The goods and services that Colgate purchases on an annual basis have both environmental and social impacts and we recognize that we can use our purchasing power to support a sustainable economy. Each purchasing decision presents an opportunity for Colgate community members to choose environmentally preferable products and services from companies that support sustainability.
Current practices and recent accomplishments:
4.5.1 Create an environmentally preferable purchasing policy
Colgate will take proactive measures to reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of its purchasing decisions by creating and implementing a set of guidelines or directives for employees that promote sustainable purchasing on campus. Moreover, by specifying in our Terms and Conditions purchasing guidelines that Colgate will consider the amount of packaging when making purchasing decisions, the university can communicate to its suppliers our goal of reducing waste on campus. Through working with our major vendors/suppliers we can reduce the amount of packaging and materials that enter the university in the first place.
By 2013, Colgate has in place an environmentally preferable purchasing policy that encourages employees to consider the environmental and social impacts of our purchasing decisions.
4.5.2 Create a vendor code of conduct
By creating a vendor code of conduct, Colgate sets expectations that our vendors are to meet minimum standards of environmental and social responsibility. The goal is to influence and improve the sustainability of our supply chain. Besides our major office supply companies, shipping companies, and other retailers, this includes contractors and construction service companies who perform work on campus.
By 2013, Colgate has in place a vendor code of conduct that sets expectations that our vendors are to meet minimum standards of environmental and social responsibility.
4.5.3 Purchasing preferences for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certified computers and monitors on campus
EPEAT is a system that helps purchasers evaluate, compare and select electronic products based on their environmental attributes. For example, waste minimization, high recycled content, environmentally responsible production methods, and demonstrate maximum durability or biodegradability, reparability, energy efficiency, and non‐toxicity. The EPEAT system currently covers desktop and laptop computers, thin clients, workstations and computer monitors. Desktops, laptops and monitors that meet 23 required environmental performance criteria may be registered in EPEAT by their manufacturers in 40 countries worldwide. Registered products are rated Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on the percentage of 28 optional criteria they meet above the baseline criteria. Currently, over 1,600 products have been certified through the EPEAT system.
By 2013, Colgate has in place an EPEAT preferred purchasing guideline and the campus standard is to purchase EPEAT qualified computers and monitors.
Metrics and Timeline:
By 2015, 50% of Colgate's computers and monitors are EPEAT certified models.
Inventory current models of computers and monitors to evaluate those that meet EPEAT certification.
Identify a few applications on campus where EPEAT certified products make good sense (high-performing models; affordable pricing) and purchase those items as the campus standard.
4.5.4 Implement a $50 minimum for department orders from Staples and Office Max
Increasing the minimum departmental purchase order from the current $35 to $50 would result in significantly fewer deliveries to campus. In 2010, Colgate administrative staff placed over 440 orders to Staples that were under $50. This strategy would reduce the number of vehicle trips to campus from our suppliers thus reducing congestion, cost, and emissions associated with fuel use. This strategy would also result in combined orders which could have a modest reduction in the amount of packaging that enters campus. We conservatively estimate a 1% reduction (8 tons) in annual landfill waste from our 2009 baseline year and save $500 in tipping fees.
Estimated cost savings and greenhouse gas reductions associated with a $50 minimum purchasing policy from Staples and Office Max.
4.5.5 Recycled Paper Purchasing Policy (eliminate the use of non-recycled paper on campus)
In FY 2010, Colgate purchased 880 cartons of 30% recycled content paper, 421 cartons of 100% recycled content paper, 404 cartons of virgin paper (non-recycled) and 36 cartons of 50% recycled paper. This project proposes a policy that eliminates the purchase of non-recycled paper on campus. We assume that people who purchased non-recycled paper in 2010 would switch to 30% recycled paper from Office Max in 2011. Because 30% recycled paper is $3.04 cheaper per carton and is a lower emissions factor than non-recycled paper, Colgate would save $3,836 and reduce our carbon footprint by nearly 3 MTeCO2 if we implemented this policy. Furthermore, these figures assume 2009-2010 consumption habits; if adjusted for the exceptionally large freshman class, Colgate could realize even greater environmental and fiscal savings.
By 2012, Colgate establishes a new paper purchasing policy that eliminates the purchase of non-recycled paper.
Metrics and Timeline:
4.5.6 Increase multi-functional printer/copier/fax devices as campus standard
Replacing stand alone printers, copiers, and fax machines with multi-functional devices (MFDs) can save space, cost in maintenance and repairs, and energy consumption. Additionally, research is demonstrating that MFDs can speed office workflow, increase efficiency, cut costs, and aid productivity. Currently, Colgate has very few MFDs on campus.
By 2013, Colgate establishes new standard of replacing stand alone devices with MFDs in campus work areas.
Metrics and Timeline:
By 2015, Colgate replaces stand alone devices with MFDs in 50% of the campus's work areas.
Complete assessment of current infrastructure and propose new layout that includes MFDs.
4.5.7 Purchase items/products with packaging/materials that can be recycled, made of post-consumer content, or are environmentally benign
Through working with our major vendors/suppliers we can influence the type of packaging and materials that enter the university. This strategy would have important environmental benefits. Materials and packaging that can be recycled use less overall energy and less extraction of finite resources. Additionally, items made from plant-based materials (e.g. "green" packaging peanuts which are starch-based and biodegradable in water or a compost setting) avoid the harsh and persistent toxins found in plastics and Styrofoam and are now widely available. Influencing Colgate’s supply chain can be challenging. However, as the “green” movement continues to progress many of our suppliers are already moving in this direction. Much of the time and energy needed to make this initiative successful would fall in the lap of Colgate’s Director of Purchasing in collaboration with the campus Sustainability Coordinator. Administrative Assistants would also need to be made aware of opportunities and alternative choices.
In 2012, Colgate continues dialogue with major suppliers expressing our preference to purchase items/produces with environmentally conscious packaging.