Welcome to the University of Washington Green Purchasing Program.

The University is committed to environmental stewardship by maintaining purchasing practices that promote and encourage the use and purchase of environmentally and socially responsible products.

Procurement Services promotes environmentally preferred purchasing (EPP) as defined by the National Associate of Educational Procurement, meaning that environmental and social considerations are “taken with equal weight to the price, availability and performance criteria that colleges and universities use to make purchasing decisions.”

The University’s buying staff leverage current supplier relationships to raise awareness of the purchasing considerations necessary to reduce our environmental impact and to maximize resource efficiency.

We appreciate your support in this effort and are always looking to promote new or improved environmentally friendly products.  We encourage and welcome your feedback ;  contact the University’s Sustainable  Sourcing Team claudiac@u.washington.edu if you become aware of a new environmentally friendly products or have questions about our program.

POLICY AND GUIDELINES

In support of the University of Washington Policy on Environmental Stewardship and the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.  

Procurement Services encourages the purchase of environmentally friendly products that are made with post‐consumer recycled content, recyclable, energy efficient, and/or bio‐based products. In our commitment to support the purchase and use of such products, sustainability requirements shall be included in all University‐wide contract solicitations. Suppliers will be required, upon request, to provide within a reasonable timeframe, information to enable a life cycle assessment, including material sources, extraction, fabrication and transportation to assess their impact on the environment.

In order to further the University’s commitment to sustainability, individual departments are encouraged to purchase recycled and environmentally preferable products, when quality, performance and price are comparable to alternatives.  See How to Buy, or view more information about available products see  Supplier Portfolios.

Procurement Services encourages the purchase of environmentally friendly products that are made with post-consumer recycled content, recyclable, energy efficient, and/or bio-based products which are available through eProcurement and other suppliers.

In our commitment to support the purchase and use of such products, sustainability requirements shall be included in all University-wide contract solicitations. Depending on the commodity, requirements may include criteria for:

  • Energy efficiency, such as Energy Star and EPEAT ratings
  • Green Seal, Ecologo certified or other independent eco-labeling certifications
  • Low VOC and  Greenguard indoor quality pollution certifications
  • Waste  reduction
  • Trade-ins – supplier take back programs
  • Reclamation services
  • Reusable, refillable packaging
  • Recycled content, including EPA requirements
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification
  • Packing material reduction
  • Responsible delivery and transportation process and plan
  • Reduced paper use via e-Procurement or electronic payment vouchering
  • Certification that sweat shop labor not be used
  • Whenever possible purchase organic and local (in state) produce
  • Electronic and paperless processes and web-based catalogs
  • Credit requirements set forth by LEED (Leadership in Energy an Environmental Design) into product and service sourcing and procurement
  • Contract suppliers will be required to provide a corporate sustainability plan for publication on the University’s Procurement Services web-site and to provide annual reports of EPP products purchased against the contract
  • Products shall meet or exceed the efficiency standards identified in Chapter 19.260 RCW.
  • Bidders are required to submit proposals using recycled paper and doubled sided copying to minimize waste.
  • Bidders will be required to complete a Green Profile questionnaire and report any citations for non compliance with environmental or safety issues.
  • Where environmentally preferable products and services do not exist, the University will work with suppliers to identify and develop opportunities

Solicitations shall identify the minimum percent content of recycled materials in accordance to the current adopted USEPA standards: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products.htm

Product stewardship will be a factor when selecting products.  The real or full costs of including life cycle or eco costs will be considered.  See: http://epa.gov/epawaste/partnerships/stewardship/.basis.htm

Suppliers shall be required, upon request, to provide within a reasonable timeframe,  information to enable a life cycle assessment, including material sources, extraction, fabrication and transportation to assess their impact on the environment.

Reporting Spend and Savings

Procurement Services has created an annual performance metric for sustainable/green products and purchases.  Purchasing activity will be reported and tracked annually to measure performance.

How To Buy

In order to further the University’s commitment to sustainability, individual departments are encouraged to:

  • Consider whether the item or service is really necessary.
  • Consider used items available from  Surplus Property.
  • Order from suppliers in  eProcurement an efficient and user friendly ordering method. The use of eProcurement streamlines the order process, promotes utilization of strategic supplier relationships and provides cost saving opportunities by leveraging spend.
  • Purchase recycled and environmentally preferable products (EPP), when quality, performance and price are comparable to alternatives.

Recommended Products:

  • 100% recycled printer and copier paper – REQUIRED
  • Other paper products that contain the highest recycled content available
  • Compostable and biodegradable bags and serving ware
  • Remanufactured toner cartridges
  • Appliances and computers – Purchase ONLY ENERGY STAR rated
  • Cleaning products with GreenSeal or EcoLabel Certified and Tested
  • Office Supplies via eProcurement
  • Energy saving lamps and ballasts
  • EPEAT bronze, silver or gold computers

Recommended Actions

  • Purchase printers and copiers with duplex printing capability and use this feature whenever practicable.
  • Purchase from suppliers with existing contracts with the University or the State.
  •  Encourage suppliers to provide products and services that have minimal negative impact on the environment. Is the product durable and recyclable are there collection systems in place to recycle the product.
  • Recycle unwanted supplies within your department.
  • Share information about recycled products and environmentally responsible activities.

Save Energy when you Buy Recycled Products!It takes much less energy to use recycled materials to make new products. Recycling saves natural resources, creates jobs, and supports our economy

Green Guides from the FTC
Over the past two decades, the symbol has been adopted industry-wide and the Federal Trade Commission has set up guidelines for its use. The FTC’s Environmental Guides, also known as “Green Guides” identify: 

 

 

 

 
  • Products that are recyclable

According to the FTC, using the recycling symbol to make a claim that a   product or  package is “recyclable” requires that recycling collection programs are available in a substantial majority of communities for that product or package.

 

 

 

 
  • Products made with a percentage of recycled fiber

The recycling symbol is also used for products or packaging made with only a percentage of recycled fiber and must identify the total percent (by weight) of recycled fiber. An appropriate label might read “XX% total recycled fiber.”

 

 

 

 
  • Products made from 100% recycled fiber

Products or printed materials using 100% recycled fiber should use either the recycling symbol or in the case of paperboard, the trademarked symbol of the Recycled Paperboard Alliance. Use of the RPA symbol is only permissible with a special licensing agreement in place.

Supplier Profiles

Refer to the Procurement Services  website for updates about new contracts, and suppliers’ environmental goals and achievements.

Related Links and Resources

Green Office Checklist (Financial Management Environmental Stewards Team)

Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

National Association of Educational Procurement

Revised Code of Washington RCWs -  Relevant Chapters/Sections

Recycled material

RCW 43.19.538

Purchase of products containing recycled material -- Preference -- Specifications and rules -- Review.

RCW 43.19.637

Clean-fuel vehicles -- Purchasing requirements.

RCW 43.19.663

Clean technologies -- Purchase.

Chapter 43.19A RCW, Recycled Product Procurement

RCW 43.19A.010

Definitions.

RCW 43.19A.020

Recycled product purchasing -- Federal product standards.

RCW 43.19A.030

Local government duties.

RCW 43.19A.040

Local government adoption of preferential purchase policy optional.

RCW 43.19A.050

Strategy for state agency procurement.

RCW 43.19A.060

Data base of products and vendors.

RCW 43.19A.070

Education program -- Product substitution list -- Model procurement guidelines.

RCW 43.19A.080

Bid notification to state recycled content requirements.