Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.81
Liaison Michael Mendoza
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Houston
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Melissa Halstead
Sustainability Coordinator
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?:
Yes

A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:
The policies, guidelines or directives:

The University of Houston System supports and encourages historically underutilized
businesses (HUBs). The programs, policies, and procedures described in this
administrative memorandum apply to all purchases and procurement for goods and
services for the System and its component universities.

For the purposes of this policy, a “historically underutilized business” is a for-profit
corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or joint venture, with a principal place of
business in this state, in which at least 51 percent is owned, controlled, operated, and
actively managed by one or more persons who have been economically disadvantaged
because of their membership in a certain group, including African Americans, Hispanic
Americans, American women, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans and/or
Service-Disabled Veterans (see Texas Government Code, Section 2161.001).

Additionally, Chartwells, the chosen service provider for the University Master Food Service Agreement is held to the following regarding sustainable business practices: "University of Houston Dining Service’s approach to social responsibility and sustainability is tied into our overall Balanced U wellness programming. Through a variety of innovative programs and policies, we work closely with the communities we serve to reduce the impact our operations have on the world around us. Our focus on recycling, resource conservation, and waste reduction not only helps us operate more efficiently, but it also lets us ensure that the resources we use today will be available for future generations. Our Balanced U Sustainability approach addresses four basic tenets of sustainable and socially responsible business practices."


Does the institution employ Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) when evaluating energy- and water-using products and systems?:
No

Which of the following best describes the institution’s use of LCCA?:
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A brief description of the LCCA policy and/or practices:
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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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for chemically intensive products and services:

UH contracts out custodial services to Metroclean who employs a green cleaning policy and program that uses chemicals and supplies that are safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable.
The policy and program states staff uses products that:
• Do not contain dyes
• Are not delivered by aerosol cans
• Are not corrosive or irritating to the skin or eyes
• Do not constitute as hazardous waste
• Are not toxic to humans or aquatic life
• Are not combustible or flammable
• Do not contain any ozone-depleting compounds, greenhouse gases, or substances that contribute to smog or poor indoor quality
• Do not contain any carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens
• Do not contain chlorinated solvents
• Do not contain heavy metals or harmful organic chemicals
• Do not contain bio accumulative substances

http://www.metrocleanonline.com/index.php/leadgreen/


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating construction and renovation products (e.g. furnishings and building materials)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for construction and renovation products:

Planning and construction master specifications state a preference for LEED standards:

"Product Data for Credit MR 4: For products having recycled content, documentation
indicating percentages by weight of postconsumer and preconsumer recycled content.
Include statement indicating cost for each product having recycled content."

http://www.uh.edu/facilities-planning-construction/vendor-resources/owners-design-criteria/master-specs/Division%2012%20-%20Furnishings.pdf


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for IT products and services:

University of Houston electronics are purchased at EPEAT silver level.
http://www.uh.edu/finance/Departments/HUB/store/dell/


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food services (i.e. franchises, vending services, concessions, convenience stores)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food services:

The University of Houston launched initiatives to meet the Partnership for a Healthier America standards on campus wellness. A sample of criteria is listed below:

I.A.7. – Implement a comprehensive, strategic product placement/merchandising program/policy within dining venues to encourage healthier food consumptions.
I.A.8. – Offer a comparable plant-based food option at every platform serving meat.
I.B.2. – Offer tray-less dining in at least 75% of dining venues.
I.E.1 – Make free water available in all dining recreational and educational facilities.
I.F.1. – Make available Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) for personal nutrition assessments and counseling to all students.
III.B.2. – Implement a program/policy that identifies students who may be ‘food insecure’ and provide options on campus.
I.C.1. – Ensure that a minimum of 50% 30% of each vending snack machine content is a healthier food option and a minimum of 20% of each beverage machine is a healthier beverage option.

https://www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2016/May/0519Partnership-For-A-Healthier-America.php

https://www.ahealthieramerica.org/our-partners/university-of-houston-47


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating garments and linens?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for garments and linens:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional services (e.g. architectural, engineering, public relations, financial)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional services:

Planning and construction master specifications state pre-construction meetings, as well as project management coordination, include a standing agenda review of sustainable design requirements.

Specifically, the specifications for meetings and decisions include a review of:
"Significant qualities may include attributes such as performance, weight, size,
durability, visual effect, sustainable design characteristics, warranties, and specific
features and requirements indicated."

Additionally, campus design guidelines require Environmentally Responsible (“Sustainable”) Design that state:

"In addition to other requirements, provide design and construction that minimizes adverse effects on the exterior environment, enhances the quality of the indoor environment, and minimizes consumption of energy, water, construction materials, and other resources."

http://www.uh.edu/facilities-planning-construction/vendor-resources/owners-design-criteria/design-guidelines/CAMPUS%20DESIGN%20GUIDELINES%20AND%20STANDARDS%20JANUARY%202018.pdf


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)?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for transportation and fuels:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating wood and paper products?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for wood and paper products:

The UH printing and postal department carries and purchases FSC paper products. http://www.uh.edu/af-university-services/printing-and-postal/fsc-go-green/

Additionally, planning and construction master specifications state a preference for LEED standards:

"Certificates for [Credit MR 6] [Credit MR 7]: Chain-of-custody certificates indicating that
wood products comply with forest certification requirements. Include documentation
that manufacturer is certified for chain of custody by an FSC-accredited certification
body. Include statement indicating cost for each certified wood product.

Product Data for Credit IEQ 4.4: For adhesives and composite wood products,
documentation indicating that product contains no urea formaldehyde."

http://www.uh.edu/facilities-planning-construction/vendor-resources/owners-design-criteria/master-specs/Division%2012%20-%20Furnishings.pdf


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?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for other commodity categories:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.