Procurement officials at higher-education institutions say the adoption of green procurement policies is gaining momentum, but more progress is needed.
"The Current State of Green Procurement Trends within Higher Education," a survey by the National Association of Educational Procurement, indicates a growing importance of procurement in sustainability programs.
"We found that while formal green procurement policies are gaining momentum, they still need to become a reality at most institutions," says Brian Yeoman, director of sustainable leadership at the association.
The survey consists of responses from procurement professionals at more than 100 colleges and universities. Among the findings:
More than 62 percent of colleges and universities say they have a sustainability plan in place, but only 24 percent have green procurement policies in place to support them.
More than 85 percent of respondents believe the call to "do the right thing" is the most important reason for carrying out sustainability initiatives, and nearly 60 percent note that reducing costs is a key driver.
Among institutions with sustainability programs in place, 43 percent see benefits in cost reduction and reduced liability.
More than 60 percent of respondents have no way to determine how much is spent with green-certified suppliers or on environmentally friendly products.