Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.85
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

Texas A&M University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 3.00 Dean Endler
Executive Director
Contract Administration
"---" 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:




“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? 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.


A successful green procurement program begins with the university’s colleges, departments and units. While Texas A&M maintains a central procurement office, each college, department and unit maintains delegated purchasing authority with procurement providing assistance on the acquisition of goods and services. Colleges, units and departments must engage management for support of the program and establish clear program policies and goals.,.

In coordination with college, department and unit level business staff, Procurement Services can assist with identifying vendors offering goods and services 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. Below is 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 sustainability in procurement.


Solicitation language

“Texas A&M University is committed to campus sustainability initiatives. Support of these initiatives necessarily includes the purchase of goods and services that minimize the impact on the environment to the greatest extent possible. Texas A&M University requests Bidder’s assistance in campus sustainability initiatives by informing in any bid response, or other discussions, of Bidder’s sustainability practices or environmentally sustainable product offerings. For example, alternative products available from Bidder which may be recyclable or reusable, end of life (obsolescence) return of equipment to Bidder, energy saving devices, return to Bidder of shipping containers, packaging or like excess materials.”

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.


• Procure goods and services
o Provide customer service, training and quality assurance for procurement tools in Invitation for Bid, Request for Proposal, Request for Quote, University-wide contracts and agreements, and utilize state level agreements under TXMAS and DIR
• Create best overall value of goods and services
• Offer e-commerce solution to increase paperless purchasing transactions.


Identify items for core list and determine basic recycled content
Include blanket sustainability statement in RFPs, RFIs and IFBs
Request vendor presentations about green 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
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


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?:

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:

Design Standard
Building Energy Efficiency Analysis

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.

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?:

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 consumable office products?:

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for consumable office products:

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:

2017 Campus Master Plan, Section 4: BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND SITE DESIGN

The Texas A&M UES Guidelines state that projects are to be LEED Silver
equivalent but may or may not be certified by the Green Building Certification
Institute (GBCI). At the time this guideline was articulated, GBCI certified
projects under LEED 2009, but this system sunset on October 31, 2016 and
was replaced by LEEDv4, a significantly more robust green building rating
system. 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. While each of these systems have unique
attributes, they share common ground that will help Texas A&M operate their
existing 24 million square feet of building space more efficiently in addition to
developing new projects to their best performance abilities.
Adopt Appropriate Facility Performance Criteria
The energy code requirements for Texas A&M University require new
construction projects to exceed ASHRAE90.1-2013 by 6% and require
renovations to meet the existing building provisions of ASHRAE90.1-2013.
This standard is inconsistently achieved because of the variety of compliance
methods that standard allows. 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.

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:

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:

TAMU holds a licensing contract with Barnes and Noble for online and bookstore purchases of TAMU gear. Per the Barnes and Noble website: We have 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.


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:

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 17 addressing the university's commitment to campus sustainability initiatives:


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:

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable procurement program or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.