​Green Purchasing

Purchasing Policy: The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is committed to the use and purchase of environmentally and socially responsible materials and products. Recognizing our impact as a major purchaser of goods and services, people authorized to make purchases on behalf of the university are expected to give preference to environmentally friendly products whose quality, function and cost are equal or superior to more traditional products.

The Purchasing Department offers more insight to their decision making process for the Central Stores.


Local Sourcing

The local sourcing sub-committee of the Sustainability Task Force agreed upon the following definition for local purchasing:

The purchase of a product or service that has been manufactured, harvested, extracted or supplied within a 400 mile radius of the UW-Stevens Point campus. Levels of “local” are further defined by tiers of distance for the product or service and business ownership.

Tiers of local include:

  • Community – Stevens Point and Plover
  • Immediate – Within 50 miles
  • Intermediate – Within 150 miles
  • Regional – Within 400 miles

Local purchasing is available to the community through these locations:

Farmshed focuses on six main areas: Food System Education; Local Eating; Farmer Capacity Building; Local Food Networks; Public Markets; and Nutrition for Learning and Health.

Stevens Point Area Coop is a full-line natural foods grocery store where you will always find fresh, local and organic produce, herbs, teas, coffees, spirits, dairy products and baked goods.

The Market on Strongs brings all of Wisconsin’s finest products to the shelves for your convenience.


Water Bottles Eliminated

UW-Stevens Point moved to discontinue the sale of bottled water during the 2009-2010 school year.

University Dining and Summer Conferences had already seen a reduction in bottled water and soda sales as we encouraged people to use their own bottles and fill at water fountains equipped with filler spouts, or use compostable or reusable bottles for fountain beverages. There have been six filling stations put in place in the Dreyfus University Center and three in the Allen Center. There have also been 60 installed in the residential halls and two in the academic buildings so far.

A Sustainable Vending Resolution was passed by the Student Government Association to discontinue the sale of bottled water in vending machines on campus, although flavored water is still sold on campus. As part of this initiative, a fund was established from the sale of bottled beverages to directly assist with supporting the campus recycling program. The funds came from bottling companies and were included in the vending contract, with language that reads:

The Beverage Bottler shall assist in the funding of campus recycling programs directly related to the work level of recycling costs caused by product usage. An annual payment of $5,000 shall be made to the university at the commencement of the contract and at the anniversary date each year thereafter.

Operations: Natural vs. Built

UW-Stevens Point maintains its campus grounds with sustainability in mind. Native plants are a priority in certain areas on campus, such as the rain gardens. However, we also value the visual appearance of campus provided by robust plants that provide color throughout the year. Because our campus includes a natural resources college, woody plants are both native and non-native; planting consideration is given to trees that meet the needs of outdoor classroom and teaching needs of natural resources courses. Read more about the Schmeeckle Reserve and its sustainability features.

UW-Stevens Point will occasionally use herbicides to control broadleaves but we continue our efforts, through a very talented and environmentally aware grounds staff, to reduce and move in the right direction. We use organic fertilizer whenever economically feasible. Additionally, we are continually using our compost tea machine and campus-created compost for topdressing our grass and for our perennial beds. In order to reduce the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal, UW-Stevens Point uses an environmentally friendly way to eliminate ice. Please visit UWSP Grounds Department for further details.

When constructing buildings on campus, the water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, adaptive use and preservation of existing buildings, indoor environmental quality, construction waste and recycling, operation and maintenance, and purchasing of furniture, fixtures and equipment are all taken into consideration. The Building Commission Sustainable Facilities Policy provides more detail.

LEED Certified Buildings are sustainable buildings that maximize operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building designs. Within the design, sustainability incorporated in the construction, maintenance solutions and ongoing operation of buildings.

The Suites @201 are LEED-NC (New Construction) Gold Certified. It was certified in November 2012. Burroughs, Neale and Knutzen are in the process of being LEED EB (Existing Building) certified. We hope to receive certification this spring with minimally silver ratings for each. Our next renovations of Watson (summer 2014) and Thomson (2015) will also include LEED-EB certifications as well with hopes of achieving silver or better on both. However, their certifications will not come until at least one year after their respective renovations.

When construction at UW-Stevens Point takes place, new lighting techniques are being utilized. Examples are: occupancy sensors in bathrooms, classrooms, labs and corridors of academic, administrative and residential buildings to reduce energy use and Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology in several areas of campus. The seating area in the west lobby of the natural resources building is lit by LED lighting. There are LED lights on the marquee of the Health Enhancement Center. LED lighting was installed in two of our parking lots.

Green Cleaning

UW-Stevens Point upgraded to the Diversey chemical dispensing system that combines floor, glass, disinfectant and general cleaners into one system. Chemicals are concentrated to reduce packaging and solid waste disposal. This system requires significantly less storage, handling and packaging. All of our Diversey chemicals are green certified with the exception of our disinfectant. With the product in concentration form we are not creating as much plastic container waste like we did with ready to use containers. The Diversey product is an excellent cleaner and fewer products are used to obtain the same results. Other initiatives pertaining to cleaning on campus include recycled trash liners, reusable mop heads and reducing aerosols.



The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT®) is a comprehensive environmental rating that helps identify greener computer and other electronic equipment. Silver and/or gold registered products are used for standard desktop and notebook/laptop computers and monitors.

The State of Wisconsin has mandatory contracts and policies for the purchase of university technology. The Information Technology Department also has standards in place to insure compatibility, technical support, and security of all applications, software and hardware purchased for the university. Please see the UWSP EPEAT Preference Policy​ and visit the EPEAT website to learn more about the program.

Dining and Summer Conferences

UW-Stevens Point Dining and Summer Conferences demonstrates the commitment to sustainability through such measures as local food purchasing, resource recovery (recycling), composting food wastes, energy reduction and continually exploring ideas to promote and support sustainability initiatives.

Dining and Summer Conferences makes all reasonable efforts to incorporate affordably priced local and renewable food products and services that reflect the campus’s commitment to sustainability. They focus efforts on utilizing reusable, recyclable and biodegradable products when available. By asking their vendors questions to help strengthen the local sourcing initiatives:

  1. Are the farms or businesses family or cooperatively owned?
  2. Is there a commitment to reducing use of synthetic fertilizers and other chemicals?
  3. Does the business operate in such a way to protect and sustain the region’s land and water resources?
  4. Do practices include treating animals with care and respect; do they have a national certification, i.e. American Humane Certified?
  5. Are employees provided safe and fair working conditions?
  6. Can university students and staff openly visit operations to enhance learning?

Please look into the Dining Services Local Vendors by visiting the map.

Dining and Summer Conferences removed all trays from the all-you-care-to-eat Upper DeBot dining, resulting in a drop of 35 percent in useable food waste. The remaining unused food is processed through a pulper and is composted on campus and commercially.

In 2010, one new highly efficient dishwasher replaced two older machines in our DeBot Dining Center. This resulted in reductions in utilities, chemical use and water consumption. Dinin and Summer Conferences offers reusable hot and cold beverage bottles for sale and discounts beverages by 25 cents when a reusable container is used.

UW-Stevens Point has its own recycling and reuse center, and all of the work is handled by UWSP Grounds Crew. Composting is also a part of our Grounds Crew’s normal routine. Food waste is composted and used for fertilizer in flower beds and on practice fields. The compost pile is located behind the Waste Education Center. Used cooking oil is collected by SANIMAX and the College of Natural Resources for biofuels resesearch and biodiesel creation.

Check out Dining and Summer Conferences to see how they make sustainable choices, as well as the Dining Advisory Board for their donations to student groups on campus.