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Green Purchasing Practices Earn Seattle University a Top 10 Ranking

November 9, 2021

Seattle University’s greening of its purchasing practices earned it a top spot in the latest Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) report sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The 2021 SCI recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability impact areas, as measured by STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System). 

SU ranked #7 in the Top 10 institutions for purchasing. Only two Northwest colleges made the top list (North Seattle College tied for #10).

“Our ranking is thanks to improved procurement policies such as Managed Print Services’ 100% post-consumer recycled paper purchasing and the sustainability criteria applied when evaluating products and services for landscaping, cleaning, ITS purchasing, furniture and food,” says Yolanda Cieters, sustainability manager in the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.

According to AASHE, “Collectively, institutions spend many billions of dollars on goods and services annually. Each purchasing decision represents an opportunity for institutions to choose environmentally and socially preferable products and services and support companies with strong commitments to sustainability. This section covers general and commodity-specific sustainable purchasing policies, life cycle cost analysis and purchase of electronics, paper and cleaning products.”

The university recently earned a Gold STARS rating from AASHE, raising its overall score by four points. STARS is a voluntary framework used by hundreds of colleges and universities to measure, report and strengthen their contributions to global sustainability.