Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Vanderbilt University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
-- Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management Office
"---" 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 multiple commodity categories institution-wide?:
Yes

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

8.16 Green Purchasing Program
In order to reduce the adverse environmental impact of our purchasing decisions and in accordance with the VU Environmental Commitment Statement Vanderbilt University is committed to purchasing goods and services from manufacturers and suppliers who share our environmental concern and commitment. Green purchasing is the method wherein environmental and social considerations are taken into account with the price, availability and performance criteria that we use to make purchasing decisions.
Environmentally-preferable products have a reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to other products and companies that serve the same purpose. It is the preference of Vanderbilt University that our suppliers use environmentally-preferable products, materials, and sources wherever economically feasible. If two products are competitive in performance characteristics and pricing, the university will favor the more environmentally-preferable product or company.
The university and the supplier may negotiate during the contract term to permit the substitution or addition of environmentally-preferable products when such products are readily available at a competitive cost and satisfy the university’s performance needs. If a supplier is citing environmentally preferable product claims, the supplier must be able to provide proper certification or detailed information on environmental benefits, durability and recyclable properties.

Procurement Services has worked closely with the university’s preferred office products, janitorial products, and laboratory products suppliers to provide more easily identified environmentally-preferable product selections. These products are readily identifiable in eProcurement and have been collected into special “green purchasing” catalogs that anyone can request.
A basic screen for environmentally-preferable products is to look for those that are reusable instead of disposable, recyclable, made with renewable energy, and contain a significant percentage of post-consumer waste recycled content. Additionally, third-party certification systems that indicate an environmentally-preferable product include:
1. “Energy Star”: indicates a product has met strict energy efficiency guidelines as set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE).
2. “EPEAT”: indicates electronics that are environmentally-preferable as determined by the EPA and Green Electronics Council.
3. “FSC-Certified”: indicates products that have met the requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for responsible management of forest resources, such as office paper.
4. “SCS Recycled Content”: indicates a product that has been certified for recycled content and meets the stringent EPS standard for providing a measurable and significant environmental benefit over typical products in the same category.
5. “CRI Green Label”: Product certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) to improve indoor air quality.
6. EPA Design for the Environment (DfE): EPA has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that-based on currently available information, EPA predictive models, and expert judgment-the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.
7. “Green Seal certified”: Products certified by Green Seal to meet environmentally-responsible design, manufacturing, packaging, and transportation requirements.
8. “Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certified”: indicates products that have met the requirements of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative that promotes sustainable forest management, improved forestry practices and responsible purchasing of forest products such as office paper.


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?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for chemically intensive products and services:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating consumable office products?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for consumable office products:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating furniture and furnishings?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for furniture and furnishings:

Vanderbilt’s Architecture and Engineering Standards include criteria for construction and renovation products that are environmentally preferable, including: low VOC, post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content, recycled materials, local material, efficient lighting, and general support of LEED Certification.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating Information technology (IT) and equipment?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for Information Technology (IT) and equipment:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food service providers?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food service providers:
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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 service providers?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional service providers:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating transportation and fuels?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for transportation and fuels:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable procurement program or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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