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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
OP-11: Sustainable Procurement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have written policies, guidelines or directives that seek to support sustainable purchasing across commodity categories institution-wide?:
Yes

A copy of the policies, guidelines or directives:
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The policies, guidelines or directives:

The following language appears in Penn State's Purchasing Terms & Conditions:
19. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY - Fulfilling the mission of The Pennsylvania State University for those we serve requires the highest standards of integrity, responsibility, and respect, and we encourage our suppliers to aspire to those same standards, particularly when on campus or engaging with members of the University community. The University has adopted the Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsibility. We also encourage our suppliers to adopt and follow these principles. http://purchasing.psu.edu/purchasing-terms-conditions
Also, in its information for Suppliers, Penn State states that "Minority, small, disadvantaged, women-owned, and environmentally responsible businesses are encouraged to participate."
Additionally, in its information for Suppliers about the quote/ proposal process, Penn State states:
"Environmental Alternatives: The University is committed to environmental stewardship, conserving natural resources and preserving the environment. We encourage suppliers to identify products, services, or processes that promote environmental stewardship. In addition to the requested bid, suppliers are encouraged to offer an additional bid for products, services, or processes that are more environmentally friendly. Such products or services should be bid as an alternate to the requested bid. Any exceptions or deviations from the original specifications must be clearly identified. The environmental benefits must be clearly identified with supporting data. Benefits may include: Reduced life cycle costs, reduced energy consumption, recycled content, recyclability, extended product life, and decreased maintenance." See http://purchasing.psu.edu/quoteproposal-submission


Does the institution employ Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) when evaluating energy- and water-using products and systems?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the institution’s use of LCCA?:
Institution employs LCCA as a matter of policy and standard practice when evaluating all energy- and water-using products, systems and building components

A brief description of the LCCA policy and/or practices:

Penn State's Design and Construction Standards, under General Requirements, Performance Requirements, Sustainable Design Requirements (01 81 13.01C) state that “Decision-making throughout the project shall be on the basis of achieving the lowest total cost of ownership for the life cycle of the project”. Design Professionals are required to design systems for optimal operating efficiency, reliability, and flexibility with the lowest life cycle cost. For HVAC systems, the Design Professional shall carefully evaluate and properly select the most effective equipment type and to best suit the needs of the application with emphasis on minimizing operating and life cycle cost, rather than minimizing size and first cost. An Economic / LCCA is required to be performed and documentation submitted to confirm selection of base systems and potential options for alternate bids. In addition, at a minimum, facilities at Penn State are required to achieve at least 30% energy savings over the latest version of the ASHREA 90.1 standard. Documentation of compliance is required and verified.
See http://www.opp.psu.edu/planning-construction/design_and_construction_standards/division-23-heating-ventilating-hvac
Specifically, Section A.3.c (which requires the LCCA documentation) and C.2 (Equipment Selection)


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating chemically intensive products and services (e.g. building and facilities maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing, landscaping and grounds maintenance)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for chemically intensive products and services:

Penn State's "ACE Blue Cleaning for Health and Environment" manual specifies criteria for janitorial products, equipment, and supplies with the intent of "reduc(ing) the exposure of our personnel and building occupants to potentially hazardous products, equipment or procedures which could adversely affect human health and the environment, indoors and outdoors." Existing standards such as LEED-EB and Green Seal were consulted in developing the guidelines. Specific selection criteria (e.g., "prefer those that are readily biodegradable as compared to those that are slower to degrade") are given for a wide variety of products, along with the names of specific products that meet those criteria.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating construction and renovation products (e.g. furnishings and building materials)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for construction and renovation products:

Penn State's LEED Policy 2011 Update provides guidance as to the relative emphasis given to specific LEED credits in construction and renovation projects. Under Materials and Resources, at least 3 credits must achieved by all Penn State projects: MR Credit 4.0, which specifies 10-20% Recycled Content of materials; MR Credit 5.1, which specifies use of Regional Materials: 10-20% Extracted, Processed & Manufactured; and MR Credit 7.0: Certified Wood.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating Information technology (IT) products and services (e.g. computers, imaging equipment, mobile phones, data centers and cloud services)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for IT products and services:

Penn State's Energy Conservation Policy AD64 specifies that:
"Computers purchased with University funds are required to be ENERGY STAR and EPEAT labeled unless suitable justifications are approved by the appropriate budget executive." and "Office equipment purchased with University funds is required to be ENERGY STAR labeled unless approved by the responsible budget executive."


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating food services (i.e. franchises, vending services, concessions, convenience stores)?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for food services:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating garments and linens?:
No

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for garments and linens:
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Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating professional services (e.g. architectural, engineering, public relations, financial)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for professional services:

Penn State's supplier diversity website states that "Penn State recognizes supplier and contractor diversity as an important component of its overall efforts and will continue to foster relationships with minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned, and HUBZone-certified businesses to ensure they have full opportunity to compete for the University's business." The details of the Contractor and Supplier diversity programs can be found here: http://supplierdiversity.psu.edu/program-qualifications


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating transportation and fuels (e.g. travel, vehicles, delivery services, long haul transport, generator fuels, steam plants)?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for transportation and fuels:

Penn State Policy BS 18 for the PROCUREMENT OR ACQUISITION OF LIGHT-DUTY MOTOR VEHICLES references the Energy Policy Act requirements for state fleets. Penn State currently complies with the guidelines by maintaining or exceeding a fleet with 75% alternative fuel light duty vehicles.

Penn State Policy Policy BS 21 for the PROCUREMENT AND USE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS AT UNIVERSITY PARK establishes procedures for proposal, review, and approval of new EV charging stations on campus.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating wood and paper products?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for wood and paper products:

Penn State's LEED Policy (2011 version - currently under revision) - Credit MR 7.0 Certified Wood (Mandatory): Use a minimum of 50% of wood based materials and products certified with Forest Stewardship Council for wood building components.


Does the institution have published sustainability criteria to be applied when evaluating products and services in other commodity categories that the institution has determined to have significant sustainability impacts?:
Yes

A brief description of the published sustainability criteria for other commodity categories:

Penn State's Energy Conservation Policy AD64 specifies that:
- Office equipment purchased with University funds is required to be ENERGY STAR labeled unless approved by the responsible budget executive.
- All new or replacement appliances purchased with University funds are required to be ENERGY STAR labeled unless specifically approved by the responsible budget executive. Exceptions are authorized if there are no Energy Star rated appliances manufactured that meet the user’s needs.
- All new or replacement televisions shall be LCD unless there is a justifiable need for the tube based display.
- Students are encouraged to bring to campus only appliances with the ENERGY STAR label.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.