Statement on Sustainable Procurement
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The University of North Florida has a rich history of proactive care for the environment, which it works to instill in students. As of October 2019, the University has LEED-certified 11 buildings, is retrofitting campus with LED lighting, maintains the 382-acre Sawmill Slough Preserve, operates two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, conducts campus-wide recycling, cultivates the Ogier Organic Gardens, and resources academic initiatives through Environmental Center. In concert with vendor partners, the UNF Bookstore no longer uses plastic bags and the Osprey Café donates café leftovers to the local community in need. This statement is set forth to enhance how we work and provide education.
This guideline applies to all items procured and contracts negotiated by the University. Sustainability is a comprehensive cycle involving purchase as well as use, disposal, and reuse of materials. The collaborative process of sustainability involves all employees, vendors, and students.
The University realizes the economic, environmental, social, and ethical dynamics of sustainability. As such, the total cost of ownership, encompassing these impacts, shall be the standard for procurement.
- Carbon commitment: The University strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with University procurement and operations, with the long-term goals of reaching carbon neutrality.
- Conservation: Protect the native flora and fauna in their natural communities while promoting biological diversity in the Sawmill Slough Preserve.
- Dining practices: The Osprey Café incorporates source reduction, food recovery and composting strategies to reduce waste to landfill. Other initiatives include tray-less dining, reusable to-go containers, plant-based options, and obtaining animal products from cage-free chickens, non-rBGH cows, and poultry raised with restricted use of additives.
- Energy efficiency via light-emitting diode (LED) lighting: The University has replaced lighting along all streets and parking lots on campus with LEDs, as well as six buildings on campus. It will take another year to retrofit the entire campus to LED lighting.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings: LEED certification is an international rating standard for buildings developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The University constructed its last 11 buildings as LEED certified, now with eight at gold or silver status.
- Post-consumer paper: Preferred office supply vendor offers copy paper with 30% to 100% post-consumer content.
- Recycling: Recycling bins for mixed paper, plastics, and cans are available in every academic and office building across campus.
- Vendor management: Procurement Services meets annually with holders of higher-dollar, term contracts. Vendors are asked to provide ‘green’ activity totals and industry updates.
Three key commodity types for sustainable action are durable goods, ongoing consumables, and on-campus services. Durable goods are higher-cost-per-unit materials that are replaced infrequently and/or may require capital outlays to purchase. These products may include, but are not limited to office equipment (such as computers, monitors, printers, copiers, fax machines), appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, water coolers), external power adaptors, televisions, and furniture. Ongoing consumables refer to low-cost-per-unit materials that are regularly used and replaced through the course of daily business operations. These products may include, but are not limited to printing and copying paper, notebooks, envelopes, business cards, sticky notes, paper clips, toner cartridges, and batteries. On-campus services including, but not limited to, landscaping, custodial, construction, maintenance, and transportation activities may involve the use of chemicals, machinery, materials, energy, and water. In buying for or servicing the University, consider:
- Energy efficient products use relatively less electricity, gas, or water when compared to similar products in the industry.
- Fair Trade is a third-party verified system of trade that provides better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
- Packaging includes plastics, paper, cardboard, and other materials used to ship product to campus, which the University aims to minimize in partnership with vendors.
- Recycled content refers, but is not limited to post-consumer, salvaged, and renewable materials, which the University aims to maximize in partnership with vendors.
- Toxins and pollutants may be minimized by selecting biodegradable, phosphate-free and citrus-based solvents when the quality of service will not be compromised by their use.
- Water may be conserved with the use of water efficient appliances, which may include, but are not limited to high performance fixtures such as toilets, low flow faucets and aerators.
Responsibility of Vendors
Procurement Services asks that vendors consider the competitive role sustainability plays in the current marketplace.
Current vendors shall provide routine updates on how the industry is becoming more ‘green’ in meetings and on-campus vendor events including, but not limited to:
- Minimizing the consumption on non-replaceable resources
- Seeking alternatives to products and processes that are detrimental to the environment
- Minimizing waste (including packaging)
- Maximizing reuse/recycle of materials
Prospective vendors should share how its business operates sustainably and helps reshape the practices of its clients in:
- Bid proposals
- Ongoing communications
Note: Nothing contained in this guideline shall be construed as requiring UNF to procure products that do not perform adequately for their intended use, exclude adequate competition, or are not available at a reasonable price in a reasonable period of time.