by Housing Team
And we’re off! We started the week with some pertinent background research, with each of us analyzing the current University of California Sustainable Practices Policy as well as purchasing data from UCLA Housing. We found that the existing guidelines on “Environmentally Preferable Purchasing” are generally not quantified, and that the total percentage of green purchases made by Housing actually decreased from the 2011-2012 to the 2012-2013 school years. Moreover, we learned that Housing classifies a said purchase as “green” if it meets one of several third party certifications or some relatively nonspecific criteria that Housing created internally; there is no centralized system or set of criteria. With that in mind, we reevaluated the goals of our project and began to design a survey to gauge the opinions and awareness of Housing faculty with respect to current procurement guidelines. Following this discussion, we met with our stakeholder, Emma Sorrell, for her thoughts. We came out of the meeting feeling energized and productive: we got valuable feedback on our survey questions, a much clearer idea of the direction we want to take our project in, and, as a bonus, a pretty awesome stakeholder selfie. Looking ahead, we plan to analyze the criteria Housing currently uses to deem a purchase green, create a more comprehensive system of guidelines, and educate faculty members on the importance of sustainable purchasing, time permitting. We’re excited to see how this project progresses!