|Submission Date||Feb. 21, 2018|
University of Pennsylvania
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement
|2.50 / 3.00||
Facilities and Real Estate Services
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:
In keeping with Penn's "Climate Action Plan 2.0", Purchasing Services promotes an environmentally sustainable supply chain. In collaboration with Penn’s Sustainability Office, Purchasing Services works with its suppliers and the Penn community to actively identify and promote products and processes that make a positive sustainability impact. Purchasing Services helps drive sustainability in Penn's supply chain by:
Identifying, enabling, and/or promoting green product solutions
Working with suppliers to implement green solutions
Recognizing green purchasing champions in the Penn community
Tracking individual impact to Penn's sustainability efforts among its staff
A full list of policies, practices, and information can be found on the purchasing webpage at https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/purchasing/sustainable-purchasing.html
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?:
A brief description of the LCCA policy and/or practices:
A LCCA is incorporated into the design guidelines for Penn's capital projects. The guidelines address the LCCA for electric and mechanical systems and are organized as follows:
a. Code impact,
b. operating costs, including: housekeeping, landscaping, and utility costs. The operating cost analysis must be comprehensive as it will be used to predict utility and maintenance budgets.
c. Maintenance costs
d. Construction costs
e. System life expectancy
f. Rationale for zoning
g. Life Cycle Costs – to include all owning and operating center over a 25 year period. Use standard spreadsheet (available electronically) attached to summarize life cycle costs for each option.
h. Impact upon existing utility infrastructures
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:
Penn's Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Services publishes criteria and guidelines for hazardous materials and biological safety (see http://www.ehrs.upenn.edu/resources/ and http://www.ehrs.upenn.edu/media_files/docs/pdf/biosafetymanual2015(version1-1)small.pdf), including extensive lists for reporting, handling, and transporting/shipping hazardous materials.
Penn's Housekeeping Services provides annual training for housekeepers regarding handling and use of chemically intensive products, and the Urban Parks services team conducts similar training for hazardous materials used in small, select areas for landscape and grounds maintenance.
Penn's "Green Guidelines for Renovations" features a section on the design of interior surfaces, requiring renovation projects to use interior surfaces that can be routinely cleaned using standard, low-toxicity and low-irritant products that meet a number of nationally-recognized emissions and toxicity standards, such as "GreenSeal" and "Environmental Choice" products. These standards apply to all buildings to ensure the quality and consistency of materials and cleaning protocols across the campus. The Guidelines also address indoor air quality by specifying that materials used on interior finishes meet the standards of a number of different, nationally recognized air quality standards. (https://www.facilities.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/Green%20Guidelines%20for%20Renovations%20October%202015.pdf) Any new construction and major renovation projects must, at a minimum, meet LEED Silver certification.
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 "Green Guidelines for Renovations", creates standards for renovations to improve environmental practices for building renovation projects across campus and Penn Real Estate Projects. The "Guidelines" are to be followed throughout all phases of applicable renovation projects, and apply to project design, specification, and construction. Renovations with a budget exceeding $100,000 by less than $4 million, total area over 10,000 sf, involving more than one building system, more than 3 specification divisions, and/or require the use of an outside design professional must comply with these guidelines. If renovation projects have a project budget in excess of $4 million then they must meet LEED the University specified LEED Silver minimum.
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 is committed to purchasing Energy Star qualified products such as printers, computers, and appliances. Penn Computing Green Information Technology (IT) program has established recommended guidelines for IT purchases that include Energy Star 5.0 compliant desktops, replacing CRT monitors with LCD monitors, and encouraging the purchase of small form factor or all-in-one desktops instead of mini-towers or towers.
Beyond its purchasing guidelines, Green IT provides resources to help users throughout the University improve the sustainable aspects of their computing operations by reducing energy consumption and producing less e-waste.
Other examples of Green IT Hardware and Peripherals on campus is the Managed Print Services (MPS). MPS is a service provided by an external provider to analyze and manage document output devices with the goal of reducing the total cost of ownership and improving internal efficiency and productivity. DocuSense and Ricoh are Penn’s preferred MPS providers under multi‐year, campus‐wide contracts.
The Penn MPS program includes printer/copier equipment, service, and supplies, with some or all of the following provisions:
• Equipment including multi functional devices (MFD), copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines
• Preventive maintenance, parts, and ink/toner supplies (excluding paper)
• Guaranteed service level response times with near or on‐campus support, break/fix, and supplies replenishment
• Detailed account usage and simplified billing utilizing a cost per impression model
• Flexibility for equipment changes; up‐scaling and down‐scaling as your business needs dictate
• Single contract for increased efficiency in managing contract terms and conditions
Through MPS, an office establishes a common network with print devices optimized to accommodate printing needs while reducing the number of individual printers. This allows for a reduction in the energy used for printing across the office while maintaining a high level of service. It also allows user to deleted unwanted jobs from the printing queue, eliminating unnecessary printing.
In addition to these services, Penn has a published statement on conflict minerals related to IT. Major contracted suppliers of electronics to the University belong to the Electronic Industry Citizen Coalition (EICC) an organization devoted to improving social and environmental conditions in electronics supply chains. The EICC requires its members to follow a Code of Conduct which provides guidance in five critical areas of Corporate Social Responsibility performance – labor, health and safety, environment, management system and ethics.
As the EICC Code of Conduct does not yet specifically address the issue of conflict minerals, Penn has reached out to its major electronics suppliers to express concern about this issue and to request information about their efforts to ensure that the components they purchase throughout their supply chain are conflict free.
Penn is aware that there have been recent legislative and industry wide efforts to address the issue of conflict minerals. This includes the launch by the EICC in partnership with Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) of their Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) program and the completion of the first tantalum smelter assessment.
Penn’s major contract suppliers, through their participation with the EICC have indicated their interest in addressing the issue of conflict minerals and as these initiatives move forward, Penn is committed to supporting and encouraging efforts by the EICC and others to deal with this complex issue. Links to the statement, EICC, and major contractor supplier links can be found here: https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/purchasing/sustainable-purchasing/minimizing-supply-shain-conflict.html
More information can be found on the purchasing webpage: https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/purchasing/sustainable-purchasing/green-products-and-services/green-info-by-category.html
Additional information can be found here: https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/initiatives/purchasing-practices and at
https://www.isc.upenn.edu/how-to/desktop-computing-recommendations-penn-2017-2018#Additional-information under "Improving Sustainability"
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:
Penn Purchasing in currently in the process of developing catering guidelines and contracts. Cafes on campus are governed by contracts which include sustainability, most notably Joes Cafe. As part of sustainability criteria, compost, recycling, food purchases, signage for cafe users, training and education for staff, educational events, and many more were included. In addition, Joe's Cafe earned a LEED Innovation in Design credit for Sustainable Cafe Operations. An excerpt from the contract and the LEED submission is included at the end of this submission. The full contract is not available for public dissemination.
As part of the consideration criteria for the campus dining vendor, Penn evaluated the sustainability of the vendors. Bon Appetit Management Company's wide range of sustainable practices was part of the decision making process in the Penn's selection. Additionally, Penn Purchasing is working on developing catering guidelines and contracts.
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:
As part of Penn's requirements for apparel licensees, Penn requires all licensees that sourced, produced or purchased collegiate apparel in Bangladesh to become signatories of The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and abide by its requirements as soon as possible. This Accord establishes a fire and building safety program by which manufacturers and retailers must abide to improve working conditions.
As part of the license issuance and renewal processes, Penn will verify whether apparel licensees source, produce or purchase collegiate apparel in Bangladesh and will ensure that they are signatories of the Accord prior to granting or renewing a license.
As a result of the well-documented safety hazards affecting the lives of collegiate apparel workers in Bangladesh, the Worker's Rights Consortium (WRC), one of Penn’s monitoring agencies, encouraged colleges and universities to require their apparel licensees to sign the Accord. Penn administration relies on its Committee for Manufacturer Responsibility, which is comprised of representatives from Penn’s faculty, students, staff and administrative leadership, to actively evaluate and monitor the labor activities and socially responsible practices of University licensees. The Committee, under the auspices of its faculty chair, makes recommendations to the University administration regarding its findings. The Committee unanimously voted to approve a resolution that encouraged the University to make this decision. For more information, see: https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/purchasing/sustainable-purchasing/minimizing-supply-shain-conflict/apparel-licensee-requirements.html
In addition, as part of the laundry services assessment, Penn evaluated sustainability in the decision making process. "Wash-Cycle-Laundry's" triple-bottom line practices was part of the decision making process.
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:
Sustainability is incorporated into "Instructions to Design Professionals" and the "Design Guidelines". These documents are incorporated by reference in all RFPs and contracts with design professionals. Within the "Instructions to Design Professionals" the University states it's sustainability policy. The documents can be found here: https://www.facilities.upenn.edu/standards-policies/standards/design-guidelines
In addition to the "Instructions to Design Professionals", Penn Purchasing Services has worked to bring inclusiveness to Penn's supply chain. Purchasing Services' Economic Inclusion efforts focus on two categories of suppliers:
Local Suppliers - those suppliers with locations in West Philadelphia as well as those within the broader City of Philadelphia
Diversity Suppliers - those suppliers that are minority-owned, woman-owned, or hold other diversity classifications (e.g. Protected Veteran, LGBTQ)
Its approach to economic inclusion is centered around certain key elements:
- Community Engagement – participating regularly in events and forums to ensure close connection with the community and the supply base
- Partnerships – collaborating with internal and external partners to mutually advance inclusion efforts
- Active Supplier Promotion – managing systems and programs to actively promote local and diversity suppliers
- Goal-setting, Measuring and Reporting – setting economic inclusion goals, measuring performance, and reporting performance to leadership and the community
By specifically targeting local suppliers and including a preference for local vendors in contracts, Penn has been able to reduce the delivery and travel distance of goods and services. This preference is included in requests for proposals issued by the University. Full contracts and RFPs cannot be posted; however, as part of the criteria for evaluation, contracts can include: "Support of WBE/MBE and West Philadelphia-based business enterprises."
More information on this and a list of some of Penn's local and diversity suppliers can be found here: https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/purchasing/economic-inclusion.html
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:
As a focus of Penn Transit Services (a department within Penn's Business Services Division), a Sustainable Transportation initiative was launched to help reduce vehicle emissions across campus. Penn Transit Services provides information about alternative forms of transportation and facilitating access to a variety of more sustainable commuting options. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and meet the goals of the "Climate Action Plan 2.0", new passenger shuttle vans running on liquid propane have been added to the fleet, buses run on ultra-low sulfur diesel or bio-diesel, and car-sharing and van-sharing platforms have been added to campus commuting options. In addition, electric charging stations have been installed in some garages and benefits are offered to drivers of low-emission vehicles.
In addition to changes made to Penn Transportation's fleet, Penn negotiated changes to the city district steam supplier's steam production. Due to this negotiation, the steam supplier installed natural gas, rapid fire boilers and a cogen plant. These changes have reduced both Penn's greenhouse gas emissions and the regions emissions.
In an effort to reduce the impact of transporting goods long distances and to align with the Penn Compact 2020, Penn Purchasing Services has worked to bring inclusiveness to Penn's supply chain though two categories:
- Local Suppliers - those suppliers with locations in West Philadelphia as well as those within the broader City of Philadelphia
- Diversity Suppliers - those suppliers that are minority-owned, woman-owned, or hold other diversity classifications (e.g. Protected Veteran, LGBTQ)
By specifically targeting local suppliers and including a preference for local vendors in contracts, Penn has been able to reduce the delivery and travel distance of goods and services. This preference is included in requests for proposals issued by the University.
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:
Within Penn's "Green Guidelines for Renovations", the following guidelines for wood and laminate used in capital projects apply:
Locally reused or recycled wood products are the most preferred options in all cases.
A. New composite wood and panel products (plywood, particleboard, etc.):
i. Products shall have no added urea formaldehyde.
ii. Panel adhesives shall be low-emitting with a maximum VOC content of 50 g/L.
B. FSC Certification: New Wood Trim, Custom Casework, Paneling, Veneer, etc. is to be FSC certified.
C. Location of harvest: Wood harvested or salvaged within 250 miles of campus is generally available for trim work and furniture, and is preferred.
D. Plastic Laminate countertops: Provide products that are "GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified" or whose emissions are less than the Full Levels listed in "GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality" (IAQ) Standard for Building Materials, Finishes and Furnishings.
As part of Penn Purchasing, the University has enacted criteria for paper products. While recycled copy paper is the default option in the Penn Marketplace, the website where Penn staff purchase University items, it is not mandatory for schools and centers to use the paper. However, Penn branded letterhead, business cards, envelopes, and note pads all use Mohawk Via, which exceeds EPA standards for recycled fiber content, is "Green Seal Certified", and is manufactured using "Green-e" certified electricity.
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:
Purchasing Services has partnered with Quench USA to offer "Inline Water Filter Systems" to all departments. The Quench system works by UV filtration, purifying and cooling municipal water. This eliminates the need for plastic bottles and bottled water, cutting down on costs and greatly reducing the University's carbon footprint. As part of the Green Office program, the Penn Sustainability Office provides recommendations and an incentive for offices to install water filtration systems and/ or eliminate the use of bottled water. For information on Green Office see:
and for the detailed Green Office How To, see: https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/participate/staff-and-faculty/green-office-programhttps://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/Penn%20Green%20Office%20How%20To%202016.pdf
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2014 "Climate Action Plan 2.0". This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY17 year and compares them to the FY14 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate Action Plan. 2.0". The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.
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.