Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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Green Purchasing and you

going greenBeing Green is a large movement in households as well as businesses. We are switching our  light bulbs, recycling, shopping with reusable bags and buying local to reduce on the use of fossil fuels. Of course people want the environment protected for future generations. However, it sometimes is not that simple. In these tough economic times, it is difficult to take on the green movement if it is more expensive.

One organization I know prides themselves on building LEEDS certified locations. They utilize that as a marketing tools and their customers feel good about working with them. Another organization worked very hard to categorize all their opportunities for their customers to work with them on green projects, and the effort fell flat.  Why was one so successful and the other not at all?

That is why when I came across this article Ten Steps to Green Procurement I said FINALLY!! Someone can help with the basics and help procurement associates understand some of the stepping stones and obstacles with green procurement.

Clearly there has to be support from the "C" level in order to make this fly. There is a learning curve and working with different product and suppliers and all of that is not easy.

One warning that I have heard is to be careful of 'green' washing. Some organizations try to pretend they are using green procurement and recycled products when they are not either certified or actually implementing those practices. They are trying to make their customer feel good and be guilt free about that purchase.Like anything else, it can backfire on you and cause damage to your company's image.

There are awards for companies that truly succeed in going green. One that really surprised me was the Empire State Building in New York City. The US EPA published their 2011 Award Winners and the 102 story office building won the award for the largest procurement of green energy. Their energy is 100% renewable energy! They have a marketing campaign that displays right onto Fifth Avenue! 

Which brings us to the question, what have you found is easy and doable right away towards green purchasing? Do you have any recommendations or insights? Has your company won any awards and if so, how did you do it? We are interested to know!! 

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Thursday, 19 October 2017