Environmentally friendly procurement. Are you just faking it?

October 27th, 2010

Who should be responsible for the products in your stores being safe and environmentally friendly?

We have posted before about companies that say they are environmentally friendly when they are not, or claim to have practices in place based on relationships with others that has nothing to do with their products or services. It’s called GREENWASHING. At some point companies will be held liable for what they offer.

I read several news papers daily. I know its old school and does not support protecting our forests, but I just like the feel of it. Am I green? Ok, I also admit to reading a lot of web based material so I am at least part way there. Now am I green?

Unfortunately in products, being part way there is not good enough if you claim you are all the way there. An article in the Arizona Republic today titled Report: 95% of ‘green ‘products not green by Wendy Koch of USA TODAY goes on to say that the Federal Trade Commission of FTC is proposing stricter advertising  rules to enforce accuracy.

Greenwashing defined means that claims a person or company is making relative to their eco-policies are misleading.

How does your e-procurement provider help you to insure that the products you are buying are safe and environmentally friendly? What certifications do they check for? Where does the information that is placed on the labels of your private label products come from? Do you check with the manufacturer to make sure it is true? Does your e-procurement provider help you? If you put a product on your shelves that claim to be environmentally friendly (they normally cost more) and they end up not being, are you liable for damages from your consumers?

Companies are making progress, but we don’t know what we don’t know unless we ask and the companies that help you source your products should also help you ask in the supplier vetting process.

Be careful out there.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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