Green Purchasing

The University of Cincinnati recognizes its role as a leader in environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic prosperity. As part of this work it seeks to incorporate the concept of sustainability into its academic, administrative and research programs. Leadership in the administrative units of the university contribute to sustainability efforts through their areas of responsibility such as auxiliary operations, architecture, construction, grounds-keeping, building maintenance, purchasing and transportation, fleet management.

UC Central Purchasing encourages preference to environmentally friendly products whose quality, function, and cost are equal to or better than more traditional products. UC construction standards require sustainable products to be used in its buildings. Energy Star products dominate the equipment purchased. Fleet vehicles are specified to assure the university meets goals for fuel efficiency and diversification, University Duplicating uses recycled paper or SFI certified products when possible. The university’s food services and stationary supplies contracts include specific sections on its requirements and preferences for green products.

Purchasing has the opportunity to build awareness in the campus community so that departments develop sustainability goals and specify products and services accordingly. Purchasing categories with the greatest potential to maximize these opportunity areas include 1) consumables, 2) facilities, 3) lamps, 4) cleaning products, 5) disposal services 6) transportation, 7) energy, and 8) professional services. In some cases, purchasing can set the sustainability guidelines; in other cases the departments for which the purchases are made set the specifications.

In accordance with the 2019 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan and the strategic direction of Next Lives Here, the University of Cincinnati directs individual departments to purchase products that are environmentally preferable. Depending on the product these requirements many include:

  • Energy saving, such as ENERGY STAR and EPEAT certified products
  • Recycled content
  • Credit requirements set by LEED (leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
  • Reusable, refillable packaging
  • Green Seal, Ecologo certified or other independent eco0labeling certifications
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification
  • Electronic and paperless processes and web-based catalogs
  • Certification that sweat shop labor not be used
  • Purchase local and/or organic produce when possible

Asset Management & Surplus Equipment

The Office of Asset Management serves the university community in all matters relating to asset management - including managing the university's asset inventory (fixed and moveable, capital and non-capital assets), surplus equipment, and central storage. This office develops and implements asset management policies and procedures for the university community. These policies ensure that assets are not wasted or disposed of inproperly. This includes environmentally responsible disposal of electronic waste via certified e-waste recyclers.

The Surplus Equipment Department has established a standard procedure for proper disposal of assets. University organizational units are encouraged to reclaim assets from within the university wherever possible. In addition to offering items to university organizational units at no cost, the Surplus Equipment Department provides outlets for the sale of surplus items to the general public via Sealed Bid Auctions and the Monthly Public Sale. This department has also recently started holding Non-Profit Donation Events to ensure that whenever possible surplus equipment is reused instead of thrown away. Visit the Surplus Equipment Department site for more details.