A timely repost on getting started with environmental procurement processes.

April 16th, 2010

How might retailers begin to support environmentally focused e-procurement.

This blog has discussed a variety of e-procurement issues from quality category discovery to safety certification adherence over the last several months. Recently I was asked by a medium sized retailer where they might begin or how to get started in becoming more eco-friendly in their e-procurement practices.

There are certainly a lot of potential answers to this question that might include beginning by defining what their company means by being more eco-friendly or what specifically they are hoping to accomplish with this initiative.

There are several environmental focus areas that can be easily integrated into a company?s buying decisions without to much difficulty. In fact much of the data can be provided by suppliers as part of a simple RFI process and supported in a detailed product specification. The following list is intended to offer some guidance or points of reference in developing a plan.

1. Evaluate the environmental performance of incumbent suppliers
2. Support eco-labeling on products,
3. Develop a list of corporate environmental requirements you support
4. Develop a list of environmental regulatory requirements you are required to support
5. Publish this inforamtion with all pre event supplier instructions
6. Require service and systems providers to provide an analysis of the environmental impact of their delivery model
7. Ask suppliers to provide pricing on an environmentally focused equivalent or alternative to the current product specification within pricing guidelines
8. Jointly raise the awareness of environmental issues that affect procurement by providing relevant information and training to internal staff and suppliers
9. Review your state, province and regional environmental policies as they apply to your business
10. Publish the goals of your environmental program in the reception area and in each buyer or category manager?s office space in clear view.

There are certainly other areas not included in this list, but these are a good starting point.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

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