We were on vacation a few years ago in San Francisco. As we sat on the beach, we could not get over how many container ships were arriving and passing under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was certainly a testimony to our global economy and how the business world is getting smaller all the time.
We have a local farm stand nearby and we frequent them in the summer. They sell local eggs, produce and flowers. One unique aspect is that people will return their egg cartons to them and the farm refills them for the next customer. It is a great system and in a small way, they are practicing their own version of CSR.
It is not unusual for me to get an email from a colleague asking me to read an article or post and then share my two cents. It is unusual that following through on such a request would take me on the wild ride that it did this week.
Let me retrace the steps – starting at the very beginning…
We have done some travel via train. I don’t mean commuting trains to work or into a major city. I think the longest distance was about 400 miles. It was so relaxing and we loved it. Some day we may even do a multi-day trip with a sleeper car like in the movies!
One of my favorite movies is The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews. The song Do-Re-Mi has a verse that states ‘Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start’. That could be the approach for almost any project, including getting a CSR program started.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
- Peter Drucker
If we knew what the future held for procurement, we would undoubtedly change some of what we are doing today. Since is it impossible for any of us to be certain about the future, our best option is to form a vision for what we hope the future will hold and align our initiatives to that vision.
When our children were old enough to stay home without a baby sitter, they would light up the house like a beacon. We could come home and I think every light was on in the house. It was their security blanket at the time. It made us smile. From a carbon footprint perspective, it was a BIG FOOT on those evenings.
We make choices every day in relation to our health, our family, our community and our profession. Some choices are straight forward and easy to make. Many times there are areas of grey and that brings with it a measure of ambiguity.
Last month, Alun Rafique from Market Dojo and I co-wrote an article for Procurement Insights about Variables in the Adoption of Auctions. A discussion about the article really picked up steam in the ISM group on LinkedIn, and one of the questions posed in response was “Someone explain to me how a Reverse Auction is fair and equitable to the supplier..."
After considering that question carefully, Market Dojo published an article that asks a question in response: “Should Suppliers Still Fear eAuctions?” The article, which you can read here, takes an interesting look at the progression of auctions from carefully managed consultant resource, to part of an ERP system, to their somewhat questionable state today – in limbo in a world where procurement is driven to create as much value as savings. A third question in this discussion might be, are auctions still relevant?
There was a factory fire about 20 years ago in the Boston area. The owner, Aaron Feuerstein, continued to pay the workers until the factory was rebuilt. That was exceptional and unheard of in business. This remarkable story of Malden Mills was on CBS news at the time. Mr Feuerstein was referred to as a Mench – a person of integrity and honor.
Do you remember life before yellow sticky notes? Maybe you are too young. In one of my prior organizations, our note paper was old company newsletters that were cut into note paper blocks. You only use one side so it would not matter what was on the other side. There was nothing confidential so it was all good. It truly was scrap paper.
In our area, there are several fields that have been converted into solar farms with lots of solar panels. A good friend of mine has installed a solar panel at their home and actually sells excess electricity back to the utility companies. There is so much power from the sun.
How do you start a journey of a 1000 miles, - one step at a time!
I was at several airports this month and everyone is recycling. On the plane, they are separating the waste to improve the recycling opportunity. Clearly they have taken steps to do something to sustain the environment!
So how does that translate to your organization? This week’s eSourcing wiki is the first of several parts to discuss areas for going green.
IT – I know our town has certain days throughout the year to recycle IT equipment – old computers, cell phones and printers. However, the key is to think up front as your are doing the purchasing. Are they energy efficient, repairable as opposed to disposable, and highly recyclable?
This week we also discuss office supplies and office furniture as things to think about.
Has your organization conquered IT and office supplies as a way to be sustainable? Did you take a similar approach? What would you suggest? Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting @buyersmeetpoint