Finance Department

Purchasing Policies & Procedures

It shall be the policy to obtain all supplies, equipment, and services at best possible value to the College -value being defined as the optimum combination of price, quality, availability, and service.

In conforming to this policy with sound and prudent business practices, the following are approved methods for acquiring goods and services:

All purchases of goods and services should be coded appropriately to the correct Account Number(s) and Object Code(s)and adhere to Union College's Purchasing General Terms & Conditions.

Union College is a 501(c)(3) organization and is tax exempt for all expenditures in New York and other various states.

Union College supports the efforts of several not-for-profit organizations by encouraging and advocating the volunteer efforts of our students, staff and faculty. Under certain circumstances, the support may also include the donation of used furniture and equipment. Union College policy prohibits cash donations with college funds.

Gift Cards are unallowable expenditures

Gift cards or gift certificates are not allowable college expenditures. A gift, i.e. small token of appreciation, to volunteers who are neither employees or student workers is allowed.

Sustainability guidelines

The Purchasing Office of Union College supports the Strategic Plan’s commitment to the sustainable stewardship of resources via environmentally preferred purchasing guidelines. One such guideline is the Recycled Paper Purchasing Guideline. This guideline concerns paper usage and selection. We hope to minimize the amount of paper consumed by our students, faculty and staff and transition to using paper that contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content, is Forest Stewardship Council certified, acid-free and totally chlorine-free (TCF) whenever possible.

We expect that all college employees will observe this guideline.

The table below details environmental benefits that can be realized from switching from 0% recycled content paper to 30% and then to 100%. These benefits can be maintained with minimal financial impact. At the time of writing this policy, the Union College Purchasing Office was able to obtain a case (5,000 sheets) of 8.5 x 11 20lb legal sized 30% recycled content paper for $30.40, 50% recycled content for $34.76, 100% recycled content for $38.12 compared to $28.80 for conventional virgin, non-FSC certified paper. Switching from conventional copy/printing paper to 30% recycled content is only a $1.60 price increase! To offset the cost increase one can reduce pages printed/copied by printing double-sided and sharing documents electronically when appropriate.

Trees saved

  • 36 trees (30% Recycled paper)
  • 120 trees (100% Recycled paper)

Water Saved

  • 10,500 gallons (30% Recycled paper)
  • 35,000 gallons (100% Recycled paper)

Electricity saved

  • 6150 kW hours (30% Recycled paper)
  • 20,500 kW hours (100% Recycled paper)

Air pollution averted

  • 90 pounds (30% Recycled paper)
  • 300 pounds (100% Recycled paper)

Source: Middlebury College