Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 46.59
Liaison Bambi Ingram
Submission Date July 29, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alabama at Birmingham
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 3.00 Julie Price
Sustainability Coordinator


Part 1

Institution has written policies, guidelines or directives that seek to support sustainable purchasing across commodity categories institution-wide, for example:

  • A stated preference for post-consumer recycled or bio-based content or to otherwise minimize the negative environmental impacts of products and services.
  • A stated intent to support disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises and/or local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or otherwise support positive social and economic impacts and minimize negative impacts.
  • A vendor code of conduct or equivalent policy that sets expectations about the social and environmental responsibility of the institution’s business partners (i.e. product and service providers).

Part 2

Institution employs Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) as a matter of policy and practice when evaluating energy- and water-using products, systems and building components (e.g. HVAC systems). Practices may include structuring RFPs so that vendors compete on the basis of lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) in addition to (or instead of) purchase price.

Please note that LCCA is a method for assessing the total cost of ownership over the life cycle of a product or system (i.e. purchase, installation, operation, maintenance, and disposal). Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), by contrast, is a method for assessing the environmental impacts of a product or service over its life cycle. While LCAs may inform the sustainability criteria recognized in Part 3 of this credit, Part 2 specifically recognizes institutions that employ LCCA.

Part 3

Institution has published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating products and services in one or more of the following categories. The criteria address the specific sustainability challenges and impacts associated with products and services in each category, e.g. by requiring or giving preference to multi-criteria sustainability standards, certifications and labels appropriate to the category.

Category Examples
1) Chemically intensive products and services (e.g. building and facilities maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing, landscaping and grounds maintenance)
  • Published measures to minimize the use of chemicals.
  • A stated preference for green cleaning services and third party certified products.
2) Construction and renovation (e.g. furnishings and building materials).
  • A stated preference for materials that meet LEED requirements.
3) Information technology (IT) (e.g. computers, imaging equipment, mobile phones, data centers and cloud services)
  • Published measures to reduce the demand for equipment.
  • A stated preference for ENERGY STAR or EPEAT registered products.

4) Food services (i.e. franchises, vending services, concessions, convenience stores)

(Note that dining halls and catering services operated by the institution or the institution’s primary dining services contractor are covered in Food & Dining).
  • Including sustainability objectives in contracts with on-site franchises.
  • Requiring that franchises pay a living wage to employees.
5) Garments and linens
  • Published labor and human rights standards that suppliers must meet.
6) Professional services (e.g. architectural, engineering, public relations, financial)
  • A stated preference for disadvantaged or community-based service providers.
  • A stated preference for B Corporations.
7) Transportation and fuels (e.g. travel, vehicles, delivery services, long haul transport, generator fuels, steam plants)
  • Published measures to minimize the size of the campus fleet or otherwise reduce the impacts of travel or transport.
  • A stated preference for clean and renewable technologies.
8) Wood and paper
  • A stated preference for post-consumer recycled, agricultural residue or third party certified content.
  • A stated preference for FSC certified printing services.
9) Other commodity categories that the institution has determined to have significant sustainability impacts
  • Strategies designed to address the specific impacts of the commodities, e.g. a stated preference for relevant multi-criteria sustainability standards.

Policies and directives adopted by entities of which the institution is part (e.g. government or the university system) may count for this credit as long as the policies apply to and are followed by the institution.


This credit applies to all institutions.


Each part is scored independently.

Part 1

An institution earns 0.5 points for Part 1 of this credit for having written policies, guidelines or directives that that seek to support sustainable purchasing across commodity categories, institution-wide. Partial points are not available for Part 1.

Part 2

An institution earns 1 point for Part 2 of this credit for employing Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) as a matter of policy and standard practice when evaluating all energy- and water-using products and systems. Partial points are available for institutions that employ LCCA less comprehensively. For example, an institution that employs LCCA for certain types of systems or projects and not others would earn 0.5 points (half of the points available for Part 2).

Part 3

Institution earns 0.25 for each category of products and services for which it has published sustainability criteria. A maximum of 1.5 points are available for Part 1.



Report on current policies and practices at the time of submission.

Sampling and Data Standards

Not applicable

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.