Sustainable purchasing ensures that price and quality criteria include minimal adverse environmental and health impacts. In this area, UTPA has the opportunity to support companies who embrace the three sustainability goals – ecological soundness, economic viability, and social justice.
In making a sustainable purchasing decision, the entire life cycle costs of the product (financial, environmental, and social) are taken into consideration. Life cycle takes into account extraction, production, manufacturing, distribution, operation, maintenance and disposal. Many green products are competitively priced with their conventional counterparts, are of comparable quality, and have one or more of the following attributes: high content from post-consumer recycled materials, recyclable, non-toxic, energy-efficient, durable and/or repairable, or produced in an environmentally and socially-sustainable manner. In this free enterprise economy, consumers must demand the availability of this type of product.
UTPA is attempting to make these purchasing decisions easier for the campus with strategic decisions. First, they want to start drafting Green Guides. These booklets will have valuable information on which products and services caused the least amount of harm to the Earth. Additionally, the purchasing department is seeking approval to install SciQuest, an e-procurement program which, aside from many other features, offers the choice of selecting form green products and services. The advantages of this software are twofold; one, it will allow individual departments on campus the ability to choose from green products and services, and two, it will keep track those purchases for the records of the purchasing department.
A Practical Guide to Green Purchasing
Green purchasing is buying products that are designed and manufactured to help conserve natural resources, save energy and reduce waste. Understand the most common types of certification seals.