Here are the projects we are currently working on:
All university purchases with a value of $100,000 and above (over the term of the contract) must go through a public bidding process with the involvement of Procurement Services’ buyers. Our Sustainable Procurement Program Manager works closely with all buyers in order to incorporate customized social and environmental criteria in each call for tender. These criteria can range from product content requirements to supplier certifications, and aim to support the development of new, more sustainable, products and services on the market.
Every year, our Sustainable Procurement Program Manager co-supervises student research projects pertaining to the social and/or environmental impacts associated with McGill’s supply chain. To-date, a number of students and faculty members have participated in a variety of projects such as:
- The University’s lifecycle management of fridges and freezers;
- The benchmarking of institutional approaches to the quantification, communication and offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions;
- The assessment of the logistics related to the delivery of goods at one of McGill’s buildings that receives the most lab supplies;
- The carbon footprint of the University’s computer fleet, etc.
Procurement Services is leading this initiative, in close collaboration with the Office of the VP Research and Innovation, central IT Services as well as Facilities Management and Ancillary Services. The purpose of this project is to establish the framework for tracking McGill’s assets while optimizing their lifecycle management. In some cases, this involves the development of minimum standard requirements and a revised purchasing procedures, the physical tagging of certain assets, and the development of mandatory steps for the management of used or end-of-life assets.
All of McGill’s Procurement Services staff have received 6 hours of training in Sustainable Procurement. They can now pass on this knowledge to other staff within the faculties and units to help them navigate towards better, more sustainable, choices. Procurement Services is also offering the “Sustainable Purchasing 101” course that is open to all McGill staff members. This course is available through Human Resources Organizational Development (OD).
Some products have a larger environmental footprint than others, and can pose problems when they aren’t managed properly once they reach their end-of-life. Procurement Services works in collaboration with Hazardous Waste Management and its downstream processors (local, certified refurbishers and recyclers) to track and quantify the University’s annual flow of certain waste categories. This is currently done for our used and end-of-life electronics, and will soon be extended to appliances containing refrigerant gases.
Procurement Services is working with the McGill Bookstore and the Office of the VP Communications on this project. The objective is to require additional information and certifications from those suppliers who manufacture or modify and resell any branded items with the McGill logo. Our intention is to better understand the supply chain for such items and reducing the risk of purchasing products from unlawful manufacturers or any suppliers whose operations do not comply with the principles established in McGill University’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
Procurement Services is collaborating with other research institutions in Québec to set-up an online platform for facilitating the redeployment and reuse of research equipment across institutions. McGill University seeks to optimize the use of its research equipment on its campuses, but once this equipment is no longer used, and no McGill researcher needs it, it will be possible to offer this equipment (by sale or donation) to other researchers.