Sustainability Code of Conduct for Vendors

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to operating as an environmentally responsible entity. We are committed to minimizing the effects our institution has on the environment with methods that are socially responsible, economically sound, and scientifically based.

Environmental Management

As Washington University makes progress on minimizing our own environmental footprint, we value vendors that create, innovate and implement effective policies and activities in the following areas:

  • Waste reduction and lower lifecycle impacts
  • Energy and water efficiency
  • Reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Preserve and support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems
  • Minimizing toxic chemicals, substituting and eliminating them where possible
  • Stewardship of product lifecycle
  • Human rights, racial equity, and supplier diversity

In doing business with Washington University, we will expect vendors to adhere to a certain Environmentally-Friendly Packaging (EFP) process when shipping products to WU as described below:

  1. EFP consists of the following:
    • Prioritize durable, reusable shipping materials that are reclaimed and reused by the vendor.
    • Reduce packaging where possible.
    • Eliminate foam packaging where possible.
    • Utilize readily-recyclable and compostable packaging materials where possible.
  2. Vendors should uncrate and remove shipping materials where possible, including pallets and disposable, recyclable, or reusable packaging materials.
  3. Vendors should employ logistically efficient routes for delivering products.
Safe and Healthy Workplace

Washington University recognizes and values the contributions made by employees of contractors providing basic services to the university community. Accordingly, the university has adopted the following principles and guidelines for assuring that its contractors secure the welfare of their employees through competitive compensation and honorable workplace practices. To that end, Washington University will abide by the following principles:

  1. Select contractors that embrace and advance the mission of Washington University as a leading and improving research university.
  2. Select contractors that will encourage and participate in the university’s Supplier Diversity Initiative to encourage women- and minority-owned businesses and women and minority workers.
  3. Select contractors that demonstrate a commitment to providing a safe and respectful working environment for their employees.
  4. Select contractors are committed to ensuring that all company programs, employment decisions, and personnel actions are administered in conformance with the principles of equal employment opportunity.
  5. Select contractors with leaders who recognize the value of their employees, demonstrated by a commitment to providing appropriate training for the work to be accomplished and a working environment free from harassment and unlawful discrimination.
  6. Select contractors that will pay their employees’ wages and benefits that are competitive in the St. Louis market.
  7. Treat contractor employees with respect and dignity.
  8. Protect the best interests of contractor employees, to the extent possible and prudent, when the business decision is made to change contractor relationships.

These principles are not intended to conflict with or supersede the terms, conditions, or provisions of any collective bargaining agreement. A copy of these principles and guidelines shall accompany all Requests for Proposals.

In order to implement our principles and guidelines, the following terms and conditions are to be incorporated into Requests for Proposals and written agreements with contractors to provide basic services to the university community that requires contractor employees to be on campus on a regular and ongoing basis. These principles and guidelines shall apply to those contract employees who are “regular” employees of contractors, who are providing the services subject to the agreement between the university and the contractor, and who are not represented under a collective bargaining agreement.

  1. The contractor will recruit, hire, train and promote its employees working at Washington University based upon their qualifications, in compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and without regard to race, color, national origin, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status. The contractor will provide its employees working at Washington University with a working environment free from harassment and unlawful discrimination.
  2. The contractor will treat all of its employees working at Washington University with respect and dignity.
  3. The contractor will certify that all of its employees working at Washington University have been trained and are proficient in the safe use of any equipment and supplies utilized on the job.
  4. In order to foster a safe and efficient work environment, a contractor will communicate its policies and material work instructions to its employees working at Washington University in a clear and effective manner that takes into consideration any communication barriers of those employees.
  5. Washington University will give contractor employees working at the university the opportunity to attend classes in English-as-a-second-language during non-working hours at no cost to the contractor or its employees.
  6. No contractor employees working at Washington University, as a condition of employment with a contractor, will be required to enter into any agreement that would restrict those employees’ ability to seek or accept employment with any other university contractor.
  7. A contractor must provide reasonable access to health care for its full-time employees working at Washington University through health insurance or through some alternative arrangements.
  8. All contractor employees working at Washington University must have access to a fair grievance procedure. Contractor employees working at Washington University, who have followed that procedure and wish to appeal, may choose to present their grievances to a neutral and independent party (not a university employee and not a contractor employee) who will be available to hear the employees’ grievances and, if so requested by employees, to offer advice. Contractor employees working at Washington University who choose to present their grievances to this neutral and independent party will be required to provide their name and employer’s name. This will ensure payment (by Washington University) to the neutral and independent party for services rendered. The neutral and independent party will make the contractor’s senior officials and Washington University aware of each grievance heard unless the contractor’s employee requests that a report not be shared with his employer. The neutral and independent party will use its discretion, depending on the nature of a particular grievance, in determining whether or not to honor an employee’s request to refrain from sharing a report with the contractor. When the employee’s request that a report not be shared with the contractor is honored, only Washington University will receive the report of that grievance from the neutral and independent party. Washington University will determine whether or not discussing with contractor grievances is warranted depending in part on the frequency and nature of grievances.
  9. In the event of a change in contracted vendors, the incoming contractor will give qualified employees of the outgoing contractor priority in the hiring process. The contractor will not enter into agreements with its hourly employees or take any other action that would restrict the ability of those employees to seek or accept employment with any other university contractor.
  10. In cases where the basic services specified in the contract were, immediately prior to the contract, performed by university employees, the contractor will guarantee employment, for a specified period of time, to interested and qualified university employees.
  11. The contractor must provide the following information to Washington University:
    • The number of unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board in the past three years.
    • When the charges were filed.
    • Where the charges were filed.
    • What the charges were.
    • What the dispositions of the charges were.
  12. The university and the contractor will meet at least annually to review issues concerning the contract, including wages and benefits, employee performance and satisfaction, turnover, grievances, and related issues. The contractor will provide the university with all information that the university contract administrator reasonably deems necessary to make such a review.
  13. The university reserves the right to terminate the contract if the university determines that the contractor is not complying with the terms and conditions of the contract. The contractor will provide to the university any information that the university contract administrator reasonably deems necessary to make such a determination.