Our Efforts

University Services is commited to enacting sustainable practices, both internally and as part of the purchasing and distribution processes.

Here are some examples:

     Calculating the Cost of Ownership

Purchasing can analyze costs associated with a product over its lifetime—from development and design through its use, maintenance, and disposal. How products are manufactured and transported are considered, as is the energy use of appliances.

    Consolidated Routes

In 2012, Logistics consolidated the receiving and delivery of UPS ground parcel activity into daily campus deliveries. Results include

  • reduction in operational costs
  • better use of internal capacity
  • fewer delivery vehicles on campus means a smaller carbon footprint

    Environmentally Responsible Packaging

As a best practice in Purchasing, when negotiating an agreement or contract we request that, when possible, packaging be

  • made of sustainable materials
  • recyclable
  • reusable  

In the area of furniture packaging, all suppliers are required to participate in the take-back program where they leave with 100% of the packaging material that was used for delivering the products.

      Monitoring Recycled Paper Use

University Stores encourages buying paper that has recycled content.

     Reusable UPS Envelope

Logistics, in collaboration with UPS, designed an MSU-branded envelope for UPS Air Services. Not only does the envelope give MSU a unique presence in the delivery stream, it promotes MSU’s sustainability efforts.

The envelopes have two peel-off strips, making them reusable, and are made of 80% post consumer recycled fiber. Orders may be placed through University Stores.

Award   Spartan Green Certification

University Services was awarded the Gold level Spartan Green Certification for our in-house sustainability practices.

     Supplier Metrics and Education

  • University Services works with third-party partners to measure MSU's top suppliers' carbon emissions and water usage
  • University Services co-hosted 2011 and 2014 Supplier Sustainability workshops

    University Services Participation

University Services staff participate in Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) and Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) events and activities. MSU is a founding member of the SPLC and an active member of AASHE. 

    Warehousing Best Practices

University Stores provides just-in-time inventory for commonly used goods and supplies. Where practical, products are ordered in volume to reduce inbound shipping expense and fuel usage.

When choosing items to stock in the warehouse, we consider

  • upstream and downstream impacts
  • potential for cross docking
  • recyclability of the product
  • recycled content of the product
  • length of useful life of the product

University Stores reuses Styrofoam packing peanuts, boxes, pallets, and crates on a daily basis. Packaging materials that cannot be reused are often required to be taken back by the supplier for environmentally friendly disposal. Concerted efforts are made to avoid sending materials to the landfill.