Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.35
Liaison Trevor Ledbetter
Submission Date May 2, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Arizona
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 3.00 Benjamin Champion
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Policy Title: Green Purchasing
Policy Number: 4.16
Effective: February 6, 2012

The University of Arizona is committed to the stewardship of the environment and to reducing the University's dependence on non-renewable energy. These "Green Purchasing" policies and procedures support the University's commitment to sustainability.

The goal of this policy is to reduce the adverse environmental impact of our purchasing decisions by buying goods and services from manufacturers and vendors who share our commitment to the environment. Green purchasing is the method whereby environmental and social considerations are given similar weight to the price, availability, and performance criteria that colleges and universities use to make purchasing decisions. Green purchasing is also known as "environmentally preferred purchasing (EPP), green procurement, affirmative procurement, eco-procurement, and environmentally responsible purchasing", particularly within the US Federal Government Agencies. Green purchasing minimizes negative environmental and social effects through the use of environmentally friendly products.

The Director of Procurement and Contracting Services has determined that transactions not exceeding $5,000 are impracticable to monitor for compliance with this policy. Departments are encouraged to make every effort to comply with this policy when making purchases.

The aim of this environmental purchasing strategy is to develop policies consistent with these Principles:

Minimize the consumption of non-replaceable natural resources by reviewing current and proposed future usage and evaluating the pros and cons of alternatives.
Seek alternatives to products and processes that are detrimental to the environment by using more "environmentally friendly" products and processes.
Minimize waste, including: any packaging, waste produced by the product (or service) in questions, and waste generated by the eventual disposal of the product.
Maximize the reuse and recycling of materials.
Stimulate demand for "environmentally friendly" products by letting manufacturers and suppliers know environmental performance we expect in products.


Desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors purchased should meet all Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) environmental criteria designated as "gold" as contained in the IEEE 1680 Standard for the Environmental Assessment of

Personal Computer Products.

Copiers and printers purchased should be compatible with the use of recycled content and remanufactured products.

All electrical products purchased by UA shall meet the US EPA Energy Star certification when available and practicable. When products with Energy Star labels are not available, products that are in the upper 25 percent of energy efficiency as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program should be used.

When acquiring vehicles, the University shall purchase/lease less polluting alternatives to diesel, such as compressed natural gas, biobased fuels, hybrids, electric batteries, and fuel cells, as available and suitable for the use intended.

When acquiring or replacing inefficient interior or exterior lighting, energy efficient equipment shall be purchased.


Purchase only the most water efficient appliances available. This includes, but is not limited to, high performance fixtures like toilets, low-flow faucets and aerators, and upgraded irrigation systems.

Toxins and Pollutants

Cleaning solvents should be biodegradable, phosphate free, and citrus-based when their use will not compromise quality of service.

Industrial and institutional cleaning products that meet Green Seal certification standards or environmental prefer ability and performance shall be purchased or required to be used by janitorial contractors.

All surfactants and detergents used shall be readily biodegradable and shall not contain phosphates.

Vacuum cleaners that meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute's "Green Label Testing Program - Vacuum Cleaner Criteria" (capable of capturing 96 percent of particulates measuring 0.3 microns and operating with a sound level less than 70dba) shall be used by in-house staff and required for janitorial contractors.

Whenever possible, products and equipment should not contain lead or mercury. For products that contain lead or mercury, preference should be given to those products with lower quantities of these metals and to vendors with established lead and mercury recovery programs.

Pest control shall be managed through prevention - physical and mechanical - and through the purchase of environmentally friendly products. As a last resort, use of the least toxic pest control substance is required.

Biobased Products

Vehicle fuels made from non-wood, plant-based contents such as vegetable oils are encouraged.

Paper, paper products, and construction products made from non-wood, plant-based contents such as agricultural crops and residues are encouraged.


Thirty percent post consumer waste recycled paper with a brightness factor of 88 for all applications shall be the standard when the price is comparable, quality of service is not compromised nor the health and safety of employees prejudiced.

When specifying asphalt concrete, aggregate base or Portland Cement concrete for road construction projects, recycled, reusable, or reground materials shall be used when practicable.

The use of reclaimed stone and brick and the use of secondary or recycled aggregates is encouraged.

Transportation products, including signs, cones, parking stops, delineators, channelizers, and barricades shall contain the highest postconsumer content practicable.
Products that are durable, long lasting, reusable, or refillable are preferred whenever feasible.


Packaging that is reusable, recyclable, or compostable is preferred, when suitable uses and programs exist, as is eliminating packaging or using the minimum amount necessary for product protection to the greatest extent practicable.

Green Building

Green purchasing concepts shall be integrated into architectural designs, final construction documents, and the final construction of all University buildings and renovations of property or facilities owned by the University. All buildings and renovations undertaken by the University shall follow green building practices for design, construction, and operations, where appropriate, as described in the LEED Rating System.

When maintaining buildings, products such as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture and casework with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content, and low or no formaldehyde shall be used when practicable.
All carpet distributors and/or manufacturers of carpet installed at the University shall have a carpet recycling plan that is approved by the University.
The use of chlorofluorocarbon and halon-containing refrigerants, solvents, and other products shall be phased out, and new purchases of heating/ventilating/air conditioning, refrigeration, insulation and fire suppression systems shall ot contain them.


All landscape renovations, construction, and maintenance performed by internal staff members or contractors providing landscaping services shall employ sustainable landscape management techniques for design, construction, and maintenance whenever possible. This includes, but is not limited to, integrated pest management, drip irrigation, composting, and use of mulch and compost that give preference to those produced from regionally generated plant debris and/or food waste programs.
Landscape structures constructed of recycled content materials are encouraged. The amount of impervious surfaces in the landscape shall be limited, whenever practicable. Permeable substitutes, such as permeable asphalt or pavers, are encouraged for walkways, patios, and driveways.

Plants should be selected to minimize waste by choosing species that are appropriate to the microclimate. Native and drought-tolerant plants that require no or minimal watering once established should be purchased.


These policies are designed to do the most good for the resources expended. When the cost of following the policies outweighs their benefits, a variance/waiver may be obtained through Procurement and Contracting Services.
The Director of Procurement and Contracting Services or designees has the authority to waive any requirements of this policy.

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:

UA requires LCCA for all energy/water using products and systems for new buildings and renovations. These requirements are spelled out in the UA Standard Form of Agreement, specifically the Scope of Services for Design Professionals. This set of standards are included as an uploaded document below in the additional documentation section.

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:

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:

From the University of Arizona Manual of Design and Specification Standards, TAB C-13:

As stated in the presidential memorandum on Campus Sustainability at the University of Arizona dated 9/28/07, the University is committed to a leadership role in promoting sustainability on our campus and in our design and construction practices. The University has established a goal, wherever appropriate, to acquire LEED Silver Certification as established by the United States Green Building Council. Therefore, the following criteria should be followed:

 New Buildings - A minimum of LEED Silver Certification for all new construction, where appropriate.
 Building Expansions - Major building expansions should anticipate LEED Silver Certification for the expansion, if possible, and if the project scope and budget support it, for the entire building. This goal will be established at project initiation.
 Renovations - Renovation projects are defined as those projects involving the alteration of a portion of an existing building. Renovations range from simple aesthetic improvements to complex physical reconfigurations and systems’ replacement. Due to the potential range of existing conditions – and the ability of a renovation project to address such conditions – it is incumbent that each renovation project undergoes an evaluation early in the budgeting and/or design process to determine if LEED certification can be achieved.
In general, for minor renovations or room specific renovations, requirements for LEED Certification will not be part of the project scope. For projects where major renovation is part of the scope, inclusion of LEED Silver Certification should be anticipated. For example, in major renovation projects that affect entire floors or buildings, LEED Silver Certification should be anticipated if reasonably feasible.

 In general, sustainable design precepts appropriate for the Sonoran Desert environment should be incorporated – water conservation, building orientation, sun exposure and shade are issues of special concern in desert environments.
 Appropriate passive solar design techniques should be incorporated and where the project scope and budget support it, solar water heating and photovoltaic systems should be considered if determined to be economically viable
 Desert appropriate landscape design, water harvesting techniques and use of the University’s reclaimed water system where available should be incorporated.
 Appropriate day lighting design should be considered to minimize the requirements for artificial lighting and to promote the interior/exterior connection of the building.
 Appropriate use of construction materials, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems should be selected that not only result in a building with an intended useful life of 50 to 100 years but respond to the attributes of the Sonoran Desert environment.
 Provide Life Cycle Cost Analysis for the following:
 Base and alternate design building envelope materials
 Base and alternate design mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems

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:

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:

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:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.