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Sustainable Administration Hub: Procurement

Sustainable Administration Hub: Procurement

Procurement

Procurement is a critical part of sustainability. Our purchasing decisions determine which businesses are financially supported by Ohio University budget resources and reflect the values of the University. Ideally, those purchasing decisions will simultaneously benefit our people, our planet, and the prosperity of our region.  Our sustainable purchasing guidelines and our student-created triple bottom line cost-benefit analysis tool are resources that can be used by Ohio University students and staff to evaluate their own purchases.

 

Sustainability Project Laboratory Icon

 

The Sustainability Project Laboratory is a database of sustainability-related project proposals. This resource hosts projects and project ideas that can be adopted by faculty, staff, and students for course projects, capstone or senior projects, theses, and more.

To find procurement related projects just type "procurement" into the search bar at the top of the database, or click the Sustainability Project Laboratory icon to the right.

Procurement Infographic
The 2017 Purchasing infographic outlining progress towards the 2011 sustainability benchmarks and new goals set for fiscal year 2026. Find the information in the tabs "Where we are now (2017): Progress toward 2011 Sustainability Plan" and "Moving Forward: 2017 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Goal."

 

    

Current Data

Graph showing Ohio University scores in Purchasing section of STARS at 71.8% vs lower averages for US STARS institutions, Doctoral institutions and large institutions
Ohio University 2021 STARS Purchasing scores vs. average scores for other groupings of institutions

 Where we are now (2017): Progress toward 2011 Sustainability Plan

  • Benchmark 20: Increase the percentage of paper products on campus that include post-consumer recycled content. Target not met​.

  • Benchmark 24: Encourage use of sustainable and/or recyclable materials and containers in place of polystyrene by developing environmentally preferable purchasing guidelines. Preferable Purchasing Guidelines Created​.

  • Benchmark 28: Increase purchase of non-food local goods and services and environmentally preferable goods. Alternative baseline determined​.

  • Benchmark 29: Increase purchase of environmentally preferable computer products. Target exceeded​.

  • Benchmark 31: Develop sustainability guidelines for concessionaires and franchisees. Target in progress. ​

Purchasing Graphics

STARS Purchasing Comparison Graphic
AASHE STARS compares programs across the nation in many different categories. Ohio University reports above the national average in investments.
Ohio University Emissions Breakdown
At Ohio University, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) data collection is limited for purchasing. Purchased paper accounts for 0.2% of emissions.​

 

Moving Forward: 2017 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Goal

Goal: Increase purchasing of sustainable and/or recycled products across a range of categories:

  • Increase the use of recycled paper from 7% to 50%
  • Increase the use of EPEAT Gold Electronics (as defined in EPEAT Registry) from 94% to 95%
  • Increase the use of Green Cleaning Products (as defined in the AASHE STARS Technical Manual for OP 13) from 51% to 65%
  • Increase the use of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (as defined in the  AASHE STARS Technical Manual for OP15)from 1.4% to 3%
  • Increase the use of battery-powered lawn care products from 0% to 50%
  • Increase the number of Concessionaires / Franchisees with Sustainable Purchasing (to be defined in 2020 OHIO Sustainable Purchasing guidelines) in contract​ to 100%
  • Increase the total sustainable purchases (to be defined in 2020 OHIO Sustainable Purchasing guidelines) to 30%

Potential Strategies​

  • Review and revise existing sustainability purchasing guidelines to direct progress toward sub-goals.​

  • Educate University purchasers on benefits of, and encourage use of, sustainability purchasing guidelines, both for bid and non-bid purchases.  ​

  • Create model RFP criteria and protocol for bid purchases and evaluation tools for non-bid purchases, and include carbon emissions as criteria​

  • Incorporate sustainability practices into contracts for concessionaires and franchisees​

  • Develop strategies to monitor non-centralized purchasing, especially post-consumer content in paper purchasing​

  • Mark vendors or products meeting certain sustainable criteria in BobcatBuy to incentivize increased sustainable procurement​

  • Create bi-monthly sustainable purchasing group meeting to monitor progress​

  • Develop an assessment tool for social return on investment, especially for local purchases​

Benefits of the Goal

  • Improved reputation
  • Reduced emissions
  • Increased community engagement
  • Increased economic activity
  • Improved human health
  • Reduced operational costs

Costs of the Goal

  • Staff time
  • Capital cost

Hub Supported Initiatives

Initiative (Lead department/Unit) SCAP Alignment

Annual Procurement Fair (Procurement)

A green event that encourages availability of sustainable products from University suppliers. Sustainability staff visit fair to interview suppliers on product sustainability.

Increase purchasing of sustainable and/or recycled products across a range of categories.

Participation in Pouring Rights RFP process (Procurement)

Public bid process to choose new beverage supplier for Ohio University Culinary Services and Athletics.  Director of Sustainability on RFP committee.

Increase purchasing of sustainable and/or recycled products across a range of categories. (100% of concessionaires have sustainable purchasing in contract by 2026)

Culinary Services Local Food Procurement (Culinary Services)

Foods that are grown, raised and processed within 100 miles of OHIO

Culinary Services is a key player in the Sugar Bush grant-funded Farm to Ohio Working Group focusing on local food systems and local food procurement.  Office of Sustainability staff support this working group.

Increase purchasing of sustainable and/or recycled products across a range of categories (also see the Food theme of the Sustainability & Climate Action Plan)

Hub Related Initiatives 

  • EPEAT Gold computer purchases
    • The University's Bobcat Depot purchases only EPEAT certified computers and laptops.
  • RFP Sustainability language
    • The University's RFP template contains requirements to provide sustainability information in all bid proposals.

Sustainable Purchasing Best Practices

Best Practice Table

Sustainability Attribute Sustainability Goal Sustainable Purchasing Best Practices
Recycled content Reduce carbon emissions, deforestation, use of finite resources Favor higher post-consumer recycled content; Avoid "virgin" (non-recycled) paper or wood content
Local products Reduce supply chain emissions; support local communities Prioritize products made within the state of Ohio or within 250 miles of the campus
Conflict Free Minerals Eliminate socially harmful extraction processes for minerals used in most electronic devices Evaluation of vendor’s conflict mineral policy
Biodegradable/Compostable Reduce landfill waste Prioritize BPI-certified paper products
Fair Trade Promote sustainable and equitable trade relationships between producers and consumers Prioritize Fair Trade labeled products
Chemical Free Minimize use of chemicals that diminish indoor air quality Avoid purchasing products that require use in a well-ventilated area (e.g. cleaning products, hygiene products, carpeting, plastics, fabrics)
Sustainably Harvested Reduce deforestation, desertification Wood products (e.g. furniture) should be certified as sustainably harvested (FSC Certified) or rapidly regenerating (such as bamboo).
Energy Efficient Reduce energy consumption, utility cost Seek Energy Star rated appliances, alternative fuel or LEED rated vehicles
Carbon Offsets Reduce institutional carbon footprint Purchase offset credits to compensate for emissions produced

Product Standard

Product Standard
Computers EPEAT Gold rated
Paper 30% post-consumer recycled content (minimum)
Styrofoam Prohibited from purchasing (see Styrofoam Fact Sheet)
Vehicles LEFE rated

Disposal Guidelines

  • When a good is no longer desired, the owner must contact Moving and Surplus to have the product entered into the University's surplus inventory.
  • Moving and Surplus may deem the product inappropriate for surplus inventory. In such a situation, the user will make a good faith effort to repurpose or recycle the product. Recycling pick-up can be requested by emailing the Office of Refuse and Recycling at recycle@ohio.edu.
  • All electronic products should be disposed of at campus-designated locations for electronic waste

Ohio University Experts

Name Contact Description
Dan Karney karney@ohio.edu

Associate Professor of Economics

Joy Kostansek jk985814@ohio.edu Program Coordinator, Cincinnati University
Ryan Fogt
fogtr@ohio.edu
 

Sustainable Administration Hub Coordinator
Elaine Goetz goetze@ohio.edu Director of Energy Management & Sustainability