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Purchasing

Purchasing is another major area in which SCU can be an effective and responsible steward of the environment. A growing number of organizations are adopting environmental purchasing criteria for a wide range of products. These policies supplement, but do not replace, traditional criteria of cost, performance and availability by giving preference to products that use fewer hazardous materials, are more energy efficient, generate less waste, incorporate more recycled materials and are themselves more easily recycled. In this way, institutional buyers can exert beneficial effects on the environment globally, wherever products are produced, manufactured or discarded. Click here for Purchasing Resources

The Purchasing Department works with Give Something Back (GSB) Office Supplies, a California independent office supply company and a Certified B-Corporation that is devoted to giving back to communities and is committed to social and environmental practices.

cleaningCleaning Products

The current contract for commercial custodial services dated May 7, 2009, Specifications Chemicals and Supplies, Page S-C-1of 4, Paragraph 1. General Requirements, sub-paragraph 1.3 states, "The Contractor will use brands and types of chemicals that are certified as meeting the GreenSeal Environmental Standards for Cleaning Services by the GreenSeal Organization whenever there are chemical brands and types that perform acceptably to The University."

computer and studentsComputers

Guidelines for electronics purchasing offer a good example of the feasibility of adopting such standards and the opportunities for campus-wide learning. SCU is among the first universities in the country to make detailed requests for information about computer vendors' environmental performance, and to weigh this information when choosing a vendor for our PC Replacement Project. About 95 percent of computer models are "Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool" (EPEAT) Gold. SCU donates almost all of the used computers from the PC Replacement Project to non-profit organizations, promoting re-use, and plan to help the recipients recycle these computers responsibly when they are no longer functional. We also plan to increase responsible re-use and recycling of other electronics on campus.

paperstackPaper

It is the Purchasing Department's practice to only buy recycled office paper. Available in white and multiple colors, office paper contains 30 percent recycled content.

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Fresh from the Forge Garden

The Forge Garden is proud to promote and support sustainable businesses in our purchasing and public offerings. Local companies, such as Honey of Distinction, Helio Roast Coffee, and Start Organic, are not only our partners for programs and projects, they also offer their goods and services around the Bay Area. Supporting them at the Forge Garden helps bring publicity and new customers their way. Follow the links provided to learn more about these companies. Beyond our local businesses, the Forge strives to purchase from sustainable companies, such as Chico Bags and Gardeners Supply Co (a B-Corp), and small-scale artisans from Etsy, such as Common Sign.

          

Come to the Forge to see their products on display!

Of course, you, as a consumer are encouraged to source from local companies and sustainable businesses. The Sustainable Purchasing Guide, created by the Center for Sustainability will be a great reference tool for your shopping decisions. Good options for fresh fruits and vegetables are always found at the numerous Farmers Markets around the Bay Area, and right here at the Forge Garden; visit our Farm Stand on Fridays, from 11:30-1:30pm!

 

Contributed by Rose Madden, Organic Garden Manager of the Forge Garden

Tags: Food, Forge Garden, Responsible Consumerism

Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053 sustainability@scu.edu