As an institution with a lot of buying power, Macalester has committed itself to using purchasing as an avenue to prioritizing sustainability. Purchasing at Macalester is decentralized – different departments make their own independent purchasing decisions.
The Macalester Purchasing Office supports departments by providing them with the necessary information to make better purchasing choices through education about the importance of ethical purchasing and negotiating more sustainable procurement options.
The Purchasing Office, in conjunction with the MN Pollution Control Agency, has also worked on the creation of an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy Guidelines (EP3). This document guides the decentralized purchasing system at Macalester and ensures that Macalester’s purchases are socially, environmentally, and economically responsible.
Macalester Athletics purchases sweatshop-free and environmentally and socially responsible apparel for teams.
Particular spaces and departments have adopted refillable dry-erase markers such — an example of which are AusPens, made by a company founded upon values of sustainability. Traditional dry-erase markers are full of chemicals and are 100% MSW. Order AusPens for free from the Sustainability Office using the AusPen Order Form.
Macalester contracts with Bon Appétit, a nation-wide food service company, to operate food service facilities on campus. All Bon Appetit retail locations on campus feature compostable wares.
Bottled Water Ban
In 2011 Macalester instituted a ban on selling bottled water in vending machines, retail locations, and at athletic events.
In conjunction with the ban, automatic bottle filling stations have been installed throughout campus using funds from the Sustainability TEM budget.
This effort eliminates the sourcing of bottled water, prevents the used bottles from needing to be recycled, and keeps water local to its source.
Free water bottles can be found at the MacFreeSwap, a free exchange program located in the Kagin Commons where students and staff alike can both drop off unwanted materials and pick up items left there by other students or staff. More information on the Bottled Water Ban in the following:
Central Stores and Document Services
Since 2010, Macalester College Document Services and Central Stores purchases only 100% Recycled Paper. This switch should save an estimated 655 trees and 299,793 gallons of water annually.
Facilities Services Custodial
Facilities Services transitioned all custodial supplies to only those that are Green Seal Certified. This includes the non-toxic, chlorine-free chemicals as well as responsibly sourced paper products. The transition saves Macalester about $26,000 a year.
Highlander – The Shop at Macalester
Highlander – The Shop at Macalester, run by Follett, features sweatshop-free and environmentally and socially responsible apparel, school supplies from recycled content, cap and gown recycling, textbook rental and donation
Macalester College Student Government
At the beginning of Spring Semester 2015, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) removed the means by which student organizations could purchase non-compostable wares and made ordering compostable ones free to them and easier than ever before.
Worker’s Rights Consortium Standards
Macalester is a member of the Worker’s Rights Consortium which is an independent organization that monitors the labor practices of factories that produce apparel. As a member of WRC, Macalester annually sends labor Codes of Conduct to all of its apparel suppliers in order to confirm that our suppliers adhere to labor standards and do not use sweatshops.