A University’s purchasing can account for 40% of its total greenhouse gas emissions. These supply chain emissions can be larger than all other direct and indirect emissions sources measured. The UN Global Marketplace  says procurement is sustainable “when it integrates requirements, specifications and criteria that are compatible and in favor of the protection of the environment, of social progress and in support of economic development, namely by seeking resource efficiency, improving the quality of products and services and ultimately optimizing costs.” In 2018, the UC set sustainable procurement goals  of 25% Green Spend as a total percentage of spend per applicable product category and 25% Economically and Socially Responsible Spend as a total percentage of addressable spend. UC Santa Barbara is committed to being a leader in sustainable procurement across higher education.  

Packaging Foam Reporting Form

On January 1, 2020, the University of California expanded plastic packaging foam ban took effect. While UC Santa Barbara Procurement is proactively working with major contracted suppliers on compliance with the ban, the majority of campus purchases are off-contract and suppliers may not be aware of the policy. Please use this 3-minute form to report orders you receive that contain any type of foam in their packaging.

Packaging foam reporting form

Heather Perry Receiving EPEAT purchasing Award in 2018

Green Spend Progress 

UC Santa Barbara was recognized by the Green Electronics Council (GEC) with a 2018 EPEAT Purchaser Award, honoring our leadership in procurement of sustainable IT products . 

UC Santa Barbara also includes sustainability as at least 15% of the evaluation criteria for all competitive solicitations over $100K. See the sustainability benefits achieved through bids here

Ven Diagram of Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable Purchasing Tools  

UC Santa Barbara strives to offer tools to assist campus in achieving its sustainable procurement goals. These tools include a product search tool curated to only show products that comply with the UC's Green Spend Criteria, and a Supplier Scorecard tool , aimed at helping drive improvement throughout our supply chain. More purchasing tips for department buyers can be found here.

Procurement Post Screenshot

Procurement Newsletter Tips

Stay up to date with new initiatives and announcements in Sustainable Procurement by viewing past   Sustainability articles in the Procurement Post, or checking out the Sustainable Procurement News page.  

Supply Chain Spend

Impact Analysis

Using an economic input-output life cycle assessment methodology, a Bren graduate student evaluated the environmental impacts of 2017 food purchases by UCSB’s residential dining services in order to make lower-impact purchases in the future.



Certified Green Cleaning

UCSB maintains a Low-Environmental Impact Cleaning Policy for all LEED buildings, and has a goal of purchasing 75% third-party certified green cleaning products.



With support from the Green Initiative Fund, paper towel dispensers are being replaced with energy-efficient electric hand dryers to save waste, water, and CO2!