Brandeis U Purchases 'Conflict Free' Computers & Electronic Equipment

The Massachusetts-based university is the 19th institution worldwide to sign on to ensure that the computers and electronic equipment the university buys have no connection to the mining sector of conflict-ridden areas, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo courtesy of Tulane Public Relations

U Illinois Secures Deal on Recycled Paper

Offices on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus can now buy a ream of 30% recycled paper for less cost than a ream of virgin paper. University Housing, a participant in the new campus Certified Green Office program, is the first customer lining up to take advantage of the newly priced environmental paper option.

St. Mary's U Receives Fair Trade University Status

The university's new designation signals the 28th institution of higher education in the nation to receive the designation by Fair Trade Colleges and Universities. The university has worked with its food service contractor to make fair trade-certified foods, beverages and items available in its dining facilities, convenience stores, and university-hosted catered meetings.

Colgate U Student Government Restricts Styrofoam Use

(U.S.): The university's Student Government Association unanimously passed a resolution and bill against styrene, the non-biodegradable substance that is used to make Styrofoam. The bill prohibits certain student group funding to go toward purchasing foam products, and the resolution informs all university offices and departments that the student body dissuades the use of Styrofoam and suggests action to reduce Styrofoam purchasing.

Dalhousie U Partners with Sustainable Seafood Program

The university recently received its first shipment of seafood from the Ecology Action Center's Off the Hook program, which provides fresh, local, high-quality fish caught by fishermen in Nova Scotia via environmentally friendly methods. This along with a Marine Stewardship Council partnership allows all seafood at the university can be traced back through the entire supply chain.

Western Michigan U Receives 'Green Seal' Certification

(U.S.): The university's Office of Facilities Management certification process involved documentation, an on-site audit by Green Seal, developing a green cleaning policy, implementing standard operating procedures, and creating ongoing training practices for new and existing team members. Green Seal is a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. that uses science-based programs to encourage organizations and consumers to develop sustainable practices and offers third-party certification to organizations.

Three Universities Pilot Sustainable Purchasing Program

Emory University, Portland Community College and University of California at Santa Barbara recently signed up to pilot the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council's Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v1.0. The Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing offers purchasers detailed advice for promoting market innovation and optimizing the environmental, social and economic performance of their supply chains.

U Northern British Columbia Earns Fair Trade Campus Designation

In order to earn the designation, university students, faculty and staff worked together to meet Fairtrade Canada’s procurement standards regarding the price, labor conditions, and environmental sustainability of products consumed and sold on campus. As a result, all campus food partners incorporate Fair Trade products into their offerings.

Seattle U Earns Fair Trade University Status

After a campus announcement unveiling a new Nicaraguan Fair Trade coffee, the university announced its commitment to support and advance economic systems that help international farmers and artisans to lift themselves out of poverty while protecting the environment.

Hartwick College Becomes Fair Trade Certified

The new recognition comes after years of work by a community-based service learning class on Human Rights. The college now offers two Fair Trade products in all retail and food outlets, and all Aramark catering coffees and teas are certified products.

Miami U Raises Awareness for Fair Trade

After visiting coffee and chocolate plantations in Central America, students are beginning a campaign for fair trade certification beginning with securing speakers on the topic and procurement of fair trade-certified products.

Transylvania U Joins Farm to Campus Program

The university joins eight other colleges and universities participating in the program that encourages universities to buy as much local food as possible and to sign contracts with multiple growers, reducing the miles traveled between farm and consumers and supporting the local economy.

Canadian Colleges & Universities to Serve Fair Trade Coffee

(Canada): After a 50 percent increase in growth on campuses, Starbucks Canada recently announced that all Canadian university and college locations will serve fair trade-certified espresso.

California State U System Engages Local Business

With a new bill, California State University pledges to source 20 percent of its food purchases from local community based farms by 2020, while Sonoma State University supports local business and promotes sustainable practices within the university’s dining venues.

Wright State U to Become Fair Trade

Currently in process, the university intends to bolster its social justice commitment by acquisition of the designation, which guarantees consumers that a product was not made using slave labor or child labor and that it is safe for the environment.

Berea College Earns Fair Trade Designation

(U.S.): Recently earning the declaration, students from the university's People Who Care program spearheaded the achievement, which has five criteria: building a Fair Trade Advisory Council, including Fair Trade in applicable curriculum, offering Fair Trade products at campus outlets, using Fair Trade products on campus, and passing a university-wide resolution to support a commitment to Fair Trade.

Elon U Registrar Office Acts to Reduce Paper Use

In an effort to manage staff workload, meet student needs and save resources, the university's Office of the Registrar has implemented a central printing station, switched diploma paper stock to one that is less likely to fade, offers an automated form depository, and has removed its fax machine.

Trent U Designated Fair Trade Campus

On behalf of its social sustainability efforts, Fairtrade Canada has recognized the university for sourcing Fairtrade-certified products for campus services and for the University’s ongoing efforts to spread awareness about fair trade issues among students and staff.

U Ottawa Declared Fair Trade Campus

The university recently achieved the status through increasing availability and awareness of coffee, tea and chocolate that has the Fairtrade designation.

Loyola Marymount U Achieves Fair Trade Status

The recently attained designation means that the university has met the Fair Trade Campaigns five requirements including sourcing fair trade products at events and meetings and education dissemination about the benefits of fair trade.

Champlain College Implements Sustainability Initiatives

The university's Sustain Champlain organization spearheaded the recent Fair Trade designation, eliminated the distribution of plastic water bottles, and initiated car sharing.

U Edinburgh Joins Electronics Watch

(U.K.): The university will now encourage electronics suppliers to disclose factory locations so that labor conditions can be monitored by thematic research, factory surveys and investigative reports.

Cornell U Stops Sale of Apparel Linked to Labor Abuse

After an incident killing 1,120 Bangladeshi workers, the university now requires its apparel licensees to abide by the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a five year agreement between apparel companies and Bangladeshi unions that legally binds its signatories to create safe working environments.

Cornell U Students Vote to Change Campus Printing System

(United States): Encouraging environmental benefits and saving students money, the new resolution calls for lowering the cost of printing on the back side of paper, procurement of 100 percent post-consumer waste paper, and changing the default settings on all printers to double-sided.

Cornell U Strengthens Sustainable Purchasing Commitment

The university's Presidents' Sustainable Campus Committee Purchasing Team has introduced new resources and targeted campaigns resulting in an online list of sustainable products, a letter-writing campaign to departments purchasing paper from virgin sources encouraging procurement of recycled-content paper, and a new section in the Buying Manual that defines green certified, recycled, and Energy Star standards and promotes energy-efficient purchasing decisions.

Lehigh U Transitions to 100% Recycled Paper

(U.S.): An initiative by the university's Purchasing Sustainability group, the transition to 100 percent recycled paper at all public computing sites comes after a request by the student community.

U California Santa Cruz Transitions to 100% Recycled Paper

(U.S.): As of summer 2013, the university's Copy Center now procures strictly post-consumer waste paper for student course reading packets. It is currently transitioning to this type of paper for all copy machines and printers it services across campus.

U Otago Joins Fairtrade Movement

(New Zealand): The university was recently accredited as one that procures certain products that are ethically, socially and environmentally responsible.

Virginia Tech Students Push for Fair-Trade Apparel

Students recently partnered with United Students Against Sweatshops to work with the university to adopt the Bangladesh Fire and Factory Safety Accord into its licensee code of conduct. The policy aims to improve the safety of factory practices and conditions.

Portland State U Joins 'Healthy Purchasing Coalition'

After a recent report indicating a high level of concern about better purchasing practices the university joined the coalition, which fosters the goal to create demand for non-toxic products and better disclosure of product information. The group also provides a forum for sharing best practices in purchasing and procurement.

Villanova U Awarded Fair Trade Status

Firming up its commitment to partnerships that promote greater social equity, the university's new designation strengthens its efforts to shore up equity in purchasing decisions. Dining Services has increased the fair trade options available in all dining halls and cafes, and the University Shop has added a line of apparel manufactured in a socially-responsible manner.

Selkirk College Achieves Fair Trade Designation

Over two years in the making, students helped the college earn the designation, which promotes fair working conditions for those who are in the coffee, tea and chocolate growing industries.

McGill U Earns Fair Trade Designation

(Canada): In an attempt to eradicate poverty through systemic change and investments in people, students led the movement to certify that all coffee sold in university-owned stores is Fair Trade. Fair Trade certified tea and chocolate are also available.

Michigan State U Declares June as 'Green Purchasing Month'

The campaign is designed to encourage the campus community to buy local products, eat local foods and make offices more environmentally friendly. Specific actions available include buying office supplies with recycled content, shopping at the campus surplus store and organic farm stand, and eating at campus food trucks that feature local food.

Responsible Purchasing On the Rise Among Higher Ed Students

With $147 billion in spending power, according to a recent USA Today article, students have the financial power to make an impact when it comes to the responsible purchasing practices of campuses. Students, says the article, are becoming increasingly aware and active about choosing products that support workers with living wages and reduce environmental impacts.

Drake U Campaign Leads to Restriction of Bottled Water Sales

The university has announced plans to restrict sales of plastic single-serving water bottles next fall. A student-led campaign worked for months to raise support for the initiative. To ease the transition, every new student will receive a reusable bottle that can be filled at hydration stations.

Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture to Launch Farm to Campus Program

Under the Farm to Campus program, the state agriculture department will partner with Eastern Kentucky University and other state colleges to assist with buy-local efforts. Over the next two years, the department will target college campuses to increase Kentucky Proud products in their bookstores, gift shops, cafeterias and food service systems.

Santa Clara U to Ban School Branded Bottle Water

The university has finalized a petition to ban the sale of Santa Clara labeled plastic water bottles on campus. The petition received over 800 signatures and student organizers are currently working with Bon Appétit to replace plastic with glass bottles.

Universities Cut Ties with Adidas Over Labor Concerns

(U.S.): Several institutions including Cornell University, Oberlin College, Georgetown University, Rutgers University, and the University of Washington have ended their relationships with Adidas over accusations that the company owed money to workers at an overseas manufacturing plant that closed in 2011.

U Guelph Earns Fair Trade Status

The university has received Fair Trade Campus status from Fairtrade Canada. The certification is a result of the university’s commitment to purchase fair-trade products that uphold social and environmental standards to protect food producers and the environment.

Yale U Printing Certified by Forest Stewardship Council

Yale Printing and Publishing Services has received Chain-of-Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. This certification traces the path of products from forests through the supply chain, verifying that FSC-certified paper pulp is identified and kept separate from non-certified paper pulp.

Ohio State U to Purchase Wind Energy

The university has announced its signing of a letter of intent with Iberdrola Renewables to purchase 50 megawatts of wind energy capacity from the Blue Creek Wind Farm. The purchase equates to approximately 25 percent of the entire campus electricity load and will also create new opportunities for research.

Pomona College Earns Fair Trade Status

The designation from Fair Trade Colleges & Universities recognizes the college’s commitment to using goods produced according to standards that address fair prices and wages, safe working conditions and environmental sustainability. The commitment also includes integrating fair trade educational and advocacy efforts into the school’s culture.

Gonzaga U Partners with Socially Responsible Apparel Company

The university has announced that its bookstore will sell a brand of clothing that has committed to higher standards of social responsibility. Alta Gracia manufactures collegiate apparel in overseas factories that provide all employees with benefits and a living wage sufficient to cover monthly costs for a family of four.

Vanderbilt U Announces Environmentally Friendly Paper Practices

(U.S.): The university’s parking map will be the first campus publication to carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified mark, and will be printed on paper containing 50 percent recycled content and 30 percent post-consumer waste. The university aims to certify 99 percent of its printed publications.

Duke U Partners with ClimeCo to Offset Carbon Footprint

The university has purchased carbon credits from ClimeCo America Corporation. The credits are part of a fertilizer manufacturing nitrous oxide abatement project. This is the first purchase of offsets from a third party developer for the university. ClimeCo plans to invest proceeds from the university’s participation to fund its long-term goal of developing carbon-offset opportunities within the agricultural sector.

U San Diego, Penn State Brandywine Earn Fair Trade Status

The designation from Fair Trade Colleges & Universities recognizes both universities' commitment to using goods produced according to standards that address fair prices and wages, safe working conditions and environmental sustainability. The commitment also includes integrating fair trade educational and advocacy efforts into the school’s culture. The Fair Trade TrailBlazers at Pennsylvania State University's Brandywine campus, for example, are working to include an educational component to the university’s Fair Trade Live festival.

George Washington U Graduates Wear Recycled Bottle Gowns

Graduates from George Washington University (D.C.) donned gowns made from recycled plastic bottles at the university's recent commencement ceremony. The environmentally friendly fashion statement is "part of a larger effort by colleges and universities to reduce the carbon footprint of commencement ceremonies," reports a recent Seattle Times story. The article also points to Unity College's (Maine) practice of sending online invitations; Pace University's (New York) programs that are printed on recycled paper with soy ink; Boston University's (Massachusetts) compostable tableware; and organic refreshments and seasonal flowers at Southwestern University (Texas) and New York's New School, respectively.

Simon Fraser U Earns Fair Trade Status

The university has received Fair Trade Campus status from Fairtrade Canada. The certification is a result of its support for ethical purchasing including coffee, tea and chocolate.

Cal State Monterey Bay Graduates to Wear Recycled Bottle Gowns

(U.S.): Every pound of yarn in the gowns that will be worn by this year's graduates saves one-half gallon of gasoline and produces half of the carbon dioxide emissions of the typical polyester manufacturing process.