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The University and its affiliates are committed to lessening our negative impacts on the environment and strengthening the regional economy through sustainable purchasing practices and partnerships with vendors while maintaining fiscal responsibility.


Goal 1:  Reduce the volume of campus purchases

Objective 1.1:  Reduce overall purchases by campus departments, especially of disposable goods

Reducing our purchases will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our resource footprint.

Strategy 1.1.1:  Reduce the use of paper by adopting electronic workflow processes, electronic communication, and policies that require printers to duplex print by default

Strategy 1.1.2:  Minimize packaging through procurement practices and vendor agreements

Strategy 1.1.3:  Develop processes for departments to combine orders with minimum spend requirements and share supplies that are used infrequently or in small quantities to prevent overbuying

Strategy 1.1.4:  Assess budgeting and procurement practices at the departmental level to determine whether they support a “use it or lose it” mentality that encourages end of the year buying; make adjustments as needed.


Objective 1.2:  Maintain and utilize assets to their fullest potential     

Using products fully and for as long as possible will reduce the need to purchase replacement goods.

Strategy 1.2.1:  Adopt procurement practices that factor in life-cycle costs and allow for the purchase of more expensive items when proven to have a longer life

Strategy 1.2.2:  Expand the campus-wide surplus program and develop a more robust system to encourage the use of surplus materials before buying new

Strategy 1.2.3:  Enhance preventive maintenance efforts to extend the life of equipment


Goal 2:  Encourage the purchase of more sustainable products

Objective 2.1:  Increase environmentally and socially preferable purchasing practices

Buying products that are local, organic, fair trade, recycled content, etc. support the local economy and socially   responsible business practices as well as reducing our negative impact on the environment.

Strategy 2.1.1:  Create a best practices guide for preferred purchasing practices (local, recycled, efficient, reduced packaging, chemical free, organic, fair trade, durable materials, life cycle cost analysis, etc.) including products certified by reputable third party organizations.

Strategy 2.1.2:  Identify frequently purchased items and utilize strategic purchasing practices to acquire more environmentally and socially preferable alternatives at a comparable cost.

Strategy 2.1.3:  Pilot the preferable purchasing best practices guide in select departments to establish minimum purchasing requirements

Strategy 2.1.4:  Revise standard vendor contracts using models from the General Services Administration and Environmental Protection Agency to require sustainable purchasing practices       


Goal 3:  Support the economic viability of a diverse regional economy

Objective 3.1:  Support local and regional businesses

Supporting local businesses provides local jobs and support for the local economy and reduces the costs and impacts of transportation.

Strategy 3.1.1:  Establish a campus definition for local businesses.

Strategy 3.1.2:  Develop a system to identify existing and new vendors that meet this definition and track the purchase of goods and services with these vendors.

Strategy 3.1.3: Encourage procurement officers to include strategic purchasing and partnership development with local businesses

Strategy 3.1.4:  Include locally-owned businesses in the best purchasing practices guide 


Objective 3.2:  Support supplier diversity within the procurement system

Supplier diversity programs encourage the growth of small businesses while helping overcome the unique challenges that diverse businesses face in establishing and sustaining their organizations.

Strategy 3.2.1:  Assess procurement practices to identify barriers of entry for Minority Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and other historically underutilized and disadvantaged businesses.

Strategy 3.2.2:  Establish a system to identify existing and new vendors within this classification and track the purchase of goods and services with these vendors.

Strategy 3.2.3: Develop partnerships with regional and national organizations and consortiums that support supplier diversity programs and can assist vendors with gaining access to procurement opportunities with the University.

Coronavirus Update

KU Recycling and KU Surplus have resumed services. As part of our efforts to reduce an on-campus presence and promote social distancing, we will continue to limit special collections that are not mission critical. For updated information on KU's response to COVID-19, visit protect.ku.edu

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