Vehicle Procurement Resources for the Purchasing of Sustainable University Vehicles

Columbia continues to make great strides adopting increasingly fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles for University operations as old vehicles retire. About 40% of Columbia vehicles are now hybrid-electric or 100% electric powered. Adopting fuel-efficient vehicles reduces the University’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contributes to the goals outlined in Columbia’s Sustainability Plan.

Columbia’s Vehicle Acquisition, Operation and Disposal Policy asks vehicle coordinators who purchase vehicles to consider environmental standards, including emissions, when purchasing or leasing vehicles. Schools and departments are requested to consider the acquisition of vehicles that afford the highest degree of sustainability.

This webpage lists resources and recommendations for Columbia members involved in the purchasing of vehicles for Columbia operations.

  1. Budget for the Purchase of Increasingly Sustainable Fleet Vehicles

It is recommended fleet managers allow at least 10% extra budget over the default replacement vehicle for the purchase of a more sustainable vehicle option. Fleet managers are invited to contact Columbia’s Office of Sustainability to be alerted about possible government funding resources for the adoption of sustainable vehicles.

  1. Research Sustainable Fleet Vehicle Options

Consult the Greener Cars online rating tool to rank vehicles by type and their sustainability score: The Greener Cars rating tool considers fuel economy and the lifecycle of the vehicle to give the vehicle an overall sustainability score. Contact the Office of Sustainability office for assistance searching for sustainable vehicle alternatives and industry information including vehicle upfitting options.

  1. Research Available Government Subsidies for the Purchase of Vehicles

Often there are State and Federal rebate programs available that support sustainable vehicle options such as 100% electric vehicles, charging stations, and more. For assistance with searching for government rebate opportunities, contact the Office of Sustainability at [email protected].

  1. Prepare a List of Vehicle Options and Obtain Various Local Quotes

Outline the most sustainable option within budget (a minimum of 10% more than the replacement cost) and also the most sustainable option(s) outside of the budget.

  1. Seek Approval for the Most Sustainable Vehicle Option

Seek financial approval from your senior administrator for the most sustainable vehicle possible. If cost is a deterrent from purchasing a more sustainable vehicle, contact Columbia’s Office of Sustainability to explore possible funding alternatives.

For assistance or more information on any of the above, contact the Office of Sustainability at [email protected].