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Procurement comprises a significant portion of UW’s spending. With its purchasing decisions UW can endorse suppliers who are practicing sustainability; we aspire to have 100% of them aligned with our Supplier Code of Conduct. We are quickly working to incorporate students’ voices in purchasing decisions. As we work with campus units and departments to develop equitable purchasing targets, we will follow the state’s goals for minority- women- and veteran-owned businesses under the Results Washington strategic framework.

Status updates

FY2023 progress

Target actions for Fiscal Year 2023

  • Explore integration of sustainability goals into Workday as part of Financial Transformation
  • Create UW supplier diversity training and roll out to campus

Explore integration of sustainability goals into Workday as part of Financial Transformation
The Financial Transformation process was a major multi-year undertaking for the University of Washington, and leading up to the official launch in July 2023 there was a lot of last-minute testing and work to ensure a relatively smooth transition. As part of that, the main focus regarding sustainability was to ensure continuity for users and ensure features available in Ariba continued to be available in Workday. The main focus was making sure users would be able to search for sustainable products and suppliers, as well as showing sustainable catalog suppliers.

There remain continued challenges around the procurement process in Workday after the Financial Transformation, and many UW procurement systems remain in transition. As these challenges are worked out, UW will continue to look for opportunities to better integrate sustainability into the procurement process.

Create UW supplier diversity training and roll out to campus
As a response to the Washington State Executive Order for Equity in Public Contracting signed in early 2022, the state of Washington created an online training and toolkit for employees.  All UW employees in a procurement or contracting role are required to complete the training. This effort is complete, and the training will support supplier diversity efforts in Washington State and potentially increase spending with small, veteran and minority-and women-owned businesses.

In addition, Business Diversity & Equity has been working with finance and procurement leaders across the University to discuss setting department-level spending goals to align with the UW’s Diversity Blueprint. Department purchasing and finance leads were identified, and meetings held with 100% of UW departments. These meetings informed the department contacts about UW’s diversity spending goals, what information is presented annually to the Board of Regents, and broke down the departments’ specific spending numbers to show their level of purchasing (as both a total dollar amount and percentage of total spend) with small and minority-owned businesses.

FY 2022 progress

Target actions for Fiscal Year 2022

  • Campus awareness related to supplier diversity
  • Implement a Supplier Code of Conduct

The UW was recognized for its efforts with the 2022 Jesse L. Moore Supplier Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. This award is a national recognition honoring colleges and universities that take proactive steps to support and engage with minority-owned businesses through supplier diversity offices, unique programs, and leading initiatives. The 10 recipients were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on their efforts to engage and retain suppliers from underrepresented groups.

Over the past year, Procurement Services developed a Supplier Diversity Guide, including information about the importance of using diverse suppliers as well as tools to locate suppliers. The guide was used in presentations to several UW departments, and will be used during future campus outreach visits. In February 2022, Procurement Services also hosted a forum for campus departments where information on supplier diversity was presented. The office is also in the process of developing a Supplier Diversity Training for University employees, in partnership with the State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises.

Procurement Services utilized student internships to help promote supplier diversity efforts. Students completed a proposal to implement a Supplier Diversity Pledge, began tracking Supplier Code of Conduct acceptance, and researched small, local, and diverse caterers to expand the pool of companies approved for use by campus departments.

Previous status reports

Target metrics

Metrics tracking the progress toward this target will be posted here when available.

Guiding principles of this target