|Submission Date||Feb. 18, 2021|
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement
|2.25 / 3.00||
Director of Procurement
Does the institution have written policies, guidelines, or directives that seek to support sustainable purchasing across multiple commodity categories institution-wide?:
A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:
The policies, guidelines or directives:
VT Sustainable Procurement Policy (attached) states that "the Procurement Department recognizes that the types of products and services procured have inherent social, health, environmental, and economic impacts, and that the Department should make procurement decisions that embody the university's commitment to sustainability whenever possible."
University Policy 5505 overviews (1) Efficiency and Conservation, (2) Buildings and Construction, (3) Waste Reduction, and (4) Energy and Sustainability Committee (https://policies.vt.edu/assets/5505.pdf)
Virginia Tech Design and Construction Standards Manual (https://www.facilities.vt.edu/content/dam/facilities_vt_edu/design-and-construction-standards/Virginia%20Tech%20Design%20and%20Construction%20Standards-Signed%20May_5_2020.pdf)
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:
Virginia Tech does employ LCCA for certain types of systems of products including lighting, air conditioning, pumps and motors. See the following policies to support the use of LCCA:
- Campus Energy, Waste and Waste Reduction Policy 5505, Revision 3, August 2016, as a reference. http://www.policies.vt.edu/5505.pdf
- Five Year Energy Action Plan: https://www.facilities.vt.edu/energy-utilities/energy-reduction-efforts/five-year-energy-action-plan.html
- On-Going Energy Projects: https://www.facilities.vt.edu/energy-utilities/energy-reduction-efforts/demand-side-management.html
- LEED Certification and Green Building Initiatives: https://www.facilities.vt.edu/sustainability/sustainability-programs/leed-certification-and-green-building-initiatives.html
Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating chemically intensive products and services?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for chemically intensive products and services:
Housekeeping Services is primarily outsourced on campus. As part of the university awarded services contract for building maintenance, the following guidelines are as follows, “The Contractor shall furnish all supplies, materials, and equipment including consumables for the performance of the work as described herein. All products and equipment will be “green” certified through a certifying agency such as (but not limited to): Green Seal Inc., Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Choice, and Carpet and Rug Institute”.
Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating consumable office products?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for consumable office products:
Reference the University Policy 5505, “Campus Energy, Water and Waste Reduction Policy”, Section 3.5 https://policies.vt.edu/5505.pdf
Paper (page 4, Policy): “Purchase only recycled paper except where equipment limitations or the nature of the document preclude the use of recycled paper. Reduce the consumption of paper and other office supplies, and encourage the use of electronic transactions and publications. New copier, faxes, printers, and other such office equipment purchased or leased that use paper shall be recycled-paper compatible”.
Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating furniture and furnishings?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for furniture and furnishings:
Virginia Tech Design and Construction Standards, Page 389 (Section 184.108.40.206) states:
"Furniture and upholstery selections shall include the following design strategies wherever possible:
(a) Post-consumer and/or post-industrial recycled content.
(b) Products with a minimum 10-year warranty; greater than 15 years is preferred.
(c) Materials that have been extracted locally or regionally. Furniture selections shall be high quality, durable items that are manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the project site, with a preference for manufacturers with established environmental policies in place.
(d) Certified wood products or sustainable species from abundant, local sources.
(e) Rapidly renewable material (such as straw, wheat, sunflower board).
(f) Energy efficient task lighting.
(g) Products/materials free of formaldehyde, halogen, heavy metals, polyvinyl chloride, chlorine, plasticizers, antimony, harmful dyes, and topical treatments.
(h) Products/materials that are safely disposable, recyclable, or biodegradable.
(i) Fabric that are durable, minimum 80,000 double rubs, 100,000 preferred.
(k) The basis of design to provide permanent stain protection for fabrics shall be NanoTex(TM) finish or equal. Equivalent stain protection shall ensure that spills bead and roll off preventing stain from absorbing into the fabric. The finish shall be applied at the molecular level, adhered to fibers of the fabric and last the lifetime of the fabric.
(l) The use of leather should be avoided. If the use of leather is approved by the University, specify only vegetable tanned leather."
The full Design and Construction Standards Manual is available here:
Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating Information technology (IT) and equipment?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for Information Technology (IT) and equipment:
Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food service providers?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food service providers:
This is a work in progress for our Dining Services Sustainability Manager and Office of Sustainability Interns. Sustainable supply chain measures are “what’s cooking” in a brand-new collaborative project between the Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability and Virginia Tech Dining Services. This new project is an effort to create an internal database of locally sourced, sustainably or ethically sourced, plant-based, vegetarian/vegan, compostable, and recyclable items. This provides a learning out for students to learn more about sustainable sourcing practices.
Sustainable Dining: https://dining.vt.edu/sustainability.html
• Virginia Tech Dining strives to bring food for on campus consumption that is produced as close to Virginia Tech as possible. Local is defined as products that are grown and produced within 250 miles of Blacksburg, Virginia, as well as items that are third party certified including organic and fair trade items. This definition is adapted from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) standard.
• Virginia Tech Dining also oversees a program called “Reusable To-Go” container usage. Information on this sustainable program can be found at: https://www.dining.vt.edu/about/Reusable_To_Go_Program.html
• Waste Reduction (page 4, Policy): “Encourage the procurement of alternatives to, with the intent to phase out, plastic individual-serving-sized containers for use during normal operations. Plastic individual-serving-sized containers may be used in emergencies, or for safety or health reasons.”
For more information on local and sustainably sourced ingredients, see: https://dining.vt.edu/sustainability/local_sustainability.html
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:
Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional service providers?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional service providers:
Virginia Tech Design and Construction Standards, Page 6 (Section 220.127.116.11) states:
"In order to incorporate sustainable design solutions in new construction and renovation projects, Virginia Tech has joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and fully supports the principles of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Building Rating System. The pursuit of high performance green buildings that are energy efficient and environmentally sensitive will help to lower operating and energy costs, improve employee productivity, promote improved learning, and enhance the health, and well-being of the students, faculty, and staff at Virginia Tech. All projects shall address sustainability as it relates to site issues, water, energy efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor air quality in accordance with the VT CAC.
In the early stages of design, the A/E shall strive to meet or exceed the minimum number of points needed for LEED certification under the rating system appropriate for the project in accordance with the VT CAC. The A/E shall determine the most cost effective means of achieving these points, and shall take full credit for points achieved through compliance with other University standards that address sustainability issues, such as building commissioning. The A/E shall submit for the University's review and approval a LEED Project Checklist, identifying the specific measures proposed to be incorporated into the project to achieve the target number of points. The A/E should consider the ParkSmart certification for projects involving parking garages."
The full Design and Construction Standards Manual can be found here:
Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating transportation and fuels?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for transportation and fuels:
University Policy 5505, "Campus Energy, Water, and Waste Reduction Policy" is available at this link: https://policies.vt.edu/5505.pdf
Section 3.4 Transportation and Travel states: "The university shall strive to increase fuel efficiency for transportation and reduce energy consumption for travel requirements." The section then provides 9 specific recommendations to achieve such goals (3.4.1 through 3.4.9). Examples of goals include:
3.4.3. Encourage the use of biofuel in state-owned vehicles.
3.4.7. Promote the use of video conferencing and conference calls in lieu of in-person meetings.
Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable procurement program or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Additional website resources:
University Housekeeping Services Contract with Budd Group: https://secure.hosting.vt.edu/www.apps.vpfin.vt.edu/contracts/documents/VTS-388-2017.pdf
Virginia Tech Facilities, Liza Morris, Assistant Vice President for Planning and University
Virginia Tech Dining, Blake Bensman, Sustainability Manager, Dining Services and Housing & Residence Life, email@example.com
Virginia Tech Procurement, Mary Helmick, Director of Procurement, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.