Monday, September 28, 2015

Procurement Services Receives Gift for Sustainability Efforts

Procurement's Strategic Sourcing Team is proud to report that they have received a $5,000 gift from The Dreaming Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to expand on their vendor sustainability program.  Their benefactor selected Strategic Sourcing's initiative from among more than a dozen proposals from students, staff, and research groups.

Last year, Strategic Sourcing initiated a program to improve sustainability efforts on the part of their suppliers. Strategic Sourcing's goal, keeping with the Procurement's Strategic Sourcing Team's commitment to the Campus Sustainability Plan (CSP), is to engage suppliers to develop strategies that promote sustainable procurement practices within the supply chain and measure those suppliers to agreed standards. To that end,  Procurement's Strategic Sourcing Team applied to the Provost's Sustainability Internship (PSI) program, and recruited a dynamic and capable UCSC student named Marissa Meisterling to develop the process.

Throughout FY15, Marissa contacted 17 select suppliers and developed a method for benchmarking suppliers’ sustainability efforts. This information acts as a baseline and a framework for encouraging vendors to take additional steps to improve their "sustainability profile." To expand on these efforts, they have retained another engaging and brilliant PSI student intern, William Watson. Our goals for this year are to establish an online method to better engage suppliers, work with Procurement Buyers to incorporate sustainability into their daily interactions with vendors, and significantly increase the number of participating suppliers. 

That's where their benefactor comes in. To accomplish these goals, they will need to move to an online database that the suppliers can access and update themselves, providing them with additional information, and exhibiting their progress as an incentive to participate in the program. Further, the Procurement's Strategic Sourcing Team will need training and marketing materials for both their own staff and their vendors. These items cost money, and they now have a $5,000 budget to work with.

They are extremely grateful to the benefactor for supporting this effort. There has never been funding for this kind of effort before. By encouraging their suppliers to make more sustainable choices, they can enhance UC Santa Cruz's excellent reputation as a green campus, and promote real-world actions that support a healthy environment.

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