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Purchasing

Purchasing compostable, recyclable, non-toxic/safe, and reusable items is another major way in which the SCU community can be an effective and responsible steward of the environment. 

By collectively giving preference to products on our campus that use fewer hazardous materials, are more energy efficient, generate less waste, incorporate more recycled materials and are themselves more easily recycled, we can exert beneficial effects on the environment globally, increase demand for responsibly and ethically made products, and often times, receive a better price.

Departmental Purchases

  

  • Opt for reusable items you can use over again, simply by washing, storing, and taking care of them in between uses.
  • The second best option is to purchase breakroom items that can be composted or recycled instead of landfill. One example is coffee stirrers. Go for wooden ones instead of red plastic ones that do not indicate what kind of plastic it is (The latter option will have to be tossed in landfill). The Purchasing Department works with Staples Advantage and 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.
  • Before you buy, see if others have decorations you can borrow! Check out the SCU Lending Library, an online site for SCU employees (and any organization with a budget string or cost center number) to borrow items shared by other departments. Have a lamination machine you don't often use? Let others borrow it! Need to decorate for an 80's themed event? 

 

cleaning products

The current contract for commercial custodial services demonstrates that our campus facilities are cleaned with products that are GreenSeal Certified.

The contract is 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."

If you need more specific work environment cleaning supplies for your shared kitchen space, for example, the Purchasing Department works with Staples Advantage to carry eco-conscious cleaning brands.

The Purchasing Department works with Information Technology to obtain computers for campus. If you need a computer, email quotes@scu.edu.

SCU is one of 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. SCU donates almost all of the used computers from the PC Replacement Project to non-profit organizations and strives to help the recipients recycle these computers responsibly when they are no longer functional. SCU also plans to increase responsible re-use and recycling of other electronics on campus. About 95% of computer models are "Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool" (EPEAT) Gold.

The Purchasing Department works with Staples Advantage and 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.

  • Address labels and bronze medallions can obtained from Central Stores.
  • Before you shop for a new product, check to see if you can get it for free on campus! This act alone reduces the amount of energy, water, and material to create more stuff, and saves you the time, miles, and carbon emissions to get it. Located in the glass room next to the restrooms on 1st floor of Benson Memorial Center (Swig side), the Share Shelf serves as a physical site for students, faculty, and staff to donate and acquire used office and school supplies.
  • If you must purchase something, look for recycled content AND make sure it can be recycled, packaging included. Sometimes products are made with "post-consumer content" and/or "recycled content," but this does not mean it can always be recycled. Our campus recycles plastics #1-7!

It is the Purchasing Department's practice to only buy recycled office paper. Available in white and multiple colors, office paper from the University's Central Store (Give Something Back) contains 30% recycled content and is recyclable. The Purchasing Department is currently investigating options for paper with a higher recycled content or alternatives to paper made from trees.

(Pro tip: Take a step further by using GOOS (Good On One Side) paper for notes and scratch work!)

 The Purchasing Department works with Staples Advantage and 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.

Staples carry sustainable brands for plates, cups, and cutlery that can be composted at our commercial composting facility (Mission Trail). Type in World Centric or Eco Products into "Search," or find any product that is listed as BPI certified.

Better yet, invest in a reusable party pack set or actual dishware and silverware that you can wash and reuse for department parties and events!

Central Stores (through Give Something Back) carries HP printer cartridges that are part of a closed loop recycling system, which means plastic from the cartridges are "combined with other plastics to create new HP ink or toner supplies." More than 80% of HP ink cartridges and 100% of HP LaserJet toner cartridges contain recycled plastics!

Surge protectors, or power strips, are supplied through Central Stores and come in a 3-plug (wall mount) and 8-plug (6-foot cord). These are encouraged as they protect your electrical devices from voltage spikes and also make it easy to conserve energy.

When you leave your office for meetings or for the day, simply turn off your devices and flip the switch on the power strip. By taking this extra step, you prevent vampire, or phantom, energy from being sucked from your devices.

SWAG is Stuff We All Get at events or when we want to recruit new members to an organization. The Purchasing Department works with Staples Advantage and 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. These two companies could carry a promotional item to your liking. Three things to consider before your purchase:

1) Reconsider the purpose of the promotional product. Ask yourself and your team for feedback on what the particular giveaway represents to your organization. Is it in line with your mission? Does your audience really need another gizmo or gadget?

2) Think ahead and save money by purchasing useful giveaways and making sure the promotions do not have a year or any text that binds that item to be used only 1 time for 1 event.

3) Look for products that are sustainably sourced (i.e. organic material, transported from somewhere locally, etc.)

Personal Purchases

Santa Clara University is a member of the Climate Leadership Network, and has the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve Climate Neutrality by 2020. A large part of campus emissions is transportation, and the University encourages the use of higher fuel efficient vehicles and more sustainable transit options. The Purchasing Department recently secured discounts for the SCU community with two local car dealerships.

Piercey Toyota and The Ford Store Morgan Hill are extending special pricing on electric and hybrid vehicles to all students and employees of Santa Clara University for personal purchase.

Search for the special offerings at www.pierceytoyota.com/

The following vehicles have discounts and Toyota rebates:

2017 Prius Hatchback – $500 discount and Toyota rebate

2017 Prius c – $500 discount and Toyota rebate

2017 Prius V – $500 discount and Toyota rebate

2017 Camry Hybrid – $500 discount and Toyota rebate

2017 Rav4 Hybrid - Toyota rebate

2017 Highlander Hybrid – $1500 discount and Toyota rebate

For any questions, please feel free to call Chen Zaballero (510-304-9227) or Tak Lam (408-240-1458).

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    Shopping Guide

    The Sustainable Shopping Guide was developed to guide and teach students, faculty and staff at Santa Clara University how to purchase sustainable products on a personal level. This guide reflects SCU’s commitment to sustainability and the triple-bottom line of the environment, society, and economics.

Need something for Staples?

Need a log-in? Don't see a sustainable option for something you need?

Contact Lisa Chatelle Watt

Questions about Central Stores?

Need clarification on how to order something from Central Stores?

Contact Dan Ignacio