The PSC is constantly working to further incorporate sustainable best practices into how we support and guide purchases throughout the CU System

You can find sustainable purchasing guidelines within each of the applicable commodity listings on the PSC’s Commodity Listing.

These guidelines intend to:

  • Encourage the purchase and use of materials, products, and services that best align with CU’s fiscal, environmental, climate change, social, community, and performance goals;
  • Reduce the environmental and social impacts from the purchase and use of products;
  • Empower department and university purchasing staff to innovate and incorporate best-practice sustainability strategies and practices in procurement decisions;
  • Communicate CU’s commitment to sustainable procurement by modeling the best product and service choices.

Additional Considerations

PSC Sustainability: Source Reduction and Waste Minimization

Source Reduction and Waste Minimization

The PSC is constantly striving to institute practices that reduce waste and result in the purchase of fewer products whenever practical and cost-effective, but without reducing safety or workplace quality, including but not limited to maximizing the following:

  • Minimize packaging or use preferred forms of packaging;
  • Conserve natural resources;
  • Communicate electronically instead of printing;
  • Use washable and reusable dishes and utensils;
  • Use rechargeable batteries;
  • Lease long-life products when service agreements support maintenance and repair rather than purchasing;
  • Share equipment and occasional use items;
  • Choose durable products rather than disposable;
  • Reduce product weight or thickness when effectiveness is not jeopardized in products such as, but not limited to, paper and compostable plastic liner bags; 
  • Eliminate the use of fossil-based plastic;
  • Buy in bulk, when storage and operations exist to support it;
  • Reuse products such as, but not limited to, file folders, storage boxes, office supplies, and furnishings.
PSC Sustainability: Environmental Factors

Environmental Factors

It is the practice of the PSC to consider a wide range of environmental factors throughout the product and service acquisitions process. The following list of the most common factors, but is not limited to, the consideration of:

  • Pollutant releases and toxins, especially persistent bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs), air emissions, and water pollution;
  • Waste generation and waste minimization;
  • Greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Recyclability and recycled content;
  • Energy consumption, energy efficiency, use of renewable energy;
  • Depletion of natural resources; 
  • The potential impact on human health and the environment; 
  • Impacts on biodiversity
  • Environmental practices that vendors and manufacturers have incorporated into their office and production process.
PSC Sustainability: Social Equity Factors

Social Equity Factors

The PSC looks for each product and service acquisition as an opportunity to incorporate and consider all university policies of social equity, responsible purchasing, and justice, as appropriate to each acquisition, in a way that supports each of the policy initiatives holistically and in concert with each other:

  • Small, local, and minority-owned business opportunity and participation
  • Fair labor practices, health and retirement benefits, safety, livable wages, and worker rights; 
  • International Fair Labor Code of Conduct, including prohibitions on forced overtime, child labor, health and safety equal to the laws of the country of the manufacturer; 
  • Environmental justice (disproportionate environmental and health impacts on different population groups)

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Policies and Procedures