Log In

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

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.12
Liaison Matthew Williams
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Florida
OP-14: Office Paper Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.33 / 1.00 Jacob Adams
Office Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an institution-wide stated preference to purchase office paper that has recycled content and/or is certified to meet multi-criteria sustainability standards for paper?:

A copy of the paper purchasing policy, directive or guidelines:
The paper purchasing policy, directive or guidelines:

16. Sustainable Purchasing
· Purpose
· The purpose of this policy is to support campus sustainability at the
University of Florida and to provide guidelines, information, and
resources in procuring products that will minimize negative impacts on
society and the environment to the greatest extent practicable.
· Responsibilities of Departments
· Develop and maintain information about environmentally and socially
preferable products. Departments should use the list composed in this
document as a guideline and may add or modify the list as needed.
· Inform employees of their responsibilities under this policy; provide
them with information about sustainable procurement opportunities.
Check the Purchasing web page for frequent updates on vendor
commitments to sustainability, including new annual contracts and
participation in vendor shows.
· Submit new ideas, problems or concerns to Purchasing (352) 392-1331
or e-mail purchasing@ufl.edu.
· Best Practices and Procurement Strategies
· Reduce waste at the point of purchase.
Faculty, staff and students can help achieve the university's waste
reduction goals by practicing the three R's: reducing, reusing, and
recycling. Priority should be given to reducing waste upstream by
purchasing products made from recycled material that can be reused or
• Office paper, letterhead stationery, envelopes, and business cards
made from recycled paper
• Office supplies
• Recycled, remanufactured, or re-filled toner cartridges
• Furniture made with a percentage of postconsumer or postindustrial
material and/or FSC 50% certified wood
To reduce disposal costs and waste, choose items that can be
remanufactured, recycled, or composted. Many products made from
recycled materials are available and are being included in the University
of Florida contracts.
Contract information is available from the Purchasing website under
contracts and UF Pricing.
· Purchase durable and reusable goods.
Using life-cycle cost analysis, rather than automatically choosing goods
with the lowest purchase price, can help departments identify the best
long-term value. Factor in a product's estimated life span as well as its
energy, maintenance, consumable supplies and disposal costs.
• Consider durability and reparability of products prior to purchase.
• Invest in goods with extended warranties. Conduct routine
maintenance on products/equipment.
• Save money and minimize waste by eliminating single-use items,
such as non rechargeable batteries, in favor of rechargeable batteries.
Use rechargeable cartridges.
· Lease and rent when appropriate.
Consider an operating lease or rental rather than a purchase or capital
lease. Lease and rental contracts give vendors the responsibility for the
upkeep of goods such as computers and copiers, and for managing
them at the end of their useful life. Businesses that lease equipment
tend to manufacture more durable items, salvage reusable parts,
refurbish, recycle, or donate used equipment that can no longer be
leased. Renting is a cost-effective option for short-term equipment
· Specify product and packaging take-back.
• Increasingly, product vendors are offering to take back the products
they sell when they become obsolete. By utilizing vendors who offer an
Extended Product Responsibility (EPR) program, especially take-back,
recycle, and disposal programs, departments are ensured equipment
and products are disposed of properly whether recycled, donated,
refurbished or disposed of without the added cost.
• Other vendors will take back used items, such as carpeting and
toner cartridges, when purchasers buy new products. For example,
several carpet manufacturers have invested in sophisticated recycling
facilities that turn old carpet into new carpet or other goods and toner
cartridges are disposed of properly or sent to be recharged and sold at
a lower cost.
• Departments should require vendors to assume responsibility for
some of their shipping materials, such as wooden pallets and excess
packaging materials. When ordering large furniture or computer
shipments request products ship blanket-wrapped or using reduced
packing material.
· Buy goods in bulk or concentrated form.
This practice can significantly reduce the packaging associated with
lower product quantities and save costs. Carefully estimate demand
when purchasing in bulk; purchasing more than is needed can create
excess that becomes waste.
· Manage surplus effectively.
The University of Florida can reduce waste by eliminating excess
purchases. Reviewing past needs can minimize the procurement of
unneeded items. Clean out your office supply cabinet and post reusable
items for UF Departments on GatorList.net or donate to local
non-profit organizations such as Alachua County's Tools for Schools.
Departments should utilize Asset Management Services for disposing of
unwanted, out-dated property. Asset Management will effectively
redistribute, recycle, or dispose of surplus property by bidding it out
over the Internet through surplus on-line bids, police auctions, property
warehouse, or federal warehouse. For more information see Asset
Management Services Web Site: http://fa.ufl.edu/am/surplus/.
· Procure commodities that are certified to meet sustainability
Paper and Forest Products:
• Forest Stewardship Council - www.fsc.org
• Chlorine Free Products Association - www.chlorinefreeproducts.org
Electronics and Appliances:
• Energy Star - www.energystar.gov/purchasing
• Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) -
EPEAT has tiers of environmental performance. UF's bundled
computers will meet at least the EPEAT silver standard. UF's preference
is that when the certification is available on the products being
purchased, all purchases of computers and monitors meet or exceed
the silver EPEAT certification.
Cross-sector: (examples: cleaning supplies)
• Environmental Choice - www.environmentalchoice.com
• Green Guard - www.greenguard.org
• Ecologo - www.ecologo.org
• Green Seal - www.greenseal.org
• Scientific Certification Systems - www.scscertified.com
Carpet, Adhesives and Cushion:
• CRI Green Seal and Green Seal Plus - www.carpet-rug.org
Renewable Energy:
• Green-e - www.green-e.org
Building Practices and Indoor Air Quality:
• Green Building Council (LEED) - www.usgbc.org/leed
• USDA Organic, Food Alliance Certified, Ranforest Alliance Certified,
Protected Harvest Certified, Fair TrADE OR Marine Stewardship
Council's Blue Eco-Label
· Procure remanufactured goods and use refurbishing services.
It is generally much less expensive to buy remanufactured goods such
as remanufactured toner cartridges, or to use refurbishing services for
computer upgrades, carpet repair, and furniture reupholster, than to
buy new items. "Recharged" toner cartridges typically save
departments 30 to 50 percent per sheet of paper. Remanufactured
items should require no sacrifice in performance. Check with
Purchasing for current contracts in place for remanufactured products.
· Purchase goods containing fewer toxic constituents.
By procuring goods with fewer or no toxic chemicals, departments can
reduce their hazardous waste disposal, future liability concerns, and the
risk of occupational exposure and spills. Low-toxicity products such as
mercury-free medical supplies, low mercury light bulbs/lamps with a
content of 90 picograms per lumen-hour or less, printing ink low in
volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and chrome and chlorine free
cleaning supplies are increasingly available and cost-competitive. See
the Cross-sector certifications to help selecting products. The University
prefers all cleaning products purchased are either Green Seal or
EcoLogo certified.
· Reduce paper use.
• Set all printers, copiers, and fax machines to the default duplex
mode if the function is available.
• Purchase office equipment that has duplex capability.
• Purchase paper with recycled content
• Utilize technology to send and store information electronically.
• Utilize internet fax when available.
• E-mail document files instead of faxing hardcopies.
• Instead of having forms preprinted and stored, fill out forms online
and print as needed when available and feasible.
• Store documents electronically instead of storing hard copies.
· Current Guidelines in Place
· All University of Florida personnel will purchase recycled and
environmentally preferable products whenever practicable.
· University of Florida Departments will purchase hybrid or alternative
fuel vehicles.
· The University of Florida will have a recycle container available within a
reasonable distance of soda machines and in all dining establishments
where canned or bottled drinks are served:
http://www.ppd.ufl.edu/grndrr.htm. Contact Physical Plant's Solid
Waste Coordinator at 392-7396 or 392-1148 x 301.
· University of Florida should promote the use of recycled and other
environmentally preferable products by publicizing its sustainable
procurement program. Materials produced for advertising,
conferences, trade fairs, press releases, and other communications with
clients and citizens can make reference to the University of Florida's
commitment and leadership in the use of recycled and
environmentally/socially preferable products.
· The University Purchasing and Disbursements Department will make
every effort to secure contracts with vendors that are socially and
environmentally conscientious, and certified green whenever
· Purchasing and UF's Zero Waste by 2015 Goal
· Purchasing recyclable or products made out of recycled material is only
part of the life cycle, you must recycle whenever possible. If you are not
sure about the different recycling programs on campus, visit the
Physical Plant Division, Grounds Department website
http://www.ppd.ufl.edu/grounds-refuse.html or call (352) 392-7396.
· Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Resources
· Resources:
• Center for a New American Dream's Procurement Strategies
• EPA's EPP Web Site (www.epa.gov/oppt/epp)
• EPPNet (www.nerc.org/eppnet.html)
• INFORM (www.informinc.org)
• Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (www.ofee.gov)
· Examples of environmentally preferred products:
• Recycled paper and paper products
• Remanufactured laser printer toner cartridges
• Energy Star Rated computers and appliances
• Rechargeable batteries
• Re-refined lubrication, hydraulic oils, and antifreeze
• Recycled plastic outdoor-wood substitutes including plastic lumber,
benches, fencing, signs and posts
• Recycled content construction, building and maintenance products,
including plastic lumber, carpet, tiles and insulation
• Re-crushed cement concrete aggregate and asphalt
• Cement and asphalt concrete containing glass cullet, recycled fiber,
plastic, tire rubber, or fly ash
• Compost, mulch, and other organics including recycled biosolid
• Re-manufactured and/or low or VOC-free paint
• Cleaning products with lowered toxicity
• Energy saving products
• Waste-reducing products
• Water-saving products
· Socially Responsible/Ethical Purchasing Standards
· In demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and seeking to ensure
safe and healthy workplaces for the people who make products for the
University of Florida, purchasers should strive to ensure that the
products they purchase meet International Labor Organization (ILO)
manufacturing standards and Fair Trade Labeling standards.
Learn more about the importance of ethical purchasing:
• Verité (www.verite.org)
• Workers Rights Consortium (www.workersrights.org)
• Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (svtc.igc.org/svtc/)
· Glossary
· Environmentally Preferable Products are products that have a lesser
impact on human health and the environment when compared with
competing products. This comparison may consider raw materials
acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse,
operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product.
· Green Purchasing means purchasers take into consideration the
environmental impact of products when making purchasing decisions,
giving preference to more environmentally friendly products when
quality and price are equal or superior.
· Recycled Products are products manufactured with waste material that
has been recovered or diverted from solid waste. Recycled material
may be derived from post-consumer waste (material that has served its
intended end-use and been discarded by a final consumer), industrial
scrap, manufacturing waste, or other waste that would otherwise have
been wasted.
· Sustainability means meeting today's needs without compromising the
ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.
· Waste Prevention means any action undertaken by an individual or
organization to eliminate or reduce the amount or toxicity of materials
before they enter the municipal solid waste stream. This action is
intended to conserve resources, promote efficiency, and reduce
· Reuse means repairing what is broken or giving it to someone who can
repair it or use it in its current state.
· Reduce means using less of products and utilizing other means of doing
business when available to reduce the amount and toxicity of trash
· Recycle means to reprocess and reuse used material.
· Life Cycle Evaluation is an evaluation of the major environmental
impacts in each life-cycle stage of a product category including resource
extraction, production, distribution, use, and eventual disposal or
recycling. The evaluation considers energy, resource use, and emissions
to air, water, and land, as well as other environmental and health
impacts. The purpose of this evaluation is to identify significant lifecycle
stages to be addressed.
· Life Cycle Cost Analysis is an economic evaluation technique that
determines the total cost of owning and operating a building or
· Rechargeable means to replenish the amount of electric power in
something, especially a battery.
· Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is vendors taking on the
responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products through
the entire product's life cycle; especially the take-back, recycle, and
disposal programs.
· Leasing is a legal rental contract allowing somebody exclusive
possession of another's property for a specific time in return for a
· Certification an official document or seal providing evidence and details
of something that is authentic and verified by a third party.
· Exemptions
· Nothing in this directive should be construed as requiring the purchase
of products that do not perform adequately or are not available at a
reasonable price.

A brief description of steps the institution has taken to ensure that the purchasing policy, directives, or guidelines are followed :

UF has a Sustainable Purchasing directive encouraging the purchase of recycled content products and environmentally preferable paper, but the majority of purchases are decentralized and cannot be tracked.

The numbers reported below are purchases through UF's primary office supply contract with Mister Paper/Office Depot.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on office paper)?:

Expenditures on office paper with the following levels of post-consumer recycled, agricultural residue, and/or FSC certified content::
Expenditure Per Level
10-29 percent 16.70 US/Canadian $
30-49 percent 150,884.56 US/Canadian $
50-69 percent 1,262.80 US/Canadian $
70-89 percent (or FSC Mix label) 0 US/Canadian $
90-100 percent (or FSC Recycled label) 9,253.40 US/Canadian $

Total expenditures on office paper :
663,120.72 US/Canadian $

The website URL where information about the paper purchasing policy, directive, or guidelines is available:

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.