Are your community auditions green enough? ?Star of the day, who will it be? Your consumers vote will hold the key.

May 7th, 2009

This may date me, because I remember this show very well. ?Community Auditions? was a television talent show, which aired on Sunday mornings for 37 years. How doe these programs relate to companies environmental sourcing practices?

It?s really pretty simple; a vote still holds the key. This may not be a vote that consumers of retail companies cast at a polling place. It is more of a vote that consumers that care cast on behalf of a retail company at the checkout because of that companies every day actions to support the environment.

In a USA TODAY article titled Celebs use star power to spotlight pet causes by Seung Min Kim, actor Mathew Modine is quoted as saying that the spot light will quickly go away if you don?t walk the walk. Modine was referring to his charity Bicycle for a Day, which encourages people to improve the environment and their health. He goes on to say if you don?t practice what your preach people will turn their backs on you immediately.

This absolutely equates to how consumers increasingly are making their decisions where they shop. Websites can claim all kinds of green practices, but the proof is in the pudding so to speak as to how company?s individual programs support those claims.

In the procurement area, and in particular the e-negotiation process the question might be asked what specifically do companies do to insure that the products they are buying are safe for consumers and the environment?

It?s one thing to offer reusable bags at the checkout because your local government is promoting legislation to outlaw the use of plastic bags in your area. It is quite another thing to ask your supplier what alternatives they offer for greener bags, or a bag that is recyclable or their willingness to participate in helping you source reusable bags. It is one thing for companies that manufacture for retailers to buy lower cost ingredients to make their finished goods. It is quite another to make sample evaluation and plant or warehouse visits a required check mark on your category to market strategy.

Ask your e-negotiation provider how they hold suppliers accountable to safety and environmental standards and traceability. Ask them how easy this would be to include in your standard procurement process without adding to your work level .

Welook forward to and appreciate your comments.

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