Green Purchasing Policy

Mission Statement

Babson’s Green Purchasing Policy demonstrates our commitment to environmental sustainability. By purchasing "Green" products, Babson will lead the way in playing a significant role in the development of environmental sustainability on campus and in the local community.

Goals

Babson will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making Green Purchasing decisions. We will promote the purchase of products with the highest percentage of recycled content available, provided that the products meet acceptable use and performance standards.

The Importance of Green Purchasing

Sustainable development involves using the Earth's natural resources (i.e. both renewable and non-renewable resources) to fulfill our present needs without affecting the needs of next generations. "Green Purchasing" is an important element to achieve sustainable development. Consequently, when one considers buying something, he/she should think about the adverse environmental impacts associated with the product during its full life-cycle.

However, environmentally preferable products are sometimes more expensive to purchase than alternative products. This circumstance can discourage green purchasing by consumers seeking lower costing products without significant environmental benefits. Nevertheless, buying "greener products" doesn't necessarily mean paying more, especially when other cost factors are considered.

It is important to recognize and appreciate that proper and effective green purchasing doesn't simply lead to environmental benefits, but also helps purchasers reduce full life-cycle costs and thus save money. For practitioners, another significant benefit of green purchasing is the major contribution its adoption and application can make to the establishment and demonstration of a broader overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy and image.

Green Purchasing

Green Purchasing is the practice of procuring goods and services that cause less harm to the environment, and the living beings that depend upon it for survival. Green Products are those manufactured with more environmentally-friendly materials or which are produced with minimal impact to the environment.

Babson will strive to purchase materials that are:

  • Durable, as opposed to single use or disposable
  • Non-toxic or minimally toxic, preferably biodegradable
  • Highly energy-efficient
  • Recyclable or safely disposable
  • Made from raw materials obtained in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner
  • Manufactured in an environmentally sound manner
  • The cause of minimal or no environmental damage during normal use or maintenance
  • Shipped with minimal packaging (consistent with care of the product), preferably made of recycled and/or recyclable materials

Products that meet the above criteria will be considered Green Products.

Procedures

Babson College is committed to minimizing the College’s impact on the environment and reducing the College’s dependence on non-renewable energy. This Committee is charged with establishing guidelines for the College’s Sustainable Practices including: Green Building Design; Green Building Renovations; Climate Protection Practices; Clean Energy Standards; Sustainable Transportation Practices; Sustainable Operations; Recycling and Waste Management; and Environmentally Preferable Procurement.

When appropriate, Babson will include a clause in its bidding specifications that reads: "Babson is committed to buying products with recycled content or environmentally sustainable alternatives. Please offer any alternatives that you feel are available for this product and supply all relevant specific information about the product."

Any existing limitation within Babson’s Policies and Procedures prohibiting or restricting the purchase or use of recycled product shall be amended to encourage the purchase and use of recycled products to conform to this policy.

Initiatives

5 Gallon Bottled Water

Summer of 2010 Babson College began installing filtered water coolers to the Administrative offices, switching from 5 gallon plastic bottles to a filtration system, using our own town water. Babson College is cutting down on emissions caused by water delivery trucks.

Copy Paper

Babson College’s preference is to purchase copy paper with at least 30 percent recycled content. Babson College has been using 30 percent recycled color copy paper for many years.  Babson College now prints day to day e-mails, reports, forms and other miscellaneous items doubled sided.

 

Office Supplies/Letterhead/Business Card Stock

In support of Babson’s commitment to sustainability, the Purchasing Department, in partnership with Marketing Media and Staples, recently made the following changes in stationery available through Staples Advantage:

 

• Replaced the paper used to print Babson’s corporate identity suite of business cards, letterhead, and envelopes from a virgin stock to a locally milled FSC certified paper. The new letterhead is 30% post consumer waste (PCW) (25% cotton by-products) and the business card stock is 100% PCW.

 

• For quick access to recycled-content of office products on Staples Advantage, search “recycled” once you enter the site. Look for the following icons:

 

Ecoffice Contains at least 10% post-consumer recycled content

This icon indicates an item that has one or more of the following attributes: Recycled, Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, Green Seal Certified or Environmentally Friendly.

Recycled
Indicates an item that contains at least 10% Recycled Content.

Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines
Indicates items that are part of EPA's continuing effort to promote the use of materials recovered from solid waste.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Indicates products that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment.

Green Seal Certification
Indicates products that meet or exceed the Green Seal standards.

Environmentally Friendly
Indicates an item that is environmentally preferable compared to similar items in the same category. Some of these products meet or exceed the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines and/or Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guidelines.

Mattresses

  • Upholstery over springs is made up of shoddy fibers.  (Shoddy fibers are recycled pre-consumer waste product.
  • Steel is recycled.
  • After the mattress useful life, the polyester fire barrio can be recycled.

Currently, Facilities is donating any mattress that can be reused.  Mattresses that are not donated are recyled through IRN and they are burned for waste energy.

Copiers/Printers

The college reaches out to the community to collect all printers, scanners and fax machines that are not being utilized. 

Babson College
Babson Sustainability Steering Committee (BSSC)
sustainability@babson.edu