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Sustainability

Purchasing strongly encourages departments to be proactive in identifying opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of business activities as part of the "VCU Goes Green" initiative. Departments should purchase environmentally-friendly and recycled products when possible. Most formal solicitations require vendors to provide information on the firm’s sustainability initiatives and welcome recommendations that reduce environmental impact and create efficiencies.

Requirements for General Purchases

  • Energy Star-rated appliances and equipment must be purchased (or leased) when an Energy Star designation is available.
  • All new copiers, faxes, printers, and other such office equipment purchased or leased must be compatible with recycled paper.
  • Recycled paper must be purchased.
  • Purchases of individual serving-sized plastic containers of water are permitted as follows:
    • distribution to/consumption by employees (requires use of local funds, except in the case of emergencies or for safety and/or health reasons, in which case state or local funds may be used)
    • as part of business meals or catered events (state or local funds)
    • for information sessions, training sessions, or other events involving prospective students, students, or non-employees (state or local funds)
    • intensive/substantive training sessions involving only employees (state or local funds)
    • information sessions or other events involving employees only (local funds)
  • When selecting sites within the Commonwealth for conferences and meetings (excluding State facilities) which will be attended by fewer than 50 people, departments should strive to use “Virginia Green” certified facilities.
  • When selecting sites within the Commonwealth for conferences and meetings (excluding State facilities) which will be attended by 50 or more people (excluding State facilities), only “Virginia Green” certified facilities shall be used unless permission to select a different site has been approved by University Purchasing.

Additional ways to support Sustainability:

  • Reduce paper usage by:
    • Scanning and emailing documents instead of faxing or mailing;
    • Only printing information that must be retained for documentation;
    • Using the duplex feature on your printers when printing or copying documents; or
    • Storing information electronically instead of printing documents.
  • Every effort should be made for publications to be published in electronic form only, unless there is a statutory or regulatory requirement to the contrary, or a substantial portion of the intended recipients cannot be reached electronically.
  • Travelers are encouraged to: carpool to meetings; use video conferencing and conference calls; and purchase alternative fuels when available.
  • Purchase products that can be reused (e.g. toner cartridges, batteries, etc.), recycled or remanufactured;
  • Durable products should be used rather than disposable whenever practical, including whenever meals are served; if disposable materials must be used they should be biodegradable or recyclable. To the extent disposable plastics must be used, they should, whenever practicable, be recycled plastics only.
  • Consider purchasing surplus items;
  • Consider extended warranties on equipment and ensure routine maintenance is performed.