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Back to Policy Section VIII: Fiscal and Business Affairs
Section VIII: Fiscal and Business Affairs

Policy Number: VIII-3.10(C)

University of Maryland Policy and Procedures for Environmentally Preferable Procurement

(Approved by the President Revised )


The University of Maryland, College Park will procure all supplies, services, maintenance, construction and architect-engineer services in a manner consistent with the promotion of sound environmental stewardship and, in particular, promoting the reduction of carbon emissions as envisioned by the University’s Climate Action Plan. Consideration of the environmental impact of products and services must be an integral part of the procurement process and should be weighed along with price and other factors when making procurement decisions.


The purpose of these policies and procedures is to promote the principles of responsible environmental stewardship in the University’s procurement practices. The University will employ strategies to encourage procurement of environmentally preferable goods and services including, but not limited to:

  • Existing surplus property and materials for re-use
  • Energy efficient equipment and appliances
  • Renewable energy supplies
  • Energy performance contracts
  • Environmentally sensitive design and construction of new and renovated facilities
  • Materials having recycled content
  • Water saving equipment and appliances
  • Recyclable products
  • Compostable materials
  • Non-hazardous materials
  • Biodegradable products


Procurement authority is derived from the University System of Maryland, Procurement Policies and Procedures. Further guidance is promulgated through University of Maryland, College Park Policy VIII-3.10 (A) University of Maryland, College Park Procurement Policies and Procedures and VIII-3.10 (B) University of Maryland, College Park Policies and Procedures for Delegated Procurement.


The policies and procedures described herein shall be applicable to all procurements made by the University of Maryland, College Park via the Department of Procurement and Supply or by any other unit exercising delegated procurement authority under Policy VIII-3.10 (B).


  1. General: All units of the University shall consider the policy objectives stated above when preparing specifications or developing statements of work, for procurement of goods and services.
  2. Requesting Department/Unit Responsibilities: Specifications and statements of work prepared by Departments and units of the University for procurement under delegated authority or for forwarding to the Department of Procurement and Supply for procurement shall:
    1. Procure general purpose office paper made from 100% post- consumer recycled content and seek solutions to minimize paper use. This section of the policy will be implemented as follows:
      • By July 1 2012, only general purpose office paper made from 100% post-consumer recycled content shall be procured.
      • Continuously seek solutions to minimize paper use, which may include:
      • Utilizing duplex (double-sided) printing and photo copying
      • Setting duplex as the default printer setting on all computers capable of sending documents to a duplex-capable printer
      • Increasing use of digital file management
      • Eliminating unnecessary printing
      • Using half-inch margins to fit more content on each
      • sheet of paper.
    2. Promote the procurement and use of the following, where available and within limitations of existing laws and regulations:
      • Post-consumer recycled-content paper products from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sources:
        • Color office paper – 30% post-consumer content
        • Note/writing pads – 40% post-consumer content
        • Message pads – 100% post-consumer content
        • Hanging file folders – 95% post-consumer content
        • File folders – 50% post-consumer content
        • Post-It notes – 30% post-consumer content
        • Composition notebooks – 100% post-consumer content
        • Other recycled content and chlorine-free paper goods (letterhead, envelopes, business cards, etc.)
        • Recycled content and process chlorine-free (PCF) paper towels and toilet tissue.
      • Remanufactured toner cartridges and refillable ink cartridges (or toner cartridges made from recycled content material)
      • Biodegradable and/or compostable food service packaging and service items
      • Vegetable oil based inks
      • Recycled biosolids for use as mulch or compost
      • Energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs
      • Energy-Star (or equal) rated appliances and equipment. Procurement of Energy Star (or equal) rated equipment and appliances is mandatory when such products are available
      • EPEAT certified green electronic equipment
      • Carbon-neutral energy sources such as wind, solar, and nuclear energy
      • Biodegradable-biobased, non-hazardous, and/or “Green Seal (or equal)” certified cleaning products
      • Re-crushed/ recycled concrete and asphalt materials
      • Re-treaded tires and products made from recycled tire rubber
      • Low noise emitting equipment and appliances
      • Carpeting and flooring products which are manufactured from recycled-content materials and are recyclable
      • Green furniture products containing materials from renewable sources or recycled-content
      • Building products containing recycled material content
      • Low (or no) VOC painting products, adhesives and solvents
      • LEED Silver (or equal) or higher design standards for eligible new facilities and major renovations. Incorporation of sustainable design features to the maximum extent possible, on facilities projects not eligible for LEED.
      • Low emission, fuel efficient vehicles
      • Alternative fuels for use in vehicles: ethanol, biodiesel, CNG, electric and other fuel types as may become available and associated infrastructure
      • Local sources for goods and services
    3. Discourage to the maximum extent feasible and within the limitation of existing laws and regulations, the procurement and use of:
      • Asbestos –containing materials
      • Mercury-containing materials
      • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
      • Hazardous substances requiring special handling and disposal
      • Polystyrene products and packaging
      • Bleached, virgin paper with 0% post-consumer recycled content
      • Procurement of these products for research purposes is an allowable exception to this policy.
    4. To the maximum extent possible, order available goods and services from Master Contracts established by the Department of Procurement and Supply.
  3. Department of Procurement and Supply Responsibilities: The Director of Procurement and Supply shall structure procurement procedures to:a. Include a review of compliance with this policy as a part of regularly scheduled assistance visits for review of delegated procurement. Include in assistance visit reports, furnished to Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Vice Presidents (as applicable), comments regarding the extent of compliance and suggestions for improvement. Delegated procurement authority may be discontinued for failure to comply with this policy.b. Review requisitions received from Departments and units of the University. Suggest environmentally preferable alternatives for consideration by the requestor.c. Actively seek sources for environmentally preferable products. The Department shall identify and post links to appropriate search tools which may be of use to the campus community in identifying environmentally preferable product alternatives, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database of environmentally preferable products Establish and actively promote the use of Master Contracts for environmentally preferable goods and services commonly used by the campus. Upon expiration of existing Master Contracts, consider opportunities for replacing them with more environmentally preferable options. All such Master Contract opportunities shall be posted on the Department of Procurement and Supply website, including specific instructions for ordering.e. Appoint one or more environmentally preferable procurement coordinators with responsibility for researching opportunities for environmentally preferable goods and services; issuing solicitations to establish contracts; and promoting the goods and services to the campus community. Establish an outreach and education program designed to inform the campus about the availability of such products and the benefits associated with their use.e. Encourage all vendors to offer environmentally preferable product promotions. Actively market these opportunities to the campus via the Department web-site, e-mail, and other venues likely to reach the campus community at-large.f. Actively promote the re-use of surplus personal property available at the Terrapin Trader as an alternative to procurement of new products.g. Aggressively seek multiple sources and promote competitive bidding for the environmentally preferable products specified by requesting Departments and units.h. Develop and implement the use of standard contract provisions promoting the policies established herein.