Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
OP-17: Guidelines for Business Partners

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 1.00 Gabriel Durham
Graduate assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

How many of the institution’s business partners are covered by policies, guidelines and/or agreements that require adherence to minimum environmental standards?:
Some

How many of the institution’s business partners are covered by policies, guidelines and/or agreements that require adherence to minimum standards governing employee wages, benefits, working conditions and rights?:
None
+ Date Revised: Jan. 27, 2016

A copy of the policies, guidelines, and/or agreements with the institution's business partners (or a representative sample):
The policies, guidelines, and/or agreements with the institution's business partners (or a representative sample):

According to the Agreement for Bookstore Services at the University of Houston:
"UH System will provide sustainability and recycling guidelines and provisions for use at the Bookstores." These guidelines include "the required use of Energy Star approved equipment and other conservation measures as defined by the UH Sustainability Committee and UH Energy Services Department."

Additionally, Aramark, the chosen service provider for the University Master Food Service Agreement is held to the following clause regarding sustainable business practices:
"Aramark shall administer the Campus Food Service Program in accordance with Aramark's "Green Thread" environmental stewardship program, which involves the development and implementation of long-term environmental stewardship programs and policies within areas of sustainable food; responsible procurement; green buildings; energy and water conservation; transportation; and waste stream management. Aramark also agrees to support the University's Sustainability Task Force and general sustainability efforts."


A brief description of programs and strategies institution has implemented to ensure that the guidelines are followed, including a brief description of instances when the guidelines have changed purchasing behavior, if applicable:

One example of sustainable purchasing behavior is UH bookstore's purchase of Alta Gracia Apparel. Alta Gracia is committed to provide workers with a sustainable standard of living and the opportunity to raise their families out of poverty. Alta Gracia is manufactured Dominican Republic (DR) factory, where every Alta Gracia employee receives benefits and a living wage. This living wage is 340 percent above the DR’s minimum wage for apparel workers and certified by the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) as sufficient to cover the expenses for a family of four. “We are very proud to be a part of this endeavor and to offer our students another opportunity to purchase high-quality merchandise that was manufactured with a high regard for workers rights,” - UH Bookstore Manager, Felix Robinson. Every campus bookstore supplier is also required to adhere to the Fair Labor Association’s (FLA) Code of Conduct which includes rules on monitoring and reporting on the situation of workers in garment factories around the world.

Additionally, as part of the university Fair Trade Campaign, all university coffee shops now sell Fair Trade Coffee.


The website URL where information about the institution’s guidelines for its business partners is available:

While the language for the campus bookstore and dining services sustainability guidelines was approved for this report, the rest of the policy is confidential, so no URL is provided at this time.

UH Fair Trade Campaign Page: http://fairtradecampaigns.org/campaign/university-of-houston/

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.