Dec 16, 2014 02:41 PM
UofL's commitment to sustainability is reflected in our Green Purchasing Policy.
UofL Stockroom Green Products on display at Campus Sustainability Day
The University of Louisville is committed to the stewardship of the
environment and to reducing the University’s dependence on non-renewable
energy. UofL's Green Purchasing Policies and Procedures support the
University’s commitment to sustainability.
The goal of this policy is to reduce the adverse environmental impact
of our purchasing decisions by buying goods and services from
manufacturers and vendors who share our commitment to the environment.
Green purchasing is the method wherein environmental and social
considerations are taken with equal weight to the price, availability
and performance criteria that colleges and universities use to make
Green Purchasing is also know as “environmentally preferred
purchasing (EPP), green procurement, affirmative procurement,
eco-procurement, and environmentally responsible purchasing.” Green
Purchasing minimizes negative environmental and social effects through
the use of environmentally friendly products.
Green Purchasing attempts to identify and reduce environmental impact and to maximize resource efficiency. Learn more with the Sustainable Procurement Toolkit available from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
- All desktop computers, notebooks and monitors purchased must meet, at a minimum, all Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) environmental criteria designated as “required” (silver registration) or higher as contained in the IEEE 1680 Standard for the Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products, whenever practicable.
consideration will be provided for electronic products that have
achieved EPEAT Gold registration. The registration criteria and a list
of all registered equipment are provided at http://www.epeat.net/.
- Copiers and printers purchased shall be compatible with the use of recycled content and remanufactured products.
- Remanufactured toner cartridges should be used in all copiers and printers whenever feasible.
- All energy using products purchased by U of L shall meet the U.S. EPA Energy Star*
certification when available and practicable. When Energy Star labels
are not available, all purchasing units shall choose energy products
that are in the upper 25% of energy efficiency as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program.
of electronic equipment, including but not limited to computers,
monitors, printers, and copiers, shall be required to take back
equipment for reuse or environmentally safe recycling when deemed
appropriate by UofL.
- Where applicable, energy-efficient
equipment shall be purchased with the most up-to-date energy efficiency
functions. This includes, but is not limited to, high efficiency space
heating systems and high efficiency space cooling equipment.
replacing vehicles, UofL shall consider less-polluting alternatives to
diesel such as compressed natural gas, bio-based fuels, hybrids,
electric batteries, and fuel cells, as available.
- When practicable, UofL shall replace inefficient interior lighting with energy efficient equipment.
practicable, UofL shall replace inefficient exterior lighting with
energy-efficient equipment. Exterior lighting shall be minimized where
possible to avoid unnecessary lighting of architectural and landscape
features while providing adequate illumination for safety and
- Purchase only the most water efficient appliances available.
This includes, but is not limited to: high performance fixtures like
toilets, low-flow faucets and aerators; and upgraded irrigation systems.
- Toxins and Pollutions
- Cleaning solvents should be biodegradable, phosphate free and
citrus-based where their use will not compromise quality of service.
- Industrial and institutional cleaning products that meet Green Seal
certification standards or environmental preferability and performance
shall be purchased and/or be required to be supplied by janitorial
- All surfactants and detergents used shall be readily biodegradable and shall not contain phosphates.
- Vacuum cleaners that meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute “Green Label”
Testing Program – Vacuum Cleaner Criteria, are capable of capturing 96%
of particulates 0.3 microns in size, and operate with a sound level
less than 70dBA shall be used by in-house staff and required for
- Whenever possible, products and
equipment should not contain lead or mercury. For products that contain
lead or mercury, preference should be given to those products with
lower quantities of these metals and to vendors with established lead
and mercury recovery programs.
- When maintaining buildings and
landscapes, UofL shall manage pest problems through prevention and the
use of environmentally friendly products. They may either adopt and
implement an organic pest management policy and practices or adopt and
implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy and practices using
the least toxic pest control as a last resort.
- Bio-Based Products
- Bio-based plastic products that are biodegradable and
compostable, such as bags, film, food and beverage containers, and
cutlery, are encouraged whenever practicable.
- Compostable plastic products purchased shall meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards as found in ASTM D6400-04. Biodegradable plastics used as coatings on paper and other compostable substrates shall meet ASTM D6868-03 standards.
- Vehicle fuels made from non-wood, plant-based contents such as vegetable oils are encouraged whenever practicable.
paper products and construction products made from non-wood, plant
based contents such as agricultural crops and residues are encouraged
- Forest Conservation
- Ensure that all wood and wood contained within the products that
UofL purchases is certified to be sustainably harvested by a
comprehensive, performance based certification system. The
certification system shall include independent third-party audits, with
standards equivalent to, or stricter than, those of the Forest Stewardship Council certification.
- Purchase or use of previously used or salvaged wood and wood products are encouraged whenever practicable.
- 30% post-consumer waste recycled paper is the standard for all
applications where economic use of paper and quality of service is not
compromised or the health and safety of employees prejudiced.
recyclable materials are to be recycled through the UofL recycling
program. This includes, but is not limited to: paper, newspaper,
cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and steel.
- All Toner,
Laser and Inkjet cartridges other than those supplied by the
University's current contractor for copiers (Xerox), shall be recycled
through a contract established with Clover Technologies. See Procedures.
specifying asphalt concrete, aggregate base or Portland cement concrete
for road construction projects, recycled, reusable or reground
materials shall be used when practicable.
- The use of reclaimed stone and brick and the use of secondary or recycled aggregates will be specified whenever practicable.
products, including signs, cones, parking stops, delineators,
channelizers and barricades shall contain the highest post-consumer
- Products that are durable, long lasting, reusable or refillable are preferred whenever feasible.
documents (by UofL and Suppliers) shall be printed and copied on both
sides to reduce the use and purchase of paper, whenever practical.
surplused desktop computers, notebooks and monitors shall be disposed
of through one of the following programs: computer recycling program;
Connect Kentucky program; or the Signature Partnership Initiative.
- Packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable is
preferred, when suitable uses and programs exist and eliminate packaging
or use the minimum amount necessary for product protection, to the
greatest extent practicable.
- Green Building
can be used to compare the green attributes of products from furniture
to flooring and see how each contributes to LEED and other
- Green purchasing concepts shall be integrated into architectural
designs, final construction documents and into the final construction
of all UofL buildings, renovations of property or facilities owned by
- All new campus construction as well as large renovation projects will target the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent. This policy covers all building types as well as building components.
maintaining buildings, products with the lowest amount of volatile
organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content, and low or no
formaldehyde shall be used when practicable when purchasing materials
such as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture and casework.
carpet distributors and/or manufacturers of carpet installed at UofL
must have a carpet recycling plan that is approved by Purchasing and
Department of Environmental Health and Safety.
- The use of
chlorofluorocarbon and halon-containing refrigerants, solvents and other
products shall be phased out and new purchases of
heating/ventilating/air conditioning, refrigeration, insulation and fire
suppression systems shall not contain them.
- All landscape renovations, construction and maintenance
performed by internal staff members or contractors providing landscaping
services shall employ sustainable landscape management techniques for
design, construction and maintenance whenever possible. This includes,
but not limited to, integrated pest management, drip irrigation,
composting and use of mulch and compost that give preference to those
produced from regionally generated plant debris and/or food waste
- Landscape structures constructed of recycled content
materials are encouraged. The amount of impervious surfaces in the
landscape shall be limited, whenever practicable. Permeable
substitutes, such as permeable asphalt or pavers, are encouraged for
walkways, patios and driveways.
- Plants should be selected to
minimize waste by choosing species for purchase that are appropriate to
the microclimate. Native and drought-tolerant plants that require no or
minimal watering once established should be purchased.
- When purchasing agricultural products, all food contractors
shall purchase Kentucky-grown agricultural products if the products are
available and if the vendor can meet the applicable quality standards
and pricing requirements.
- All food contractors shall agree to
work with their distributors to purchase a minimum of 15% locally grown
products. All food contractors shall further agree that the 15% is an
initial percentage and that all food contractors will purchase as much
local produce and product as possible. All food contractors and
University will review the local purchases annually and mutually agree
on increases to the percentage where and when possible.
- Over 1700 different office supplies with 30-100% recycled content are available through our contract.
- 26% of all items purchased by UofL departments had a recycled content (8118
- 58% of our "core list" items contain recycled content.
- 2853 recycled toner cartridges were purchased.
- 106,000 reams of copy paper with 30% recycled content were purchased (a 26% decrease in paper usage from 2011).
- The Purchasing department is testing the use of re-usable totes for product
deliveries and evaluating the possibility of initiating some delivery-free days on campus to reduce the number of trips and associated carbon footprint.
- Paper products (towels, tissue, envelopes, etc) carry a recycled content from 30% to 50%.
- Carpet from Mohawk meets Carpet and Rug
Institute Indoor Air Quality Program and contains a recycled content.
- With the exception of our antibacterial foaming hand soap, all cleaning chemicals and products used by both UofL Physical Plant and our contract vendors are Green Seal Certified.
- 95% of all paint used on campus is low-VOC (volatile organic compound) and therefore better for indoor air quality. The only exceptions are specialty paints not available in low-VOC.
- Other products with a recycled content include: trash can liners, trash cans, microfiber mop heads, brooms, and buffing pads.
- The 7,700 reams of recycled paper used by the UofL Print Shop had a
recycled content of at least 30%.
- All University outside contracted print vendors are required
to use a minimum 30% recycled content in their products.
- 422,578 pounds of office paper was shredded and recycled (an increase of 6% from 2012 and equivalent to 2112 trees saved).
- 2047 printer cartridges were recycled (a decrease of 19% from 2012).
- 74,239 pounds of electronic waste was recycled (an increase of 31% from 2012).
- Millions of pounds of waste was recycled through our single-stream recycling program (paper, cardboard, plastics, metal, glass).
- New construction and major renovation projects are designed for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Construction firms are required to recycle all construction waste and stricter requirements are being developed for contractor compliance.
- All purchases of computer equipment and appliances are required to be Energy Star compliant.
- All materials (furniture and convector units) removed during mold remediation projects at Miller and Threlkeld halls were recycled or donated to Habitat for Humanity. Nothing was sent to the landfill.
- Dorm cleaning firms are required to use Green Seal Certified products.
Sustainability in Requests For Proposals (RFPs)
The following language is included in RFPs issued by the University of Louisville Purchasing Department:
The University of
Louisville is dedicated to acquiring products and services that are in
accordance with our commitment to sustainability. For the purpose of
judging sustainability, the following description applies:
is enhanced through sound Environmental, Social and Economic practices and
technologies that minimize or eliminate waste and negative impacts on current
UofL seeks products and
services that pose no significant risk to human health or environmental
quality when compared with competing products or services that serve the
same purpose. This comparison, where applicable, may consider raw materials and
energy acquisition; production and manufacturing; packaging
and distribution; and the operation, maintenance, reuse, recyclability or
disposal of a product. Materials, products, and workers from the
local region are preferred sources, along with companies/contractors that can
demonstrate efforts to ensure worker protections and to restore or enhance
More information can be found at: http://louisville.edu/purchasing/sustainability