Procurement Directives and Procedures

Revised 5/5/23

Procurement Directives and Procedures

1. Introduction and Contact Information

2. Definitions

3. Procurement Services Responsibilities

4. Contracting Authority other than Procurement

5. Code of Ethics and Standard of Conduct

6. Employee Conflict of Interest

7. Gratuities

8. Monetary Levels and Limits

9. Unauthorized Purchases

10. Exemptions from Competitive Procurement Requirements

11. Other Non Competitive Purchases

12. Making a Purchase

13. Guidelines for Certain Types of Purchases

14. Leases

15. Construction

16. Sustainable Procurement

1. Introduction and Contact Information

  1. University Procurement Services reports to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.   These Directives and Procedures will focus on the procurement or purchasing process.
  2. The intent of these Directives and Procedures is to provide the campus community with uniform and consistent direction relative to appropriate purchasing procedures and practices for the acquisition of commodities, contractual services and construction. University Procurement Services will be glad to assist with procurement and purchasing issues and can be reached at 352-392-1331. Training on Procurement policy is available in person at Elmore Hall, Purchasing 101 (class PRO305 in myTraining), and on-line through myTraining for the requisitioning system and PCard. Search for “purchasing” activity in myTraining.
  3. Section 1001.74 (5), Florida Statutes, grants acquisition authority to the University Board of Trustees. Section 1001.75(5), Florida Statutes, delegates responsibility for the purchasing function to the University President or their designee(s). University of Florida Regulation , 6C1-3.020 establishes the Procurement Rules for administration of a purchasing program at the University of Florida.
  4. Procurement involves the acquisition of equipment, furnishings, supplies, construction services, maintenance services, professional and contractual services for the University within pre established budgetary constraints. Procurement functions also include preparing budget estimates; preparing bid specifications; initiating formal quotations, proposals and bids; conducting public bid openings; evaluating bids; and negotiating and awarding contracts.
  5. Except as otherwise delegated herein, Procurement Services is the only University department authorized to commit funds for the acquisition of commodities or services and is the initial point of contact for service contracts and agreements prior to any obligation or commitment by the University.

2. Definitions

  1. See UF Regulation 3.020

3. Procurement Services Responsibilities

  1. See UF Regulation 3.020

4. Contracting Authority other than Procurement

  1. See UF Regulation 3.020

5. Code of Ethics and Standard of Conduct

  1. See UF Regulation 3.020

6. Employee Conflict of Interest

  1. see Florida Statute 112.313 and UF Policies

7. Gratuities –

  1. See UF Regulation 3.020 and BOG Regulation 18.001

8. Monetary Levels and Limits

Effective date 09/01/2017

  1. Purchases with terms – Any agreements containing terms and conditions, or other such verbiage, including Maintenance Agreements, Software License Agreements, etc., requiring signature must be forwarded to Procurement Services where they will be reviewed and signed.
  2. Purchases of at least $5,000 – Purchases of at least $5,000 require a purchase order. Below $5,000 purchases can be made with a Purchase Order (PO), PCard, or be made unencumbered if they are allowable (see the Disbursement Services unencumbered list).
  3. Purchases Below $10,000 – It shall be the Procurement Agent’s discretion whether quotes are needed on purchases below $10,000. Quotations are encouraged whenever possible.
  4. Purchases $10,000-$74,999 – Written quotes from three or more vendors or written justification why quotations were not obtained. The requisition shall be documented prior to the processing of a purchase order by the Procurement Agent as to the circumstances when competitive quotes are not obtained.
  5. Purchases of $75,000 and above Formal competitive bids, (ITB/RFP/ITN) are required on purchases of commodities, contractual services, deferred payment and revenue generating contracts in excess of $74,999. A formal two-party contract may be required for contract services. For the purposes of determining the bidding threshold the total cost of the requirement may include any options, add or deduct alternates, and trade-ins, for the life of the contract. (see BOG Procurement Regulation 18.001)
  6. Commodities or contractual services available only from a single source, may be exempted from the bid requirements when the University certifies and documents that there is only one source of supply capable of meeting all specifications, terms and conditions to the University’s satisfaction.
  7. Purchases of $1,000,000 and above – All purchases in excess of $1 million will be reviewed and approved by the President or his designee. For contracts and software license agreements, the contract will be processed by Procurement with legal review and involvement if deemed necessary.

9. Unauthorized Purchases

  1. Purchases for Individuals. Procurement Services is not authorized to make purchases for any individual or non-University organization.
  2. Splitting of Orders. The deliberate attempt to split orders, where the purpose is keeping the total cost of each order below bid or quote limits, and failure to combine orders when practical for the interest of economy, is an evasion of the University Procurement Directives. The splitting of orders is a prohibited activity . Any related needs that are known or should have been reasonably known at the time of the requirement should be combined into one coherent request for procurement.
  3. Purchases of a Personal Nature. The expenditures from University funds for personal items are prohibited unless a clear business purpose exists. (See Disbursements Directives )
  4. Confirming Purchase Orders. Departments are not authorized to place orders directly with vendors for goods or services for which a purchase order is required. Procurement Services is the only authorized agent for the University. If a department has an immediate need, Procurement Services may confirm an order with a vendor after the proper acquisition method has been selected and executed. In the event that the department receives goods prior to the approval of Procurement Services, an explanation/justification shall be provided with the requisition.

10. Exemptions from Competitive Procurement Requirements

  1. See UF Regulation 3.020 – but contact Procurement before proceeding

11. Other Non-Competitive purchases

  1. See UF Regulation 3.020 – but contact Procurement before proceeding

12. Making a Purchase

  • Requisition to Purchase
    1. A requisition should be created to make purchases not made on a Procurement Card. Requisitions are used to request purchases of all commodities/services through Procurement Services and provide the chartfield information to be charged, item descriptions, quantity, delivery instructions, vendor information and desired delivery date. Complete and correct preparation of the requisition expedites the purchasing process. Except in the case of an approved emergency, the requisition must be received by Procurement Services before purchasing action can be initiated.
    2. A requisition is initiated through myUFL portal in myUF Marketplace
    3. Each requisition should contain only those items that may be purchased from the same vendor.
    4. When preparing a requisition for goods state the noun first followed by descriptive information, including manufacturer and part number, if known.
    5. After Procurement approves a requisition, it becomes a purchase order and is dispatched to the supplier. The purchase order provides  the contract between UF and the supplier.
  • Purchases from Small and Minority Business Enterprises. The University is an equal opportunity institution and encourages procurement contracting with Small and Minority Business Enterprises. For more information, see the Division of Small Business and Supplier Diversity
  • Amount Only Purchase Orders
    1. An Amount Only Purchase Order (AOPO formerly known as a blanket purchase order) is a simplified method of filling urgent needs for small quantities of supplies or services by establishing open accounts with qualified suppliers. AOPO’s are designed to expedite the acquisition of urgently, and/or frequently, needed supplies or services and to reduce administrative costs in accomplishing small purchases by eliminating the need for issuing individual purchase orders. Procurement Cards should be used in lieu of AOPO’s whenever feasible. See the myUFL Toolkits regarding Amount Only PO’s.
    2. An Amount Only Purchase Order may not be used when:
      a. The aggregate monetary value will exceed $75,000 for any one type of item or service (unless a public solicitation is referenced).
      b. Purchases are for capital (property > $5000 ) items.
      c. Purchases are of a personal nature.
      d. The term is for longer than one calendar year if on appropriated funds (unless the funding source allows and a public solicitation is referenced).
      e. The term will cross fiscal years utilizing annually appropriated funds.
    3. Requisitions are prepared by the using departments using the electronic requisitioning tool. and must contain the following information:
      a. Description of supplies or services to be furnished by the vendor, limited to specific items or commodity groups or to all items that the supplier is in a position to furnish (see limitation on use above), vendor, chartfield information.
      b. Suggested beginning and ending dates.
      c. Dollar amount to be encumbered for anticipated expenditures sufficient to defray total anticipated charges.
      d. List of names of individuals authorized to make purchases on the agreement.
      e. Superseded purchase order number, if applicable.
      f. Attach a rate sheet/price list or quotes for the product/services being ordered
    4. Orders against AOPO’s may be made verbally by an individual authorized to place orders against the agreement. When placing an order, the individual should identify himself/herself and give the applicable AOPO purchase order number.
    5. The encumbrance of an AOPO may be increased or decreased by the using department by submitting a request for a change order to Procurement Services.
  • Change Request. A change request can be issued to modify quantities, unit price, due date, delivery schedule or location or to cancel the purchase order. Departments must initiate requests for change orders in writing, or through the electronic requisitioning tool Construction change requests, for 500 Fund series, are processed through the Construction Accounting department.
  • Receiving. Guidance regarding receiving can be found on the Disbursements website:
  • Claims for Loss or Damage in Shipment. Responsibility of Department receiving the shipment – Damage to shipments must be recorded and processed in accordance with regulations applying to common carriers. Visible damage shall be noted on the freight company’s receipt at the time of delivery. Concealed damage must be officially reported to the freight company timely after the company delivers the items to the University. Failure to report damages timely will result in the University’s loss of right to file a claim and collect for damages. Notify Procurement Services in writing with a copy of the company’s receipt, the purchase order number, the carrier’s name, and the date of receipt.
  • Receipt of Unsolicited Goods. Florida Statutes 570.545 states that when unsolicited goods are delivered, the person may refuse the goods and is not obligated to return the goods to the sender. The law also states that unsolicited goods shall be deemed a gift and recipient may use or dispose of them in any manner without obligation to the sender.
  • Right of Refusal. At the discretion of the department items may be refused for any of the following reasons: no purchase order, damage visibly perceived, or unsolicited goods.

13. Guidelines for Certain Types of Purchases

  1. Equipment on a Temporary Trial or Loan Basis
    Occasionally, Vendors will loan to a researcher to test/try out their equipment. To protect the Vendors and the University of Florida, Procurement Services suggests either the department fills and signs an Equipment Loan form or inputs a “no charge” requisition into MyUFMarketplace requisitioning system. Procurement Services needs the following information about the equipment: make, model, serial number and replacement and purchase value of equipment, along with the contact information of the University personnel responsible for using the equipment and appropriate vendor personnel. If the supplier requires UF carry insurance on the loaned equipment, please contact EH&S, Risk Coordinator at (352) 392-1591 and provide the following information: make, model, serial number and replacement and purchase value of equipment, contact information for University personnel responsible for using the equipment and department fiscal person paying for the insurance.  For more information on equipment insurance see EH&S’s website. [updated as of 12/20/22]
  2. Maintenance or Service Agreement
    1. Departments should carefully analyze all information and select among the following 3 equipment maintenance alternatives:
      a. Assumed risk (self-insure) – where no contractual agreements are entered into and the department assumes the risk for repair or replacement of equipment.
      b. Regular maintenance agreements – where department contracts for specific number of preventative maintenance visits and repairs plus parts where needed with various service providers. Requisitions exceeding $5,000 need an additional quote from the Contracted University Managed Maintenance program provider.
      c. University Managed Maintenance program – where department pays annual premium to contract vendor and contacts the service provider of their choice for preventative maintenance and repair. When considering these alternatives, consider the past experience of premium cost to maintenance and repair payouts. Also consider the value, age, and condition of the equipment as well as the frequency of use and critically of the equipment to the department.
    2. Requisitions for maintenance or service agreements on equipment must include the following information:
      a. Location (room number and building name/number) of equipment and name of contact person.
      b. Name brand, model number, serial number, and decal number of equipment. Beginning and ending dates of maintenance period.
      c. One copy of proposed maintenance agreement. Please note that the using department is not authorized to sign and approve vendor maintenance agreements. All agreements should be submitted with the requisition for signature and approval by Procurement Services.
  3. Contractual Services
    1. Contractual services are defined as the rendering of a contractor of its time and effort rather than furnishing specific commodities. This definition applies to individuals who are not performing the duties of a University position. The Vendor Tax Information Form for contractual services shall be signed by all parties and the purchase order issued prior to the rendering of any service. For the purposes of this section, Construction is not considered a service.
    2. At the discretion of Procurement Services, a contractual agreement may be required for supply items, particularly when the acquisition involves: a multi-year contract, the furnishing of supplies with significant service and installation costs, the production of items from design or performance specifications, research and development equipment, high-value/unique/non-standard supplies and equipment, long lead time production items, or agreements involving partial payment schedules or definitive project phases. The University standard contract for services is available from the Procurement website under Forms.
    3. Agreements may be necessary in procurements less than $75,000 when:
      a. Procurements where an agreement is necessary to protect the University’s best interests.
      b. Complex service contracts to establish the payment method, payment schedule, contract deliverables, or performance standards.
      c. Required by the contractor.
    4. Only university personnel specifically delegated the authority, in writing, by the President are authorized to sign agreements and financially commit the University within the limits of their delegation. No department or individual, unless specifically delegated, may sign any agreement or represent in any manner whatsoever to an individual or business that they possess the authority to bind the University. All agreements must be signed by the person with the delegated authority. All agreements are subject to legal review and approval prior to signature, except for those specific agreements, conditions, and circumstances assigned to Procurement Services.
  4. Office Furniture (Revised 5/5/23)
    1. Any office furniture purchased should be on a State Contract, or be equivalent or less in price to a comparable item on State Contract.
    2. Any requisition to purchase a special chair because the prospective occupant has specific ADA accommodations, must be approved by Environmental Health & Safety Department.
    3. When selecting furniture it is preferred that:
      a. Purchases contain at least 10% postconsumer and/or 20% post-industrial material
      b. Purchases contain at least 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood
    4. At the discretion of Procurement Services, furniture may be purchased up to the following guidelines without a written justification:
      a. Office Chair – $750
      b. Sofa – $1,500
      c. Love Seat – $1,200
      d. Wing Back Chair – $875
      e. End Table – $450
      f. Coffee or 48″ Conference Table – $675
    5. Other furniture purchases under $5000-The University has the option to purchase from non-contract vendors provided the cost is below $5000.
    6. Portable room partitions are walls or dividers that are a substitute for standard walls. They are usually sold by furniture suppliers and can be wired for electrical/computer/telephone. Partitions meeting any of the following conditions will be treated as real property, will require adherence to normal administrative approval rules, and will require a UF Planning Design & Construction (PDC) project number. A project request should be submitted through the PDC Project Request portal, This includes partitions that:
      a. Impact Fire and Safety Codes in any way including fire sprinkler system/sprinkler locations and fire egress.
      b. Are directly wired to the building for electricity (have a power panel) and/or telephone, data and video.
      c. Exceed 72 inches in height.
      d. Impact the existing lighting or the space to be partitioned.
      e. Attach to or about two or more existing walls.
      f. Exceed 20 total linear feet.
      g. Have doors.
      h. Will affect the room numbering scheme.
      i. All locks must be compatible with applicable master keying for the facility in which the partition is installed.
      j. Partitions and partition installations must meet all fire, construction, and life safety codes.
  5. Trade in of University Owned Property
    1. No University property may be removed or disposed of without first obtaining the approval of Asset Management Services.
    2. Departments wishing to trade in equipment must submit a requisition for the commodity to be purchased and include the following information about the equipment to be traded: noun name, model number, serial number, and UF decal number. An approved “Report of Survey” form authorizing disposal by trade-in should be sent to Asset Management Services.
    3. Departments should include price quotes to reflect the trade-in price is of market value
    4. University Property Services will hold the Report of Survey until the new item is received and will process the trade-in when the new item is put on the Property Master File.
    5. To determine the appropriate bid/quote level requirements involving trade-in property, the value of the trade-in property and the price of any new equipment is combined together (not deducted) to calculate the net total value of the transaction.
  6. Motor Vehicles – see UF Regulation 3.020 and
    1. the Procurement website for additional information on vehicle purchases. This directive applies to all automobile and truck vehicles including used vehicles. Research vehicles may be granted an exemption by the Division of Sponsored Research if the cost differential or lead time would negatively impact research.
    2. Operators of the following vehicles are required to complete training:
      a. 15 Passenger Vans
      b. Agricultural Farm Equipment
      c. Agricultural Tractors
  7. Radioactive Materials and Radiation Emanating Equipment
    Radioactive materials and radiation emanating equipment (lasers and X-rays) are controlled by the University’s Radiation Control Office (RCO) at Environmental Health and Safety. Approvals for the purchase of radioactive materials and radiation emanating equipment must be received by the RCO in advance. Only the RCO may receive and transport radioactive substances. The using department must comply with all University guidelines and directives regarding the safety, storage and disposal of these materials.
  8. Controlled Substances
    Controlled substances may be ordered by licensed personnel and should provide the license number  on the requisition to Procurement Services. The using department must comply with all University guidelines and directives regarding the safety, storage and disposal of these materials.
  9. Live Animals
    Live animals should only be ordered with the approval of the Department of Animal Care Services. The using department must comply with all guidelines, directives and laws regarding the safety, and handling of live animals.
  10. Hazardous Materials and Equipment
    1. All hazardous supplies, equipment and services are controlled by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and must be approved by them prior to purchase. These include:
      All renovation and construction

      Air purifying respirators

      Anaerobic chamber

      Asbestos decontamination or removal

      Autoclave and sterilizer

      Autopsy supplies and equipment


      Bench top fume collection cabinets

      Biological safety cabinets

      Boilers & pressure vessels

      Bulk storage tanks

      Cleaning of kitchen exhaust systems

      Compressed gas cabinets

      Disaster recovery services

      Dioxins and Tri-, Tetra- and Pentachlorophenol

      Electron Microscopes

      Environmental growth chamber

      Explosives and fireworks

      Eyewash stations and safety showers

      Fall protection devices (harnesses & lanyards)

      Firefighting equipment

      Fire suppression systems

      Food service equipment

      Fume hoods


      Hazardous waste disposal

      Ice machines

      Isolation glove chamber

      Gas chromatographs

      Kitchen cooking appliances

      Kitchen exhaust systems

      Lab oven or furnace

      Lab vectors


      Liquid scintillation counter

      Microwave ovens for labs

      Ozone generators

      Personal monitoring or detection equipment (confined space meters, gas meters, survey meters and dosimeters, etc.)

      Portable air cleaning devices

      Radioactive materials

      Refrigerators & freezers for lab use

      Repair of equipment that is required to be sent off campus (certification of cleaning and decontamination will be required)

      Self-contained breathing apparatus

      Tank and Cylinder and accessories


      Used lab equipment (certification of cleaning and decontamination will be required prior to arrival at UF)


      Walk in refrigerator or cold-room

      X-ray machines

    2.  The using department must comply with all University guidelines and directives regarding the safety, storage and disposal of hazardous materials (“Hazmat”).
  11. Moving Expenses – see Procurement Website – Moving Made Simple
  12. Cellular Telephones
    See the Cell Phone and Wireless Communication Device Directive.
  13. DSL or Cable Internet Connections in Personal Residences
    DSL or cable internet connection at a personal residence constitutes an employee perquisite and should be processed as such through the Division of Human Resources. Please see the HR website at for complete instructions on perquisites.
  14. General Safety Supplies, Equipment and Services
    All general safety supplies, equipment and services need prior approval by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) before purchase. They include:

    • Defibrillator or AED’s
    • Ergonomic support aids
    • Respiratory dust masks
    • Insurance

14. Leases (revised 1/15/21)

  1. Equipment Leases
    1. Leases, including month to month leases and all other leases of equipment regardless of the period of time, are subject to the review and approval of Procurement Services.
    2. Interest on leases or deferred payment commodity contracts is defined as a commodity and is subject to the bid requirements if the interest exceeds $75,000 over the term. Procurement Services may also request competitive quotes on lease rates and terms.
    3. Requesting Department’s Responsibilities The requesting department shall be responsible for submitting a requisition for the lease or installment purchase of equipment to Procurement Services with the following information:
      a. Equipment specifications,
      b. Original agreement with all the terms and conditions
      c. Lease versus purchase cost analysis,
      d. A statement from the Department Chair, Dean, or appropriate Vice President guaranteeing that funds will be provided during the entire term of the lease.
    4. The lease of equipment is subject to the Procurement and bid procedures contained herein. All leases shall contain a cancellation clause, and an availability of funds clause. Leases may contain renewal options, if appropriate. Leases of equipment are generally of three types:
      a. Lease with no provisions
      b. Lease with purchase option credits – provides for a percentage of monthly lease payments to be applied toward purchase in the event the option to purchase is exercised. Lease payments normally include maintenance.
      c. Installment Lease Purchase (No leasing provisions included) – provides for the title and ownership to the University upon installation. The acquisition is made over a period of time, such as 48 months, by monthly payments. Maintenance is extra and, if required, is another line item on the requisition. A copy of all back-up documents with the purchase order number indicated must be forwarded to Property Accounting.
    5. Consolidated Equipment Financing Program (CEFP) Lease Agreements – CEFP participation must be approved by the Florida Board of Governors prior to participation. Procurement Services may submit requests for lease purchase agreements to be financed under the CEFP in the Department of Financial Services. Upon receipt of approval by the CEFP, department will submit a zero amount requisition to the supplier furnishing the equipment with required financing language.
  2. Real Property Leases (revised: 6/10/22)
    Leases of real property, office, and warehouse space require advanced review and approval from The Office of Real Estate.

15. Construction


  1. By definition, minor projects are those building projects in which basic construction costs are estimated to be $2,000,000 or less. Major Projects are those building projects that are estimated to be more than $2,000,000.
  2. A University of Florida Project Number is required for new construction, interior design, renovations and remodeling. Renovations and remodeling includes, but is not limited to, painting, flooring, window treatments, adding/removing walls, changing room function, and modifying, adding, or removing utilities.
    1. All project requests (except IFAS and Housing – see 4. and 5. below) are handled by Planning Design and Construction. A project number can be obtained by submitting a project request at:
    2. IFAS requests are handled by IFAS Facilities Planning and Operations:
    3. Housing requests are handled by Housing Maintenance:
  3. If a Project Number has been assigned and the project is to be awarded to an outside contractor through an Invitation to Bid, an email should be submitted to Procurement Services with drawings and specifications attached.
    1. Drawings and specifications must be clear and inclusive for bidding purposes. If inadequate for bidding purposes, Procurement Services will work with the Project Manager to ready the drawings and specifications for bidding.
  4. If a Project Number has been assigned and the project is to be awarded to a contractor covered by a publicly solicited contract (UF or adopted), or appropriate quotes have been obtained, a requisition should be submitted with quote(s) attached. If awarding based on a publicly solicited contract, the quote should reference the contract number.
  5. Performance and Payment Bonds and Certificates of Insurance:
    1. The awarded contractor must additionally furnish a performance and payment bond as a security for faithful performance on contracts over $200,000 per Florida Statue 255.05. Contracts of less than $200,000 but more than $100,000 may require a payment and performance bond at the discretion of the Chief Procurement Officer. Contracts of less than $100,000 do not require a payment and performance bond. When required, surety of such bond shall be in an amount equal to the contract. The attorney-in-fact who signs the bond must file with the bond a certificate and effective dated copy of power of attorney. Performance and payment bonds must be recorded in the county in which the work is to take place. Bonds will be accepted only from bonding companies licensed to do business in the State of Florida.
    2. The awarded contractor must also furnish an Insurance Certificate covering workers’ compensation, general liability, and auto liability and, if required, builders risk insurance. University of Florida Board of Trustees must be named “additional insured” on the general liability and auto liability policies.
  6. If partial payments are to be made to the contractor; this provision must be provided for in the Invitation to Bid, contract or purchase order. Partial payments are accomplished by the completion of a Partial Payment Invoice. Partial payments will be coordinated with the facilities office the work is being provided for.
  7. Acquisition of Professional and Design/Build Services:
    The acquisition of Professional and Design/Build services are covered under University of Florida Regulations 6C1-3.070.
  8. Acquisition of Construction Management Services:
    The acquisition of Construction Management Services is covered under University of Florida Regulations 6C1-3.071.
  9. Construction Contract Bidding and Award (Contractor):
    The award of construction contract bidding is covered under University of Florida Regulations 6C1-3.072.
  10. Bid Protests (Contractor Only):
    The protest of construction contract bidding is covered under University of Florida Regulations 6C1-3.073.
  11. Evaluations of Professional Service Providers (including Architects and Engineers), Design/Builders, Construction Managers and Contractor; Disqualification Procedure:
    The evaluation of Professional Service Providers, Design/Builders, Construction Managers and Contractor; Disqualification Procedure is covered under University of Florida Regulations 6C1-3.074.
  12. Procedures for Payment under Unbonded Construction Projects:
    The procedures for Payment under Unbonded Construction Projects is covered under University of Florida Regulations 6C1-3.075.
  13. Procedures to Contract for Construction Services:
    The procedures for contracting for construction services is covered under University of Florida Regulations 6C1-3.076

16. Sustainable Procurement

  • Purpose
    • The purpose of this policy is to support campus sustainability at the University of Florida and to provide guidelines, information, and resources in procuring products that will minimize negative impacts on society and the environment to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Responsibilities of Departments
    • Develop and maintain information about environmentally and socially preferable products. Departments should use the list composed in this document as a guideline and may add or modify the list as needed.
    • Inform employees of their responsibilities under this policy; provide them with information about sustainable procurement opportunities. Check the Procurement web page for frequent updates on vendor commitments to sustainability, including new annual contracts and participation in vendor shows.
    • Submit new ideas, problems or concerns to Procurement (352) 392-1331 or e-mail
  • Best Practices and Procurement Strategies
    • Reduce waste at the point of purchase.
      Faculty, staff and students can help achieve the university’s waste reduction goals by practicing the three R’s: reducing, reusing, and recycling. Priority should be given to reducing waste upstream by purchasing products made from recycled material that can be reused or recycled.
      • Office paper, letterhead stationery, envelopes, and business cards made from recycled paper
      • Office supplies
      • Recycled, remanufactured, or re-filled toner cartridges
      • Furniture made with a percentage of postconsumer or postindustrial material and/or FSC 50% certified wood to reduce disposal costs and waste, choose items that can be remanufactured, recycled, or composted. Many products made from recycled materials are available and are being included in the University of Florida contracts. Contract information is available from the Procurement website under contracts and UF Pricing.
    • Purchase durable and reusable goods.
      Using life-cycle cost analysis, rather than automatically choosing goods with the lowest purchase price, can help departments identify the best long-term value. Factor in a product’s estimated life span as well as its energy, maintenance, consumable supplies and disposal costs.
      • Consider durability and reparability of products prior to purchase.
      • Invest in goods with extended warranties. Conduct routine maintenance on products/equipment.
      • Save money and minimize waste by eliminating single-use items, such as non-rechargeable batteries, in favor of rechargeable batteries.
    • Lease and rent when appropriate.
      Consider an operating lease or rental rather than a purchase or capital lease. Lease and rental contracts give vendors the responsibility for the upkeep of goods such as computers and copiers, and for managing them at the end of their useful life. Businesses that lease equipment tend to manufacture more durable items, salvage reusable parts, refurbish, recycle, or donate used equipment that can no longer be leased. Renting is a cost-effective option for short-term equipment needs.
    • Specify product and packaging take-back.
      Increasingly, product vendors are offering to take back the products they sell when they become obsolete. By utilizing vendors who offer an Extended Product Responsibility (EPR) program, especially take-back, recycle, and disposal programs, departments are ensured equipment and products are disposed of properly whether recycled, donated, refurbished or disposed of without the added cost.
      • Other vendors will take back used items, such as carpeting and toner cartridges, when purchasers buy new products. For example, several carpet manufacturers have invested in sophisticated recycling facilities that turn old carpet into new carpet or other goods and toner cartridges are disposed of properly or sent to be recharged and sold at a lower cost.
      • Departments should require vendors to assume responsibility for some of their shipping materials, such as wooden pallets and excess packaging materials. When ordering large furniture or computer shipments request products ship blanket-wrapped or using reduced packing material.
    • Buy goods in bulk or concentrated form.
      This practice can significantly reduce the packaging associated with lower product quantities and save costs. Carefully estimate demand when purchasing in bulk; purchasing more than is needed can create excess that becomes waste.
    • Manage surplus effectively.
      Clean out your office supply cabinet and post re-usable items for UF Departments on the Property Listserv (you need to be subscribed to post) or donate to local non-profit organizations such as Alachua County’s Tools for Schools. Departments should utilize Asset Management Services for disposing of unwanted, outdated property. Asset Management will effectively redistribute, recycle, or dispose of surplus property by bidding it out over the Internet through surplus on-line bids, police auctions, property warehouse, or federal warehouse. For more information see Asset Management Services Web Site:
    • Procure commodities that are certified to meet sustainability standards.
    • Procure remanufactured goods and use refurbishing services.
      It is generally much less expensive to buy remanufactured goods such as remanufactured toner cartridges, or to use refurbishing services for computer upgrades, carpet repair, and furniture reupholster, than to buy new items. “Recharged” toner cartridges typically save departments 30 to 50 percent per sheet of paper. Remanufactured items should require no sacrifice in performance. Check with Procurement for current contracts in place for remanufactured products.
    • Purchase goods containing fewer toxic constituents.
      By procuring goods with fewer or no toxic chemicals, departments can reduce their hazardous waste disposal, future liability concerns, and the risk of occupational exposure and spills. Low-toxicity products such as mercury-free medical supplies, low mercury light bulbs/lamps with a content of 90 picograms per lumen-hour or less, printing ink low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and chrome and chlorine free cleaning supplies are increasingly available and cost-competitive. See the Cross-sector certifications to help selecting products. The University prefers all cleaning products purchased are either Green Seal or EcoLogo certified.
    • Reduce paper use.
      Set all printers, copiers, and fax machines to the default duplex mode if the function is available.
      • Purchase office equipment that has duplex capability.
      • Purchase paper with recycled content
      • Utilize technology to send and store information electronically.
      • Utilize internet fax when available.
      • E-mail document files instead of faxing hardcopies.
      • Instead of having forms preprinted and stored, fill out forms online and print as needed when available and feasible.
      • Store documents electronically instead of storing hard copies.
  • Current Guidelines in Place
    • All University of Florida personnel will purchase recycled and environmentally preferable products whenever practicable.
    • University of Florida Departments will purchase hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles.
    • The University of Florida will have a recycle container available within a reasonable distance of soda machines and in all dining establishments where canned or bottled drinks are served: Contact Physical Plant’s Solid Waste Coordinator at 392-7396 or 392-1148 x 301.
    • University of Florida should promote the use of recycled and other environmentally preferable products by publicizing its sustainable procurement program. Materials produced for advertising, conferences, trade fairs, press releases, and other communications with clients and citizens can make reference to the University of Florida’s commitment and leadership in the use of recycled and environmentally/socially preferable products.
    • The University Procurement and Disbursements Department will make every effort to secure contracts with vendors that are socially and environmentally conscientious, and certified green whenever practicable.
  • Procurement and UF’s Zero Waste Goal
  • Environmentally Preferable Procurement (EPP) Resources
    • Resources:
      • EPA’s EPP Web Site (
      • EPPNet (
      • INFORM (
      • Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (
    • Examples of environmentally preferred products:
      • Recycled paper and paper products
      • Remanufactured laser printer toner cartridges
      • Energy Star Rated computers and appliances
      • Rechargeable batteries
      • Re-refined lubrication, hydraulic oils, and antifreeze
      • Recycled plastic outdoor-wood substitutes including plastic lumber, benches, fencing, signs and posts
      • Recycled content construction, building and maintenance products, including plastic lumber, carpet, tiles and insulation
      • Re-crushed cement concrete aggregate and asphalt
      • Cement and asphalt concrete containing glass cullet, recycled fiber, plastic, tire rubber, or fly ash
      • Compost, mulch, and other organics including recycled biosolid products
      • Re-manufactured and/or low or VOC-free paint
      • Cleaning products with lowered toxicity
      • Energy saving products
      • Waste-reducing products
      • Water-saving products
  • Socially Responsible/Ethical Procurement Standards
    • In demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and seeking to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for the people who make products for the University of Florida, purchasers should strive to ensure that the products they purchase meet International Labor Organization (ILO) manufacturing standards and Fair Trade Labeling standards. Learn more about the importance of ethical purchasing:
      • Verité (
      • Workers Rights Consortium (
      • Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (
  • Glossary
    • Environmentally Preferable Products are products that have a lesser impact on human health and the environment when compared with competing products. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product.
    • Green Procurement means purchasers take into consideration the environmental impact of products when making purchasing decisions, giving preference to more environmentally friendly products when quality and price are equal or superior.
    • Recycled Products are products manufactured with waste material that has been recovered or diverted from solid waste. Recycled material may be derived from post-consumer waste (material that has served its intended end-use and been discarded by a final consumer), industrial scrap, manufacturing waste, or other waste that would otherwise have been wasted.
    • Sustainability means meeting today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.
    • Waste Prevention means any action undertaken by an individual or organization to eliminate or reduce the amount or toxicity of materials before they enter the municipal solid waste stream. This action is intended to conserve resources, promote efficiency, and reduce pollution.
    • Reuse means repairing what is broken or giving it to someone who can repair it or use it in its current state.
    • Reduce means using less of products and utilizing other means of doing business when available to reduce the amount and toxicity of trash discarded.
    • Recycle means to reprocess and reuse used material.
    • Life Cycle Evaluation is an evaluation of the major environmental impacts in each life-cycle stage of a product category including resource extraction, production, distribution, use, and eventual disposal or recycling. The evaluation considers energy, resource use, and emissions to air, water, and land, as well as other environmental and health impacts. The purpose of this evaluation is to identify significant life-cycle stages to be addressed.
    • Life Cycle Cost Analysis is an economic evaluation technique that determines the total cost of owning and operating a building or equipment.
    • Rechargeable means to replenish the amount of electric power in something, especially a battery.
    • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is vendors taking on the responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products through the entire product’s life cycle; especially the take-back, recycle, and disposal programs.
    • Leasing is a legal rental contract allowing somebody exclusive possession of another’s property for a specific time in return for a payment.
    • Certification an official document or seal providing evidence and details of something that is authentic and verified by a third party.
  • Exemptions
    • Nothing in this directive should be construed as requiring the purchase of products that do not perform adequately or are not available at a reasonable price.

Revised 10/10/23