Purchasing Initiatives

The initiatives below show our strategies derived from our 2016-2021 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and what we have already accomplished. See pages 44-47 in the SAP for more details.

What We're Working On

  • Office and Custodial Supplies
      1. Synchronize large purchases with the Purchasing Office
      2. Advertise pre-negotiated sustainable products
      3. Centralize office purchasing
      4. Reach out to departments not using recycled paper to change purchasing habits
      5. Seek preferred pricing for environmentally preferable office supplies
      6. Limit office supply purchases to environmentally preferable list
      7. Research the feasibility of conducting a life-cycle analysis of Wesleyan’s purchases
      8. Evaluate ionized water “blue cleaning” as an alternative to chemical cleaning products
      9. Incorporate sustainable cleaning product purchases into the next custodial contract
  • Vendors
      1. Expand the Code of Ethics to include minimum standards for social and environmental responsibility
      2. Seek procurement relationships with businesses that meet the Code of Ethics
      3. Include historically underrepresented businesses in a vendor show
      4. Twenty percent of businesses working with Wesleyan are historically underrepresented
  • Culture of Sustainable Purchasing
      1. Conduct annual purchasing sustainability presentations at Administrative Assistants’ meetings
      2. Develop user information on sustainable purchasing
      3. Create and promote a sustainable office supplies kit

What We've Done

  • Office and Custodial Supplies
      1. Nearly all campus departments now use at least 30 percent recycled copy paper.  Nearly one-third of paper purchases are 100 percent recycled, including most paper for student computer labs.  
      2. Wesleyan strives to purchase recycled or recycled content material for office renovations, seeking office furniture and cubicle components that meet these standards:
        • Steel has a 25% recycled material content
        • Hardboard has a 90% recycled material content
        • Fiberglass has a 20% recycled material content
        • Corrugated packaging has a 74% recycled material content
        • Aluminum is 100% recycled content
        • Plastics have a 21% recycled material content
        • 100% of the fabric is from recycled materials
      3. The Purchasing Office has held “Green” vendor shows in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.  These shows spread awareness of Wesleyan's focus on purchasing sustainably to employees and vendors.
      4. Over 30 campus offices use PROSHRED to shred sensitive documents.  Through this partnership, Wesleyan recycled over 7 tons of paper in 2015.  Learn more about PROSHRED pricing for your department.
      5. Wesleyan’s contract with Sun Services prohibits petroleum-based cleaners, polishes, and dressings or cleaning materials that leave an oily residue.  The contract also specifies products that are Green Seal certified unless an alternate product has been approved.  Sun Services uses products manufactured by Diversey, which are all Green Seal Certified and may also carry EcoLogo or GREENGUARD certifications.  In FY 2014, 78 percent of cleaning product purchases were for Green Seal and/or EcoLogo certified products.
      6. In 2012, Professor Mary Alice Haddad led students in an EcoPurchasing study of environmentally responsible IT products, and created guides for individual and institutional IT purchasers.
      7. Wesleyan has pledged to purchase only EPEAT Gold standard computers and monitors.  EPEAT® (Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool) is the definitive global rating system for sustainable electronics. The EPEAT system combines strict, comprehensive criteria for design, production, energy use, and recycling with ongoing independent verification of manufacturer claims. EPEAT was developed through a stakeholder consensus process and is managed by the non-profit Green Electronics Council.
      8. The Cardinal Technology Store has taken great strides to sell sustainable products.  They sell reusable bottles and mugs, CFL and LED light bulbs, 100 percent recycled paper, and 35 percent post-consumer recycled content notebooks.  The store is discussing a charge for plastic bags and currently provides plastic bags only by request.
  • Vendors
      1. Wesleyan's Procurement Policy includes a section on buying locally-produced goods and services to reduce emissions associated with transport.
      2. WB Mason offers sustainable and recycled content alternatives for many office supplies through the “Swap and Save” program. The SAGES Purchasing subcommittee and Sustainability Office continually work with WB Mason to offer sustainable products to offices and reduce shipping packaging.  Wesleyan has reduced the number of days WB Mason makes office supply deliveries from five to two days per week.
Contact
Olga Bookas, Purchasing Director and SAGES Purchasing Subcommittee Chair
(860) 685-2122