHASING GOALS

In order to establish a successful green procurement program, the procurement department must engage high level management for support of the program, establish clear program policies and goals, provide incentives and offer education about green purchasing. The university’s commitment should translate to the buying staff strategically procuring green items that have a decreased negative effect on the environment.

The key factors in establishing the university’s green program are awareness, commitment and attainable goals set for using recycled products. The starting point of the program is to begin with a foundational list of items that can be made or are made with recovered materials, and then grow the list as procurements become available. Products should be purchased with the highest recycled content level practicable developed from a list of core items which have been researched to determine their percentage of post-consumer and total recovered content.

The basic structure of Procurement Services’ green program results from gathered information from peer universities and the US government. The program will be geared to maximize the use of green products while maintaining the ability to acquire cost effective goods and services. This results in purchase orders for products and services that are made with recovered materials. A green program commands participants to be good stewards of the environment by preventing pollution and conserving natural resources, since most waste is generated through procurement. The buying staff must consider the environment, performance and price in their procurement decisions. This will improve the ability of the university to meet environmental goals and requirements and help to create and sustain university support for recycled content products.

Green products are no longer limited to recycled paper or remanufactured toner cartridges. The strategy for achieving green purchasing goals begins with the procurement process. The “greening” of Procurement Services’ procurements helps to heighten awareness of the program, eventually resulting in significant savings for the university. The savings may not be immediate but they will happen.

The goal of the green program for Procurement Services is to help reduce the level of pollution and waste in the landfills by encouraging the reduction, reuse or recycling of goods and services. Green purchasing is a growing trend but a primary barrier to this endeavor is the opposition to the cost of implementing environmentally friendly purchasing practices. Buyers must always be cognizant of the green products trend and consider requesting green products when working requisitions for items such as furniture, carpet, office products, janitorial products and alternative fuels. Buyers should also use sustainability language in Invitations for Bid (IFBs), Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Information (RFIs) and any other form of solicitation to emphasize to suppliers the commitment Texas A&M has to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing.

GREEN PURCHASING SOLICITATION LANGUAGE

Solicitation language

“In adherence with Texas A&M University’s strong commitment to sustainability, Texas A&M Procurement Services actively researches and solicits quotes on environmentally preferable goods and services. Environmentally preferable goods and services are those which have a reduced negative effect on human health and/or the environment when compared to comparable products and services. Such goods and services include, but are not limited to, those which are made from recycled content, conserve natural resources, minimize pollution, reduce the use of water and energy, reduce environmental health hazards to workers and our community, support strong recycling markets, reduce materials that are landfilled and increase the use and availability of environmentally preferable products".

Texas A&M is committed to purchasing products that have earned industry approved ecolabels and certifications or that meet the standards of ecolabels and certification programs wherever possible and practical. Example so such programs include, but are not limited to, Energy Start (www.energystar.gov); Greenguard (www.greenguard.org); Green Seal (www.greenseal.org); Forest Stewardship Council Certification (www.fscus.org); Veriflora (www.veriflora.com); Scientific Certification Systems (http://www.scscertified.com/).

All suppliers are encouraged to visit the websites for these ecolabeling and certification programs for complete product specifications and updated lists of qualifying products.

In an effort to track the environmental characteristics of the companies with which the university works, Texas A&M requests that suppliers list and describe their specific sustainability initiatives as they related to manufacturing processes and corporate practices.

Include the following statement when considering the purchase of electronic products:

“Texas A&M University is committed to purchasing products that have earned the Energy Star label, and have me the Energy Star specifications for energy efficiency, wherever possible and practical. All vendors are encouraged to visit www.energystar.gov for complete product specifications and updated lists of qualifying products.”

GREEN PURCHASING INITIATIVE

Communication for Organization of Green Program

• Establish attainable standards and goals for procurements, where practicable
• Influence Procurement Services buying staff to strategically procure green products
• Demonstrate commitment to environment
• Create green purchasing committee consisting of Procurement Services buyers
• Recognize aspects of procurement that pertain to sustainability
• Include sustainability language in all solicitations
• Incorporate EPP into policies and procedures
• Initiate an outreach program in partnership with the Sustainability Committee
• Create EPP guide, website and newsletter
• Survey top suppliers about their green capabilities

EPP Importance

• Defines university’s commitment to green purchasing
• Has potential cost savings
• Helps create and sustain markets for recycled content products
• Helps reserve natural resources
• Emphasizes pollution prevention in the purchasing process
• Includes environmental considerations as part of the normal purchasing process

Texas A&M University Procurement Services responsibilities:

• Procure goods and services
• Provide customer service, training and quality assurance for procurement tools
o Invitation for Bid
o Request for Proposal
o Request for Quote
o University-wide contracts and agreements
o TXMAS
o DIR
• Create best overall value of goods and services
• Offer e-commerce solution to save time and money

GREEN PURCHASING BEST PRACTICES

• Identify items for core list and determine basic recycled content
• Set attainable purchasing goals for green products
• Include blanket sustainability statement in RFPs, RFIs and IFBs
• Survey vendors for green product certifications
• Request vendor presentations about green products
• Host green procurement vendor forums
• Create guide to EPP products
• Assist departments with sourcing and identifying green products
• Train buying staff on green purchasing
• Work with sustainability committee to identify green products to meet university goals
• Establish a Procurement Services green program committee using buying staff
• Identify green products that are available from HUB vendors
• Identify green products for inclusion to master agreements
• Review and evaluate existing master agreements to determine if green products language should be negotiated and added to supplier requirements
• Create informational green procurement website

GREEN PURCHASING DEFINITIONS

1. Energy Star – Lower operating impact designation.
2. Environmental Preferable Purchasing – Also referred to as EPP, Involves buying products/services whose environment impacts have been considered and found to be less damaging to the environment when compared to competing products and services.
3. Green Purchasing – Also known as affirmative procurement. Procurement of products or services considered to be environmentally preferable, meaning those products that have a comparatively smaller negative effect on the environment. The aim is to eliminate waste, prevent pollution and improve the quality of the environment.
4. Green Purchasing Plan – A green purchasing plan is the strategy for maximizing purchases of green products and services. The plan should be developed in a manner that ensures that green products and services are purchased to the maximum extent practicable and demonstrates that the green purchasing plans include purchasing the products, monitoring implementation of the green purchasing programs and taking corrective action.
5. Green Seal Product Standard – An independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally responsible products and services.
6. Post Consumer Material – A material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal, having completed its life as a consumer item.
7. Pre-consumer Materials – Materials generated in manufacturing and converting processes such as manufacturing scrap and trimmings/cuttings.
8. Recovered Material – Waste materials and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste stream, but does not include materials and byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process.
9. Sustainability – The ability to meet the needs of the present while living within the carrying capacity of supportive ecosystems and without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


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

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

The policy for LCCA as it pertains to building efficiency analysis can be found at
https://utilities.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Building-Energy-Efficiency-Analysis.pdf

Design Standard
Building Energy Efficiency Analysis

PART 1 GENERAL
1.1 The objective is to ensure the efficient use of energy at the planning and design phase of a new or renovated building project, rather than attempt to manage and pay for an inefficient design over the life of the building. Implementing this strategy can be a positive game changer when it comes to the future of energy consumption on campus as well as ensuring that Texas A&M will not be taking on undue financial exposure as a result of inefficient building design. It is much more cost effective to ensure that efficiency is designed into a building when built or renovated so the university can benefit from an ongoing annuity of reduced operating cost over the life of the building. The work required to implement this strategy will be called Energy Efficiency Analysis (EEA). The EEA will start with an initial requirement for all project managers for new or renovated buildings to perform a design review to ensure university standards will be met for design and ensure overall building operating efficiency will meet or exceed the campus standard. The university building energy design standard is a requirement that new buildings will exceed the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 efficiency standard by 6% and meet ASHRAE 90.1-2013 for existing building renovations. Achieving this target will require that cost-effective energy conservation measures be used which do not compromise building performance or occupant comfort.

1.2 Utilities & Energy Services (UES) will work directly with the FP&C or SSC project manager and through the CBE sub-council review process to ensure that the required steps have been completed for all new construction. For new construction, each project manager shall complete the EEA and obtain written verification from UES Technical Services. An overview of the Energy Efficiency Analysis (EEA) is provided below.

PART 2 ENERGY EFFICIENCY ANALYSIS (EEA) FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION
2.1 New buildings shall be designed to exceed the requirements of the ASHRAE 90.1-
2013 energy standard by 6% and incorporate cost effective energy conservation measures that do not compromise building performance or occupant comfort. Energy modeling by the project team will be required to verify energy performance of buildings. Energy modeling shall be conducted with the latest version of Trane Trace 700, Carrier HAP, or IESVE for Engineers. The use of other energy modeling software shall only be permitted with the prior approval of the Utilities and Energy Services Department’s Manager for Technical Services. ASHRAE 90.1-2013 Appendix G shall be used for establishing the baseline building. Modeling to demonstrate EEA compliance shall be completed during the Design Development (DD) phase of a project. The project manager shall submit information on the modeling including the software used, model inputs and outputs, as well as a brief Version 2.3.2016 Building Energy Efficiency Analysis project description including the design features that result in the additional 6% savings to the UES Manager for Technical Services.

2.2 Residential projects, as defined by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), shall be designed to comply with International Code Council’s International Energy Conservation Code, IECC 2015.


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)?:
Yes

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

SSC Purely Green Standard

The SSC Purely Green Standard was written to encourage the use of environmentally responsible chemicals, equipment and processes, as well as protecting the health of those, both in and around the buildings that adhere to the standard. It also encourages decisions, in the tasks that we do every day, which will result in a less harmful impact on the environment both locally and worldwide. The standard aims to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals, improve indoor air quality and conserve natural resources all while maintaining a clean learning environment. It is our hope that the standard will also educate workers and students alike so that environmentally conscious decisions will continue beyond these walls and will impact those in the community; all of which will result in a cleaner, healthier world for everyone.

The complete Purely Green Standard can be viewed at https://facilities.tamu.edu/custodial/.


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:

The Built Environment and Site Design criteria are found in the Campus Master Plan. A summary of those criteria are below:

Chapter 4. Built Environment and Site Design
Developing LEEDv4 Silver equivalent projects may or may not be appropriate to Texas A&M’s performance objectives and the institution must determine what elements of LEED 2009, LEEDv4, and SITES are appropriate for future campus development.

Adopt Appropriate Facility Performance Criteria

To keep pace with the increasingly complex green project certification standards that exist in today’s building industry, Texas A&M must develop specific, enforceable guidelines empowering the Design Review Sub-Council to verify all design consultants and construction contractors for the University meet Texas A&M’s intention to build high-performance projects.

The facility performance criteria should articulate:
 Minimum energy modeling criteria that verify projects meet the existing building requirements of ASHRAE90.1-2013 for renovations or exceed it by 6% for new construction.
 Maximum levels of VOCs permitted in sealants, paints, coatings, flooring systems, wood, furniture, and agrifiber products.
 Bicycle storage and end-of-trip amenities sized to meet the anticipated usage of various building programs.
 Minimum Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) requirements for roofing and hardscape materials.
 Backlight, uplight, and glare requirements for exterior lighting fixtures.
 Lighting power density requirements for interior renovations or new construction projects that are interior-only in scope.
 Maximum percentages of landscape area that can be planted with turf grass.
 Performance-based specifications for permanently installed irrigation systems.
 Minimum performance requirements for commercial flush and flow fixtures.
 Minimum glazing performance requirements that exceed code minimums.
 Maximum glazing percentages that are less than code maximum.
 Minimum percentages of construction waste that are to be diverted from landfills.
 Minimum expectations for construction processes that support indoor air quality.
 Minimum percentages of construction materials that are to be sourced from recycled content.
 Minimum percentages of construction materials that are to be sourced from within 500 miles.
 Minimum percentages of new wood materials that are to be FSC certified.
 Minimum pass rates for indoor air quality testing prior to occupancy.
 Indoor environmental quality criteria for air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, access to daylight and views, and acoustics.
 Minimum requirements for building-scale metering and sub-metering infrastructure for energy and water systems to support UES campus-wide initiatives and continuous commissioning.
 Easy-to-service building-scale recycling facilities in addition to localized collection.
 Service infrastructure and access points to support cisterns and green roofs.
Provide a Healthy Indoor Environment

Provide High Indoor Air Quality:
 Within the facility performance criteria, specify maximum VOC content permitted in adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring systems, wood, and agrifiber products that are installed within a building’s weather barrier.
 Provide exhaust and containment requirements to keep contaminants from hazardous spaces (laboratories, janitor’s closets, laundry rooms, etc.) from impacting adjacent spaces such as pressurization, hard ceilings or deck-to-deck partitions, and self-closing doors.
 Provide permanent entryway systems at primary building entries to minimize particulates tracked in by occupants.
 … support indoor air quality by posting permanent signage prohibiting smoking within 25 feet building air intakes, operable windows, and entrances

Provide Controllable Lighting and Thermal Comfort Systems:
 Work to provide lighting controls to 90% of individual occupant spaces such as private offices and workstations and 100% of multi-occupant spaces such as conference rooms and classrooms.
 Consider dimming functions and task lighting in individual occupant spaces and multiple switches in multi-occupant spaces to support groups in creating varied lighting environments. Controls can be linked to daylight and occupancy sensors to maximize efficiency but should allow occupant override.
 Install heating and cooling systems that can be regulated on a room-by-room basis through operable vents, fans, and radiators adjusted by occupants. Provide 50% of single-occupant spaces and all multi-occupant spaces with thermal comfort controls.

Provide Regularly Occupied Spaces with Access to Daylight and Views:
 Work to provide access to views to 90% of regularly occupied spaces by orienting projects to take advantage of consistent midday sunlight and centralizing circulation and service spaces in the light-locked core of buildings.
 During a project’s design development phase, require the design team to model daylighting to understand how daylight will meet lighting needs before construction. A well-daylit building should have spatial-daylight autonomy (sDA) for at least 55% of the regularly occupied floor area.

Provide an Acoustically Appropriate Environment:
 Acoustical privacy is especially important in open office areas. In lieu of sound-isolating partitions to minimize noise translation, adequate areas of soft, absorptive materials can provide the desired privacy.
 Work to provide a total surface area in each classroom that is finished with materials having a noise reduction coefficient of 0.70 or higher that is equal to or greater than the square footage of the room.
 Flexible classrooms may require input from an acoustical engineer to ensure speech intelligibility regardless of setup.


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)?:
No

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)?:
No

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?:
No

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

TAMU holds a licensing contract with Barnes and Noble for all online and bookstore purchases of TAMU gear. Per the Barnes and Noble website: Barnes and Noble has been recognized as an industry leader in the effort to eliminate sweatshops used to produce college apparel. We are a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and since 1998, we have required all vendors who supply products to our stores to adopt the FLA’s Code of Conduct, which requires strict adherence to workers’ rights (and no child labor). And all of the brands sold in our bookstores currently meet labor standards set by the Workers Rights Consortium (WCA), an independent labor rights monitoring organization.
In addition, Joel Friedman, Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for Barnes and Noble, sits on the University Advisory Council of the Fair Labor Association.
http://www.fairlabor.org/affiliate/barnes-noble-college-booksellers


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

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

Professional services are contracted through a competitive solicitation process which establishes evaluation criteria such as experience, quality, schedule, minority and women-owned business subcontractor percentages, and sustainability. Sustainability is included in section 16 of our Bidding Requirements. TAMU has not established universal sustainability selection criteria. The review of sustainability elements and criteria is determined by each solicitation’s evaluation team with sustainability weighted uniquely to the intended outcomes of a given project.

The complete bid requirements can be found at the following address with Section 16 addressing the university's commitment to campus sustainability initiatives:

https://purchasing.tamu.edu/media/1597818/tamu-bid-terms.pdf


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:
---

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:
---

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?:
Yes

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

Contracts for commodities subject to a competitive solicitation process will establish evaluation criteria such as experience, quality, schedule, minority and women-owned business subcontractor percentages, and sustainability. Sustainability is included in section 16 of our Bidding Requirements. TAMU has not established universal sustainability selection criteria. The review of sustainability elements and criteria is determined by each solicitation’s evaluation team with sustainability weighted uniquely to the intended outcomes of a given project.

The complete bid requirements can be found at the following address with Section 16 addressing the university's commitment to campus sustainability initiatives:

https://purchasing.tamu.edu/media/1597818/tamu-bid-terms.pdf


The website URL where information about the programs 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.