Procurement Services

Iowa State University Procurement Services is committed to continuous improvement in procuring environmentally-preferable products, promoting sustainable practices, and managing energy consumption, while fully supporting the university's mission to create, share and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place. 

Procurement Services achieves its mission and supports ISU's work toward a sustainable future by dedication to excellence and highest ethical standards in achieving the following goals:

  • Implementing sustainable strategies that promote Iowa State as an environmental leader
  • Implementing enhanced administrative systems and strengthening business processes to support the planned growth in research, international programs and entrepreneurial activities
  • Incorporating life cycle and total value cost principles in making strategic decisions, and 
  • Encouraging utilization and development of businesses owned by socially-disadvantaged groups.
  • Procurement Services has created a sustainability committee to brainstorm and enact new policies and procedures to enhance Iowa State University’s sustainability footprint. The committee attempts to collaborate between commodity areas to find ways to reduce waste and cost as well as utilizing other university areas to impact ISU’s sustainability bottom line.

Procurement Services participates in Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), or Green Purchasing. This is the procurement of products and services that have a reduced effect on human health and the environment, when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may include considerations such as raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance or disposal of the product or service. 

Procurement Services strives to manage its transactions in a sustainable and responsible way, seeking to do business with suppliers who share concerns for, and commitment to, sustainable business practices.

In addition, procurement policies are in place at Iowa State that prioritize the consideration of energy efficiency, recycled content and non-disposable materials, local products, green cleaning items and a commitment to paperless procurement that has provided a significant reduction in the number of checks written and invoices and purchase orders processed, as well as postage expenditures.

"One of the biggest changes from when I started in Procurement to now is in the questions we ask, especially to big suppliers: 'What are you doing to help the environment that we can be involved in?' We wouldn't ask that question 20 years ago, it just wasn't on our minds. But that's now one of the standard questions when we bring in our contractors. 'What initiatives do you have that we're not taking advantage of? Is it consolidating shipments? Reducing packaging? Only ordering once a week? Using online resources versus walking into the store?'"

-Cory Harms, Chief Procurement Officer and Director of Procurement Services