enhancing the ethical and sustainable framework of ucla’s promotional product supply chains

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Sustainable Purchasing Blog Post: April 19, 2019

Familiarization of Department and Licensee Sustainable Habits

By: Ryan Hallman, Stephanie Hauschildt, Gabriel Hernandez, Corbin Kehrberg, Ayahna Mack, & Monica Portillo.

Our stakeholder Cynthia Holmes distributed both the Department and Licensee surveys we created to their respective parties over Spring Break. With the responses we received, we hoped to understand the sustainability related goals of both parties. While we did not receive the amount of responses we were hoping for, we went ahead with our data analysis.


We had a 10% response rate from the Departments, giving us a sample size of 30. Of the departments that responded, we found that 63% are willing to switch to a similar, more sustainably produced promotional product and are willing to spend up to 30% more on said product. With this in mind, we can better identify products that are both sustainable and fit the desired price point of the departments. The survey also gave us insight on  the sustainable practices already being implemented within various UCLA Departments. Some of these efforts include opting to use biodegradable and reusable items in their offices and events they host.


The most interesting piece of information we received was a response that said “once we know better, we can do better.” Most department staff do not have the time to do sustainability research and they need more guidance on which vendor is both affordable and prioritizes sustainability. Based on this response, we assume that some departments would consider to be more sustainably conscious if they had more information on suppliers. This goes to show how reaching out and providing information can be a huge influence on their purchasing decisions and how a list of sustainable vendor options would be useful and make it easy for staff to utilize.


Six of the eight current licensees responded to our licensee survey, and we found that sustainability and ethicality influence their procurement of materials and resources because sustainability is important to their companies. Some companies even have a position entirely dedicated to finding the most sustainable and ethical materials for production. With a follow-up survey to the licensees, we aim to refine our project scope toward defined sustainability metrics. Our team will use the UC Sustainability Goals as a framework to draft survey questions. With these responses, our team will establish which licensees are preferred in terms of sustainability.


With this data, we plan to host a presentation for UCLA departments and any other campus stakeholders to show them our findings as well as other recommendations we have to help them be more sustainable. We also hope to have them fill out a follow-up survey to refine our data analysis.


sustainable purchasing blog post: april 19, 2018

These are the current sustainable efforts being implemented by UCLA Departments.