Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Richard Miller
Ofice of Environmental Policy
"---" 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:

The "Code of Conduct for University of Connecticut Vendors," implemented in the fall of 2013, holds UConn's vendors to minimal standards they are required to meet. A copy of this document may be viewed via the link below.


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:

All buildings and other projects for the University shall be designed as high quality institutional facilities with components specified to provide maximum life-cycle usefulness. Life cycle costing shall be an integral part of the design process. Most campus buildings are intended to last an indeterminate amount of time, but not less than 50 years, so adaptable facilities and planned maintenance are the norm, rather than short-term solutions.

The University is committed to a resource and energy conservation program based on continual improvement in the design and construction of new buildings and major renovations. Design to minimize life cycle costs, including the use of materials that will maximize durability and longevity. Use resources efficiently by designing buildings that minimize energy and water use and maximize use of natural daylight where appropriate and feasible.

It is the required that all project work where there are Building Systems being impacted, they be designed to the highest efficiency possible. All systems design and equipment selection shall be determined by life cycle cost analysis including first, operating, and maintenance costs.

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:

The state of Connecticut requires all universities to purchase chemical cleaning products that have as minimal as possible effects on the environment, as stated in Gov. Rell's Executive Order No. 14

“All state agencies in the executive branch and all higher education agencies and institutions, shall, when procuring or contracting for cleaning and/or sanitizing services provide in such contracts or procurement agreements, require contractors of the State or persons or entities providing cleaning and/or sanitizing services to the State use cleaning and/or sanitizing products having properties that minimize potential impacts to human health and the environment, consistent with maintaining clean and sanitary facilities.”
In many of our upcoming public bids, we are taking steps to minimize the use of chemicals as appropriate. One example is in our Integrated Pest Management Services RFP, we take measures to limit the use of pesticides and to use non-pesticide methods as much as possible. For example, sticky traps are used to guide and evaluate indoor pest control efforts wherever necessary.
For cleaning supplies, our Central Stores works directly with Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to approve which cleaning products can be used through contracts we have. Green Cleaning Products are used explicitly on campus in applications where disinfectant use is not mandatory. https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/green-cleaning/

EHS can be contacted for additional information. https://ehs.uconn.edu/

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:

The University of Connecticut (University) has long been committed to academic excellence, social responsibility, and the economic vitality of the state of Connecticut and beyond. The University’s main campus at Storrs, as well as the five regional campuses across the state, recognizes the value of careful land use planning and the protection of natural resources. The University’s Environmental Policy Advisory Committee (EPAC), under the direction of the Office of Sustainability, serves to seek and implement strategies that will establish the University as a leader in environmental stewardship. The EPAC has adopted a policy statement that defines the principles for environmental leadership, setting the course for future campus initiatives, which policy includes the principle of Responsible Growth and Development and led, early-on, to the creation of UConn's Sustainable Design Guidelines, which ultimately evolved into minimum performance standards for construction projects, including building materials and products.
Today, all new construction or major renovation projects exceeding $5,000,000 in total project cost must be LEED Gold certified (Policy revised from LEED Silver in 2016), unless a rare waiver is granted by UConn's Board of Trustees. This ensures that products used in construction will, at a minimum, meet the USGBC's highest standards for sustainable building materials and 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:

The University of Connecticut requires that, where possible, only ENERGY STAR® certified appliances, A/V equipment, copiers, printers, fax machines, scanners, coffee makers, and refrigerators, and electronics must be rated EPEAT Silver or higher. UConn also offers a standard personal computer known as the HuskyPC to faculty and staff. HuskyPCs include all of the UConn standard supported software.

For Appliances, we affirmed the state requirement that we purchase ENERGY STAR products or those certified by the Federal Energy Management Program as energy efficient in all categories available. Language used in the bid is as follows:
Connecticut requires that we purchase ENERGY STAR® products or those certified by the Federal Energy Management Program as energy efficient in all categories available. If this solicitation is for a product in a category for which ENERGY STAR® or certified products are available, please submit evidence of the ENERGY STAR® status or certification for the products you are bidding. (Please note that if you fail to submit this information but a competitor does, we will select your competitor’s product as meeting specifications and deem your product as not meeting specifications.)

As stated in UConn’s 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability & Climate Leadership, President Susan Herbst of UConn passed a requirement that 30% of electronic purchases be EPEAT Gold rated: https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2041/2017/01/Initiatives-Climate-2020Vision.pdf

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:

UConn is the largest consumer of locally grown produce in Connecticut, and we make it a priority to purchase locally grown food. 100% of the fish served on campus is sustainable.

UConn dining services is committed to sustainability in all areas. They buy as much fresh and local produce as possible, limit the amount of processed foods they serve as much as possible, and strive to serve less red meat.
For food services, we have a variety of sustainability criteria that may be included in our published language, depending on the scope of the bid. For instance, for warewashing chemicals we included the following language:
All warewashing products must be approved for use in food preparation areas. Further, they must be environmentally friendly, non-hazardous and not contain butyl or concentrated amounts of ammonia or petroleum solvents. Use of products must produce wastewater with fewer harmful byproducts. And Vendor must demonstrate that their products result in energy savings.

For our dining services group, in recent solicitations, we have required that all equipment be ENERGY STAR® approved where applicable.

The University bid out Pouring Rights and Athletic sponsorship in 2011 and subsequently signed a multi-year contract with Coca-Cola. The initial bid evaluated vendor support for financial support for campus programs, including sustainability efforts. It also required that the vendor provide a comprehensive strategy to meet UConn’s corporate sustainability policy. Currently the University receives a sum of annual marketing support from Coke on recycling and sustainability initiatives to promote corporate social responsibility, including $100,000 for the installation of water bottle refilling stations. Coke also has been replacing older vending machine models to add more energy-efficient machines.

Finally, all coffee purchased by dining services is Rain Forest Alliance certified.

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:

While its published criteria is not explicit to garments and linen, the University's Vendor Code of Conduct specifies mandatory and preferred CSR practices for any vendor seeking to do business with UConn, including garment (e.g., athletic apparel) and linen providers. It states, among other things, that vendors must: adhere to fair labor standards regarding wages, hours, leaves, and child labor, be nondiscriminatory in hiring and employment practices, and comply with environmental law. Preferred vendor practices in the VCC include other sustainability metrics.

The Code of Conduct can be found here: http://policy.uconn.edu/2013/02/12/vendor-code-of-conduct/

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:

We [University Planning] will provide proactive, professionally managed leadership to plan and implement quality, cost-effective, long and short term facility solutions that enhance the mission of the University, embrace our partnership with our community, and ensure proper treatment of University land, natural resources and the environment in the process.

For all On-call Professional Services for Architect/Engineer Services RFPs the following language was incorporated beginning with the Program Management RFQ 092214AA.

SBE/MBE and CT Based Firms: In an effort to foster a more diverse pool of experienced firms, the University encourages Connecticut certified Small Business Enterprise and Minority Business Enterprise (SBE/MBE) participation. A certified SBE/MBE firm must meet the qualifications as determined by legislation, Connecticut General Statute 4a-60g (Supplier Diversity Statute) as amended by Public Act 11-229. Proposers who have questions about the small business/minority business program should contact the Department of Administrative Services, Supplier Diversity Program, 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106, Fifth floor. Please direct any questions to, Supplier Diversity Unit at (860) 713-5236. The website for the program ishttp://das.ct.gov/cr1.aspx?page=34.
Furthermore, beyond technical criteria, submittals are evaluated with the following criterion in relation to utilization of S/MBEs:

The extent to which proposers identify and commit to the utilization of Small and/or Minority Business Enterprises (S/MBEs), as certified by the State of Connecticut’s Supplier Diversity Program, or Connecticut Based firms, in the performance of this contract, whether as a joint venture, teaming agreement, or subcontractor.

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:

UConn purchases only ultra-low sulfur fuel (<15 ppm) for use in all internal combustion engines, including emergency generators, cogeneration turbines and fleet vehicles, and <0.3% for heating oil in the central utility plant and other boilers on campus.

UConn’s light-duty fleet is 12.8% alternatively-fueled or plug in hybrids.
UConn has a preferred vehicle list that university departments are encouraged to choose from when purchasing or leasing vehicles.
The list of preferred vehicles was determined by using estimates of EPA fuel economy (city mpg) and emission standards.
UConn is working hard towards the goal of reducing single-occupancy vehicles and promoting public transportation, including free service on and around campus through the University's shuttle bus fleet.

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:

On our last bid for office paper, an approved brand list of varying types of recycled paper was compiled by the evaluation committee and provided to Procurement. We then required vendors to offer office paper produced with varying levels of post-consumer recycled content. The evaluation committee ultimately decided to award for 30% PSC recycled office paper.

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:

UConn began participating in a pilot program of the Fair Labor Association in February 2019, which enables them to use a pre-approved list of promotional product suppliers that are committed to sourcing materials responsibly. UConn is using this list to source its promotional products by our university contracted and licensed vendors. The university is committed to purchasing ethically-sourced products and is an affiliate of the Fair Labor Association.

This is the link to the announcement of UConn’s participation in the program: https://studentaffairs.uconn.edu/2019/02/01/new-standards-for-promotional-product-vendors/

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.