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Sustainable Purchasing Policy

Original Goals of the 2012 Sustainable Purchasing Working Group:

Sustainable Purchasing is one of the 9 designated focus areas identified in the 2012 Campus Sustainability Plan. Its goals being to support the campus community and to integrate Lehigh's Climate Commitment efforts with the Campus Master Plan and the University's Strategic Plan.

The mission of the Sustainable Purchasing Group is to facilitate the acquisition of resources in a manner that supports the education, research, and neighborhood revitalization goals while transitioning the campus community towards environmentally preferable processes and social responsibility. As an institution for higher learning, we are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to be proactive in our transition toward sustainability and the ability to educate our campus community about the importance and feasibility of these initiatives.

We have identified short, medium and long term goals to support campus sustainability efforts. The short term goals are:

Short Term Goals (1-3 years):

  1. Goal: Implement electronic commerce and processes
    • Launch eProcurement system (phase out paper requisitions)
    • Expand OneCard purchasing
    • Enhance and expand Purchasing Services website
    • Improve web-based equipment sharing(Asa's Attic/Surplus Property)
  2. Goal: Identify Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) opportunities
    • Implement recycled content copy paper standards
    • Appropriately staff Purchasing Services for program success
    • Conduct Spend analysis - baseline products and services
    • Provide Purchasing support to the other 8 sustainability groups
  3. Goal: Implement Sustainable Purchasing Policy, expand education program
    • Implement Sustainable Purchasing Policy
    • Launch Green Marketing Program

Sustainability Focused Activities:

  • The transition to the OneCard program is complete and is now 100% implemented across the campus community.
  • Purchasing is currently expanding the implementation of the eProcurement system (easyPurchase) throughout F&A, with the focus on academic areas in 2014.
  • The team is in the midst of a Recycled Paper Request for Proposal process, coordinating with our LVAIC peers to identify a supplier to provide 100% recycled paper at competitive prices. A decision is expected mid-semester.
  • Purchasing partnered with several departments across campus to identify a qualified eWaste recycling supplier and the University has completed two eWaste collections, removing thousands of pounds of eWaste and ensuring safe environmental disposal.
  • Purchasing Services recently hired a new System Coordinator specifically to support the eProcurement program, as primary administrator, and OneCard program, as back-up administrator, and ensure the necessary customer support as the systems are expanded throughout campus.
  • LTS is scheduled to assist Purchasing with our website updates in early 2014, and enhancements will include pages dedicated to the Sustainable Purchasing activities.
  • Efforts in 2014 will focus on identification of EPP opportunities and transitioning the existing Green Purchasing Guidelines into a Sustainable Purchasing Policy.

Purchasing Services - Sustainability Initiatives
Sustainable Purchasing Brings 100% Recycled Paper to LTS Public Computing Sites
Purchasing Services Participates in Organization of eWaste Collection
Sustainable Purchasing Group Launched

Lehigh University - Sustainability Resources
Sustainability at Lehigh
Lehigh Sustainability Council (LSC)
Purchasing Sustainability Group Members
Lehigh's Environmental Initiative
Old toner and printer cartridge recycling

External Resources
Environmental Protection Agency