Green Procurement relates to consciously purchasing products and services that cause minimal adverse environmental impacts to the planet. It incorporates human health, social equity and environmental concerns into the search for high quality products and services at competitive prices.
The Provost established a Sustainable Procurement Working Group in 2018, which is tasked with reviewing procurement to establish Sustainable Procurement guidelines that reflect a triple-bottom-line approach that balances best value, social equity and environmental protection. Collectively, Trinity’s purchasing choices can make a positive difference.
Trinity has committed to the following objectives related to green procurement:
At Trinity, all offices and departments are encouraged to purchase products:
- with improved recyclability, high recycled content, reduced packaging and greater durability
- with optimum energy efficiency
- utilizing clean technology and/or clean fuels
- which result in reduced water consumption
- which were manufactured without slave or low-cost labour
- which are reusable, avoiding disposable products
- which are preferably manufactured without materials which are hazardous to human health and the environment
- which emit fewer irritating or toxic substances during installation or use
- which result in a reduced release of toxic substances to the environment, or significantly less toxic substances, upon disposal
Many environmentally preferable products are third party certified for environmental criteria. Here are some of the certification logos you can look for:
Forest Stewardship Council certify products from sustainably managed and harvested forests. You will see their logo on paper, cardboard and wood products.
Fairtrade certification is given to manufacturers who pay farmers a fair price for their crops. In the 1980s, global corporations (e.g. Nestle) had so dramatically reduced the price they were willing to pay farmers for crops such as coffee beans, cocoa beans and other crops grown in third world countries, that these small farmers were being pushed further and further into poverty by such exclusively profit driven behaviour. Fair Trade certification was established to convey to consumers which companies had paid a fair price for their raw materials.
Green Seal certification provides environmental certification for a wide range of products, such as cleaning products, paper products, fridges and even hotels! Look for the logo on cleaning products especially. Their certification guarantees not only environmental criteria but also high functionality of the products they certify.
EPEAT is a free and trusted source of environmental product ratings for high-performance electronics. The system began in 2003 and has become the definitive global environmental rating system for electronics. EPEAT currently tracks more than 4,400 products from more than 60 manufacturers across 43 countries.
The environmental criteria within the EPEAT system take into account design and production of the product to energy consumption by the product and end-of-life recycling. EPEAT products are assessed by qualified certification bodies.EPEAT currently includes product ratings for PCs and displays, printers, copiers, scanners and multifunction devices and televisions. Environmental standards are currently in development for mobile phones, servers and other electronic products.