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University of San Francisco

Purchasing's Sustainable and Environmental Initiatives

USF does not mandate a University-wide Sustainable Procurement Policy, however Purchasing Services is committed to forming alliances with companies who embrace and promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  Every effort is made to partner with manufacturers and suppliers who have Product Stewardship policies and implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs which include reducing and using reclaimed packaging material (flat-packing), implementing product buy/take-back programs, and developing cradle-to-cradle (C2C) solutions for products they produce.

In February 2011, Purchasing Services was named the first USF department to become certified as a Level 2 Green Office by USF Environmental Safety and the USF Green Team.   USF Purchasing Services’ sustainable and environmental initiatives and projects were showcased at the 2010 Vendor Fair as our theme was "Think Green, Buy Green, Be Green."  Our supply chain portfolio includes vendors, re-sellers, and manufacturers who have successfully obtained the following certifications:

  • San Francisco and Bay Area Green Business
  • ISO 14001: 2004
  • ISO 9000: 2008
  • EPEAT Gold Rated
  • Green-e Certified
  • Green Seal Certified  and awarded the Green Seal of Approval
  • Climate Savers Computing certified
  • CarbonNeutral® and CarbonNeutral®Plus
  • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
  • SCS Indoor Advantage and Advantage Gold
  • FSC and FSC with Chain of Custody (COC) certification
  • GreenShield® certified textile finish
  • Compliance with BIFMA’s e3 Sustainability Standard and level® 2 certification
  • LEED certified Headquarters and Corporate locations (Gold and Silver-CI certification)

Purchasing Services has successfully implemented the following sustainable and environmental initiatives in the following program:

Central Stores Program (Office Supply)

  • FY 10-11: 49% of the goods purchased from Office Depot contained recycled, remanufactured and other green attributes such as energy efficient, compostable, or refillable products. During this period, 7013 reams of paper products ranging from 18 to 100 lbs in weight was purchased by University Departments. Breakdown as follows:
    • 47% = FSC, 90 - 100% post-consumer recycled
    • 5% = FSC, 30 - 89% post-consumer recycled
    • 25% = FSC, 10 - 29% post-consumer recycled
    • 7% = SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) Certified
    • 16% = Non-Recycled Product
  • FY 11-12: 35% of the goods purchased from Office Depot contained recycled, remanufactured and other green attributes such as energy efficient, compostable, or refillable products. During this period, 7150 reams of paper products ranging from 18 to 100 lbs in weight was purchased by University Departments. Breakdown as follows:
    • 4% = FSC, 90 - 100% post-consumer recycled
    • 27% = FSC, 30 - 89% post-consumer recycled
    • 4% = FSC, 10 - 29% post-consumer recycled
    • 39% = SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) Certified
    • 26% = Non-Recycled Product
  • LEED for Existing Building Credit Report - Office Depot will provide USF their industry-exclusive LEED for Existing Building Credit Report.
  • Recycled and Environmental Friendly Alternatives - Central Stores web portals are customized to suggest recycled and environmental friendly alternatives when ordering office supplies and materials.
  • Eco-Analysis - USF’s Central Stores Vendors will provide free On-Site Eco-Analysis to assist departments with “Go Green” initiatives.
  • Toner Cartridge Recycling Program - Regardless of the source of supply, our Central Stores Vendors will pick up and recycle toner cartridges at no additional cost.
  • TerraCycle “Out-Smart Waste” Recycling Campaigns - TerraCycle provides free collection and up-cycles hard to recycle materials into eco-friendly products. USF’s current campaign: TerraCycle will donate 2¢ for every writing instrument collected to Meals on Wheels, San Francisco Chapter on USF’s behalf.

USF’s contracted vendors for the Central Stores Program are Office Depot Business Division and AAA Business Supplies & Interiors.

Office Depot is recognized for their outstanding achievements in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), most notably, named 2012 America's Greenest Large Retailer by Newsweek magazine's annual Green Rankings for 3rd consecutive year and across all industry sectors, Office Depot was ranked as America's 9th greenest large company.

Office Depot's Environmental Initiatives

  • In 2003 Office Depot launched The Green Book™ catalog of environmentally preferable products and has released a green catalog almost every year since; Office Depot’s closest competitor created its first such catalog in 2008.
  • In 2004 Office Depot developed an industry-leading environmental paper purchasing policy, helping its customers avoid sourcing from potentially controversial forest sources.
  • In 2005 Office Depot expanded an extensive Ink & Toner Recycling Program for customers.
  • In 2006 Office Depot released a Green Book catalog in 7 European countries.
  • In 2007 Office Depot started a Green Customer Awards program, publicly recognizing large customers for their greener purchasing practices.
  • In 2007 Office Depot also launched an educational seminar series focused on greening the workplace. This has since rolled out to over 20 cities in the US, and has been attended by over 2,000 purchasing, facilities and administrative executives across the country.
  • In 2008 Office Depot created a website for greener purchasing:
  • In 2009 Office Depot created the Green Business Review, a report which shows customers green spend and the environmental and financial trade-offs of greener purchases.
  • In 2010 Office Depot helped customers achieve LEED Credits by creating a report to track “sustainable purchasing” in the format required by the US Green Building Council.
  • In 2011 Office Depot launched its Greener Office Delivery Service that gives customers a greener way to get their office supplies in paper bags instead of cardboard boxes.
  • In 2011 Office Depot expanded its “Green Fleet” of environmental delivery vehicles to Portland, Ore.
  • In 2011, the Company hosted the first annual Office Depot Greener Purchasing Summit & Awards Ceremony, recognizing 25 organizations for Leadership in Greener Purchasing.

AAA Business Supplies & Interiors is a Certified Green Business by the City & County of San Francisco as part of the Bay Area Green Business Program. Additional achievements include 2010 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area by SF Business Times and named on Inc. 5000's Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

Stationery and Business Card Programs

New program standards were implemented in September 2011 and include the use of 100% Post Consumer Recycled Fiber Content paper and soy ink.

  • September 2011 through May 2012 (end of FY): 872,350 impressions
    • 50.3% printed on 24 lb. Writing Paper
    • 49.7% printed on 80 lb. Cover Paper

Current program specifications are as follows:

  • Neenah ENVIRONMENT® Premium Writing paper includes the following environmental attributes:
    • 100% Recycled with 100% Post Consumer Recycled Fiber Content.
    • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified with Chain of Custody (COC) certification.
    • Green Seal Certified.
    • Green-e Certified.
    • Processed Chlorine Free and Carbon Neutral Plus
    • USF Stationery and Envelopes are printed on PC100 24 lb. Writing Paper.
    • USF Business Cards are printed on PC100 80lb. Cover Paper
  • Soy ink (soy tinta) is a form of non-food soy. It is an environmentally friendly, healthy, and a safe approach to printing that takes only a small amount of energy to make. Soybeans only use about 0.5 percent of the total energy that is needed to create the ink.

Printing and Graphics Program (Duplicating Center)

USF’s current contract provider for graphics and large output print jobs is Copy Mill Copying & Printing LLC. Copy Mill is classified as a Minority-Owned, Local Business Enterprise (MO-LBE), Micro-certified by the Human Rights Commission and the State of California. As a USF standard, Copy Mill utilizes at minimum 30% FSC certified post-consumer recycled fiber content.

  • FY 10-11: 2,045,531 impressions
    • 97% printed on 30% FSC certified post-consumer recycled fiber content paper, paper weight 20 to 67 lbs.
    • 3% printed on non-recycled paper, paper weight 80 to 100 lbs.
  • FY 11-12: 2,048,962 impressions
    • 98% printed on 30% FSC certified post-consumer recycled fiber content paper, paper weight 20 to 67 lbs.
    • 2% printed on non-recycled paper, paper weight 80 to 100 lbs.

Self-Service Copier/Multi-Function Printer Program (Copy/Print/Scan/Fax)

The Self Service Copier/MFP Program serves Main Campus, Presidio Campus, Howard Street Campus, and 5 branch offices (San Jose, Pleasanton, Sacramento, Santa Rosa & Orange County). There are 158 devices in the USF fleet consisting of color laser printers and Copier/MFPs. All devices in the program are listed in the Energy Star Imaging Equipment Product List published on December 14, 2012. USF’s current contract provider is Ricoh Professional Services and they are certified as Bay Area Green Business and ISO 14001: 2004 vendor. The program includes On-Site (Main Campus) Service by full-time Certified Authorized Technician, 2 full-time Key-Ops and all MROs including 30% FSC certified post-consumer recycled fiber content 20 lb. paper.

  • FY 10-11: 16,325,887 impressions produced on 30% FSC certified post-consumer recycled fiber content, 20 lb. paper
  • FY 11-12: 16,987,142 impressions produced on 30% FSC certified post-consumer recycled fiber content, 20 lb. paper

The program objective is to save energy, promote sustainability and provide the most cost effective on-demand copy/print/scan/fax solution for the University Community and reduce or eliminate single-function devices such as printers, scanners and fax machines. The Self-Service Copier/MFD program will provide for free a Document & Equipment Analysis for departments who wish to reduce their equipment and related MRO costs as well as facilitate reducing USF’s carbon footprint.

USF Furniture Standards

USF furniture standards were approved by the Board of Trustees and the Leadership Team in 2004 to ensure the use of commercial quality furniture that meets or exceeds ANSI/BIFMA safety and performance standards and GREENGUARD or SCS certified for indoor air quality. The objective is to minimize the University’s exposure to risk and liability and ensure the health and safety of all USF Community members. Purchasing Services has partnered with manufacturers that can provide high quality products that are produced in a sustainable manner at budget-friendly prices. Furniture standards create parity for departments with limited funds as well as save resources by promoting the reuse of surplus furniture.

Currently, USF furniture standards include product lines from The HON Company and Global Total Office Furniture. Each manufacturer has comprehensive sustainable and environmental practices and programs in place to conserve raw materials and reduce waste.

The HON Company environmental and value-add highlights include:

  • SCS Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold Certified
  • Compliance with BIFMA’s e3 Sustainability Standard and level® certified
  • GreenShield® certified textile finish
  • The HON Company headquarters has earned LEED-CI Silver certification.
  • Lifetime Warranty on products manufactured after January 1, 2011 (exclusions apply).
  • HON will minimize packaging according to USF’s ability to receive bulk shipment and blanket wrap.
  • HON will provide documentation of volume avoidance per LEED-CI template.
  • LEED Assistance Program – Most HON products can contribute toward one or more credits in the LEED for commercial interiors category and they will provide assistance in gathering the required documentation.

Global Office Furniture environmental and value added attributes include:

  • ISO 14001: 2004 Certified
  • ISO 9000: 2008 Certified
  • GREENGUARD Certified
  • Compliance BIFMA’s e3 Sustainability Standard
  • Lifetime Warranty on products manufactured after January 1, 2011 (exclusions apply).
  • Global’s cardboard packaging utilizes 80% recycled material and when possible “flat pack” items to reduce shipping volume by as much as 75% to save energy and reduce pollution. In addition, when possible and at the customer’s request, products can be shipped in reusable blankets to eliminate cartons altogether.
  • Global has eliminated the use of CFCs and HCFCs in all manufacturing processes.
  • All supplier partnerships are required to meet Global’s environmental policies. As an industry leader, Global’s purchasing power enables their supplier partnerships to invest in new, sustainable technologies within their own areas of expertise.
  • LEED Partnership Program – Global assists customers to meet LEED requirements by providing a wide range of GREENGUARD-certified products. The LEED Partnership program offers project management support in obtaining LEED certification.

Vending Program

USF’s current vending machine contract providers are Coca-Cola and Canteen Vending Services. In July 2008, Energy Miser devices were installed all equipment in the Vending program. On refrigerated units, the Energy Miser can reduce energy consumption by 40% and saves over $100 per vending machine annually. On non-refrigerated units, energy consumption is reduced by 80% and saves over $200 per vending machine annually. The Energy Miser uses a passive infrared sensor to power down the machine when the surrounding area is free of activity.