Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.13
Liaison Micah Kenfield
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Vassar College
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 3.00 Micah Kenfield
Director of Sustainability
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 multiple commodity categories institution-wide?:
No

A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:
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The policies, guidelines or directives:
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Does the institution employ Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) when evaluating energy- and water-using products and systems?:
Yes

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:

The College looks at the total cost of ownership for major purchases in our vehicle fleet, building maintenance, water and energy systems. There are college standards across campus that allow for easier repair work on HVAC systems, water heaters, plumbing, lighting, and more.

In the process of replacing a vehicle owned by the institution, we would evaluate expected future maintenance on the old vehicle compared to the cost to acquire a new vehicle net of trade in value. An inventory of our vehicle fleet is on file that tracks running and maintenance costs.

In the analysis of new custodial equipment – a possible question would be : “will it allow for the need for less chemical cleaner, possibly reducing supply costs and being better for the working environment (for both cleaners and office workers at the same time)”

In an analysis of Grounds purchasing a new mower, we will ask, “does the purchase enable better organic landscaping techniques? (This purchase may align with our initiative to increase sustainable practices and providing cost savings with a reduced need for harsh fertilizers etc.)


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating chemically intensive products and services?:
Yes

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

The college has a green cleaning policy that states a preference for using Green Seal products.

Grounds has a standard practice of minimizing the use of or not using all together chemicals and fertilizers on the campus lawns.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating consumable office products?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for consumable office products:

The college has made 30% recycled content paper standard across all offices. Bathroom paper products are 100% recycled content. Stated preference for using FSC certified wood products and avoiding the purchase of any wood products on watch lists.


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:

The Purchasing Office has a broad set of criteria they review for selecting furnishings in building projects including low VOCs, eliminating PVC, reducing transportation mileage, etc.
Stated preference for working with local and women and minority owned businesses for furniture and construction.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating Information technology (IT) and equipment?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for Information Technology (IT) and equipment:

The Computing department has a stated preference for purchasing EPEAT Gold hardware.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food service providers?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food service providers:

Vassar's sole dining vendor was selected due to their commitment to sustainability, which was an expectation outlined in the RFP for this opportunity:
https://vassar.cafebonappetit.com/wellness/#sustainability


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating garments and linens?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for garments and linens:

A sweatshop policy that ensures garments purchased by the College were not made under sweatshop conditions. A furniture policy that checks for PVC content when purchasing furniture and avoiding ones with PVC.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional service providers?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional service providers:

All RFPs for capital projects from architecture/engineering firms require firms to comply with Vassar's Green Building Guidelines. These guidelines are available at https://facilitiesoperations.vassar.edu/policies/green-building.html


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating transportation and fuels?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for transportation and fuels:

The Climate Action Plan specifies that alternative energy and low-impact technologies should be considered and evaluated when purchasing new vehicles and large capital infrastructure equipment.


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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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.