Below is a draft of our green purchasing policy. Download the policy (PDF) .
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Purchasing recognizes our role as a major purchaser of goods and services, and our responsibility to promote sustainable practices. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth shall give preference to environmentally friendly products whose quality, function, and cost are equivalent or superior to less environmentally sound alternatives.
Purpose for Policy
It is the goal of the campus administration to minimize the University's environmental impact while at the same time promoting responsible and sustainable budget practices. This policy will:
- Conserve natural resources
- Reduce Costs by encouraging conservation and responsible purchasing
- Minimize pollution
- Encourage cost avoidance by promoting life cycle analyses of purchases
- Reduce the use of water and energy
- Eliminate or reduce environmental health hazards to workers and our community
- Support strong recycling markets
- Reduce materials that are landfilled
- Reduce total consumption
- Increase the use and availability of environmentally preferable products
- Reward vendors who reduce environmental impacts in their production and distribution systems or services
- Create a model for successfully purchasing environmentally preferable products that encourages other purchasers in our community to adopt similar goals
- Support locally produced goods and services
- Educate ourselves, our vendors, and our end users
Environmentally Preferable or "Green" Product (EPP): A product that has a lesser or neutral impact on human health and the environment when compared to competing products that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal of the product. This term includes recyclable products, recycled products, and reusable products. An environmentally preferable product is the best value product, though not always the lowest price.
Life Cycle Analysis: The comprehensive examination of a product's environmental and economic effects throughout its lifetime, including new material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, lifespan, and disposal.
Practicable: Satisfactory in performance and available at a fair and reasonable price.
Post-consumer Content: The percentage of materials collected from end-users and recycled into the new product.
Recyclable Product: A product that, after its intended end use, can be demonstrably diverted from the University's solid waste stream for use as a raw material in the manufacture of another product, preferably higher value uses.
Reusable Product: A product, such as a washable food or beverage container or a refillable ballpoint pen, that can be used several times for an intended use before being discarded.
ResponsibilitiesFor purposes of setting goals and evaluating the performance of the University's green purchasing program, vendors may be requested to report the environmental attributes of their products.
Procurement and Supply Chain Management responsibilities:
- It shall be the responsibility of the University community as a whole to seek out products and services that are sustainable in support of their operations.
- Members of the campus community are asked to give consideration beyond the short-term costs of a product. Where possible a brief life cycle scenario should be considered, and where price and performance are equitable, preference should go to the more environmentally preferable product.
- It shall be the responsibility of the various vendors that serve the campus to understand our goal of encouraging EPPs, and to align their products so as to best suit the needs of the campus.
Construction and Building Supplies
- When acquiring or replacing inefficient interior or exterior lighting, energy efficient equipment shall be purchased.
- Only the most water efficient appliances available should be purchased during repair, upgrades and renovation, and construction, unless cost is prohibitive of such action. This includes, but is not limited to, high performance fixtures like toilets, low-flow faucets and aerators, and upgraded irrigation systems.
- Pest control shall be managed through prevention - physical and mechanical - and through the purchase of environmentally friendly products. As a last resort, the least toxic pest control substance should be used.
- Ensure that all wood and wood contained within the products that UMD purchases is certified as 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.
- When practicable, procure locally sourced, sustainably harvested wood.
- Purchase or use of previously used or salvaged wood and wood products are encouraged.
- When 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 shall be specified.
- Transportation products, including signs, cones, parking stops, delineators, channelizers, and barricades shall contain the highest postconsumer content when practicable.
- When maintaining buildings, products such as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture and casework with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content, and low or no formaldehyde shall be used when practicable.
- All carpet distributors and/or manufacturers of carpet installed at the university shall have a carpet-recycling plan that is approved by Purchasing and Business Services.
- 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 is 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 programs.
- 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 that are appropriate to the microclimate. Native plants that require no or minimal watering once established should be purchased.
General & Office Supplies
- Thirty per cent postconsumer waste recycled paper for all applications shall be the standard when quality of service and is not compromised (Is recommended)
- Remanufactured ink and toner cartridges are recommended for all applications where value and performance are not compromised.
- When possible products with third party certification are recommended as these certifications not only serve to authenticate the environmental preferability of products, but also serve to make EPPs more easily recognizable.
- Whenever possible, products and equipment should conform to the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive which limits the use of hazardous materials in electrical and electronic products. For products that do not meet RoHS compliance, preference should be given to those products with lower quantities of metals such as lead and mercury and to vendors with established lead and mercury recovery programs.
- When acquiring vehicles, the university should purchase/lease less polluting alternatives to diesel, such as compressed natural gas, bio-based fuels, hybrids, electric, and fuel cells, as available and suitable for the use intended.
- The purchase of bio-based plastic products that are biodegradable and compostable, such as bags, film, food and beverage containers are encourage when and wherever possible.
- Paper, paper products, and construction products made from non-wood, plant-based contents such as agricultural crops and residues are encouraged.
- The University should purchase recycled 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, but no less than the minimum recycled content standards established by the U.S. EPA Guidelines.
- Purchase remanufactured products such as laser toner cartridges, tires, furniture, equipment and automotive parts whenever practicable, but without reducing safety, quality or effectiveness.
- Products that are durable, long lasting, reusable, or refillable are preferred whenever feasible.
- Packaging that is reusable, recyclable, or compostable is preferred, when suitable uses and programs exist, as is eliminating packaging or using the minimum amount necessary for product protection to the greatest extent practicable.
- Cleaning solvents should be biodegradable, phosphate free, and citrus-based when their use will not compromise quality of service.
- Industrial and institutional cleaning products that meet Green Seal certification standards or environmental preferability and performance should be purchased and recommended for use by janitorial contractors.
- Refrain from procuring cleaning or disinfecting products (i.e. for janitorial or automotive use) containing carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens. Chemicals to be avoided are listed by the U.S. EPA or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on the Toxics Release Inventory.
- All surfactants and detergents used shall be readily biodegradable and shall not contain phosphates.
- All desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors purchased must meet, at a minimum Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) bronze registration or higher as contained in the IEEE 1680 Standard for the Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products.
- Additional consideration will be provided for electronic products that have achieved EPEAT silver or 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.
- All electrical products purchased by UMD shall meet the US EPA Energy Star certification when available and practicable. When products with Energy Star labels are not available, products that are in the upper 25 per cent of energy efficiency as designated by the federal Energy Management Program shall be used.
- Preference shall be given to Suppliers of electronic equipment, including but not limited to computers, monitors, printers, and copiers that offer a program to take back equipment for reuse or environmentally safe recycling when deemed appropriate by UMD.
Entities Affected By This Policy
Entire Campus Community.
- RoHS: http://www.rohs.eu/english/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restriction_of_Hazardous_Substances_Directive
- UMD Technology Purchasing Policy:
- EPEAT: http://www.epeat.net/
- Energy Star: http://www.energystar.gov/
- EPA Recycled product guide: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/tools/cpg/