Examples of Sustainability Initiatives Already Undertaken by Procurement Services

Reduction of Paper Use

Procurement Services have played an important role in the implementation of the University’s Paper Use Policy (2005). This far reaching policy led to an important reduction of paper use across campus. Now, the purchase requisition process, through Procurement, has also been automated, resulting in an annual savings of approximately 200,000 sheets of paper.

Sustainability in Calls for Tender

McGill requires all calls for tender to include reference to the University’s Sustainability Policy and stresses the importance of social responsibility-bidders are required to indicate in their proposal how they could support the University in accordance to this policy.

Green Certified Cleaning Products

McGill has been using green certified cleaning products in all buildings managed by Building Services since 2001, opting in 2009 to change over to entirely detergent-free cleaners. McGill University has established a green cleaning products agreement that outlines all products to be Eco-Loco, Green Seal approved, and/or biodegradable. The call for tender developed for Building Services limits all purchases for cleaning products for day-to-day maintenance in buildings to only use Eco-Logo or Green Seal approved products. Cleaning tools (rags and scrubbers) were also replaced with more durable products that reduce waste.

Furniture Procurement

Procurement Services is also working with Campus and Space Planning, the Office of Sustainability, and the Furniture and Signage Coordinator at Facilities Operations and Development to assess furniture procurement activities. This team seeks to develop solutions for the recuperation and sound end-of-life management of furniture, with the goal to minimize purchases and waste. McGill is also collaborating with other universities in Québec which are also working on this  issue and implementing best practices. 

Safe Product Handling and Supplier Collaborations

Procurement Services require suppliers to collect and appropriately dispose of obsolete compressed gas cylinders. Procurement Services has also been collaborating with one of its suppliers to develop a “Tips for a Greener Lab” guide for end-users, and the elimination of mercury thermometers across campus.

Management of the Used and End-of-Life Mobile Devices

Used and end-of-life mobile devices contain hazardous substances, precious metals and critical minerals as well as embodied energy and water. Their sound management is very important. Procurement Services, in collaboration with the contracted mobile device supplier, manage end-of-life mobile devices following clear sustainability parameters, and respect the 4R hierarchy (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle).

Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program 

In an effort to reduce the risk of environmental contamination, human exposure, and the time consuming and costly removal of spills, Procurement Services, in collaboration with the Sustainability Funds Project (SFP), and Hazardous Waste Management, has implemented a mercury thermometer exchange program. This program offers McGill researchers the opportunity to have mercury thermometers removed from their research labs and replaced with Eco-friendly thermometers.

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