|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
Washington University in St. Louis
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement
Senior Contract Management Liaison
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:
It is important to keep in mind that the purchasing decisions being made by Washington University’s purchasing community affect our local environment and the health of our citizens and workers as well as the global community.
Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP)is the purchasing of products or services that have a positive effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. EPP contributes to WU’s overall sustainability initiative and efforts.
The purchase and use of environmentally preferable products can have a profound impact – and not just on the environment. Some tangible benefits are:
Buying less-hazardous products can reduce regulatory liability, improve worker safety and lower disposal costs.
Using energy-efficient and water-conserving products can save money and resources.
Products that are reusable, refillable, more durable or repairable create less waste and may be more cost-effective in the long-run than disposable or single-use products.
Buying recycled products keeps our home and workplace recycling programs going and saves natural resources.
Increased support of recycling programs can expand the recycling industry and create a more competitive environment that will cause pricing of recycled products to come down, relative to non-environmentally friendly competitive products.
Improved ability to meet existing environmental goals.
B. Other Definitions
Life Cycle Analysis: The comprehensive examination of a product’s environmental and economic aspects and potential impacts throughout its lifetime, including raw material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use and disposal.
Post-Consumer Materials/Waste: Materials or finished products that have served their intended use and have been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal, having completed their lives as consumer items. Postconsumer materials are part of the broader category of recovered materials.
Recyclability means the ability of a product or material to be recovered from, or otherwise diverted from, the solid waste stream for the purpose of recycling.
Recycling means the series of activities, including collection, separation and processing, by which products or other materials are recovered from the solid waste stream for use in the form of raw materials in the manufacture of new products other than fuel for producing heat or power by combustion.
Waste reduction means preventing or decreasing the amount of waste being generated through waste prevention, recycling or purchasing recycled and environmentally preferable products.
C. Target Areas
1. Waste Reduction
Reducing unnecessary waste on the front-end allows the university to both minimize the inefficient use of our natural resources and benefit economically from decreased handling and disposal costs.
Examples may include:
Purchase remanufactured products such as laser toner cartridges, furniture, equipment and automotive parts whenever practicable, but without reducing safety, quality or effectiveness or adding to cost.
Purchase products that are durable, long lasting, reusable or refillable.
Require suppliers to reduce packaging, where possible, without affecting the safety of the products during transit.
Request packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable when suitable uses and programs exist.
Reuse pallets and packaging materials.
2. Recycled Content Products
The university is in the process of developing a successful recycling system and recognizes that recycled content products are essential to the continuing viability of that recycling system.
Examples may include:
Products for which the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has established minimum recycled content standard guidelines – such as printing paper, office paper, janitorial paper, construction, landscaping, transportation, vehicles and non-paper office products – and which contain the highest post consumer content practicable.
Copiers and printers that can be used with recycled content products.
3. Energy and Water Savings
With electricity generation being a major contributor to air pollution and global warming issues and clean water being in short supply, the university supports products that protect these valuable resources.
Examples may include:
Energy-efficient equipment including, but not limited to, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.
Efficient lighting with energy-efficient equipment.
Buying water-saving products.
Buying computer products that are EPEAT silver and above (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) certified by the Green Electronics Council
4. Landscaping Management
Sustainable landscaping practices can produce significant economic and environmental benefits. Savings include reduced labor, water and fertilizer costs, lower hauling expenses and disposal fees, and less exposure to workman’s compensation claims due to crew injury from lifting heavy loads of green material.
Examples may include:
Employing sustainable landscape management techniques for design, construction and maintenance. Grass cycling, composting, and mulching return valuable organic material to the soil, which increases the water-holding capacity of soil, reduces erosion and conserves water. Proper watering, fertilizing and pruning along with integrated pest management can encourage healthier, disease-resistant plants and can reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic runoff entering storm drains and polluting creeks, lakes and rivers.
Minimizing waste by selecting plants that are appropriate to the microclimate, species that can grow to their natural size in the space allotted them. Place preference on native and drought-tolerant plants that require no or minimal watering once established.
Limiting the amount of impervious surfaces by procuring permeable substitutes such as permeable asphalt or pavers for walkways, patios and driveways.
5. Toxics and Pollution
The use of toxics and the generation of pollution should be minimized to reduce risks to health, safety and the environment.
Examples may include:
Buying more environmentally-friendly cleaning and disinfecting products.
Procuring products with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content, and low or no formaldehyde in materials such as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture and casework.
Reducing or eliminating the use of products that contribute to the formation of toxic chemicals, including, but not limited to:
Paper, paper products and janitorial paper products that are bleached or processed with chlorine or chlorine derivatives
Products that use polyvinyl chloride (PVC), including, but not limited to, office binders, furniture, flooring and medical supplies
Products and equipment with no lead or mercury. For products containing lead or mercury, give preference to those with lower quantities of these metals and to vendors with established lead and mercury recovery programs.
Hybrid and/or Electric vehicles where they make sense.
Health and safety of workers and citizens
The purchase of goods and services from local vendors where and when prudent.
Procure goods and services that are environmentally-friendly without compromising cost or quality
E. Performance Measurement & Reporting
To evaluate the performance of the university’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing program, suppliers will be asked to provide reporting of the recycled content of the products shipped to WashU.
Purchasing Services responsibilities include:
Coordinating with suppliers to design and implement a reporting system for tracking the environmental contents of products.
Educating end users about the impacts of their product choices through the purchasing sustainability website and e-access articles.
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:
The University's Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations specifies that "Project design should include evaluations of options using life-cycle cost analysis, including capital costs and 30 years of operations and maintenance. The analysis will use the assumptions published in our Financial Modeling Guidelines." All financial models include complex payback and Net Present Value analyses. The Financial Modeling Guidelines further specify that Net Present Value calculations, will be based on the
useful life of the equipment being analyzed as defined by a recognized industry standard, such as ASHRAE's Applications Handbook.
Project LCCA calculations consist of total costs and savings of ownership, including purchase, installation, maintenance savings/increases, as well as energy, water and sewer savings/increases. LCCA financial models also calculate the NPV with and without the Social Cost of Carbon as a decision making tool, using $39/MTCO2e beginning in 2015 with a 3% annual increase.
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:
Landscape and Grounds maintenance:
- Chemicals: Contractor must supply WashU with all MSDS sheets for all chemicals that they use and provide with all applicator licences for any applications. "A list of chemical and safety
- Use standard industry weed control and fertilizers on only targeted applications. Contract with a turf consultant.
- Don't apply pesticides without a targeted pest present. Do not do blanket applications.
"Contractor agrees to creatively work with the University on present and future sustainability initiatives that are important to the University. Contractor further agrees to participate in and support the University' recycling program."
"Operators are to be skilled in the work they are performing and well trained with the equipment they operate. At all times equiopment shall be done in a sagfe manner. All chemical applications shall be done by a trained, qualifies license applicator. A lis tof chemical data sheets will be provided.
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:
All new construction projects must meet a LEED Silver minimum. To achieve points within the LEED program, furnishings and building materials are sought and tracked.
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:
Unless cost prohibitive, you should only be purchasing EPEAT computers when available and suitable for your product needs.
EPEAT, which stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, is an easy-to-use, online tool helping institutional purchasers select and compare computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes.
Unless cost prohibitive, you should only be purchasing Energy Star electronics when available and suitable for your product needs.
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
Additional information on cloud data storage:
Washington University has partnered with 3 major cloud providers: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform. Each vendor has a strategy for increasing the percentage of renewable energy used in their data centers that host the cloud services that they provide.
While there is no official sustainability criteria to date, WashU IT actively works to minimize spending and energy consumption on cloud workloads by:
• Provisioning cloud workloads on-demand as needed
• Setting up test/dev workloads to run only during business hours, saving the expense and energy consumption associated with running servers on evenings and weekends
• Utilizing scale-able computing offerings that grow larger during peak usage, then automatically scale down during low usage times so that they cost the University less money and use less energy
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:
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 services (e.g. architectural, engineering, public relations, financial)?:
A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional services:
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:
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:
The purchasing department works with high-volume paper vendors to encourage the use of recycled content paper products. Example include:
- A "soft substitution" pop-up suggests 30% post-consumer recycled content paper when someone select a standard printer paper option.
- FedEx, a preferred vendor, offers 30% recycled content paper as the default offering. 30% and 100% post-consumer content paper have been included in the "deep discount" category for WashU accounts, making these options more cost-competitive.
- The Green Office program gives points on the checklist for sourcing recycled content paper for in-house printing/copying and out-of-office printing/copying
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:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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.