Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Revised November 28, 2017

The University at Buffalo is committed to conducting its business affairs in a socially responsible, ethical and environmentally friendly manner consistent with its educational, research and service missions.

UB is committed to doing its part to ensure that its name and logo appear only on products we can be proud of, knowing where they were made and under what conditions. UB insists that all items with its name or marks reflect commitments to fair labor, workers rights and sustainability. All licensed suppliers using the university’s trademarks must abide by all New York State, SUNY and UB standards concerning sourcing.

UB is in compliance with New York State's sweatshop legislation (Chapter 350 of the Laws of 2002), amendments of 2003 and related State University (SUNY) policy.  In addition to the New York State and SUNY policies,  UB has its own Code of Conduct and holds membership in two monitoring organizations within the apparel industry - the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA).

WRC is a nonprofit organization of colleges and universities led by administrators, students and labor rights experts.  The FLA is a nonprofit organization created to help eliminate sweatshop practices and improve working conditions in factories around the world. 

The University at Buffalo has a long history of environmental stewardship, is working to achieve climate neutrality and is committed to creating a better future through sustainable practices.  We expect our business partners to share this sustainability commitment.  Licensees will strive to comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations and are also encouraged to abide by the three key principles on the environment that are set out in the United Nations Global Compact:

  1. Supporting a precautionary approach to environment change;
  2. Undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
  3. Encouraging the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

To demonstrate alignment with these principles, licensees are urged to use resources and materials that are sustainable, are capable of being recycled and reused and are utilized with a minimum of waste.  Where practicable, licensees also are to utilize low-carbon impact technologies that do not adversely affect the environment; and, when such impact is unavoidable, to ensure that it is minimized.

In support of New York State law and university policy, all bidders must certify compliance with fair labor conditions.  The University will not enter into a contract to purchase athletic apparel, uniforms, footwear and equipment with a bidder that is unable or unwilling to provide documentation: (a)  attesting that such apparel and/or equipment was manufactured in compliance with all applicable labor and occupational safety laws, including, but not limited to, child labor laws, wage and hour laws and workplace safety laws; (b) stating if known, the name and address of each subcontractor to be utilized; and (c)  stating, if known, all manufacturing plants utilized by the vendor or subcontractor.

Specific SUNY policies are located at: