What are the key points of sustainable procurement?

September 1st, 2011

Sustainable Procurement is more than just the environment.

Today’s post is by Danielle Begley an Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

Due to the effects of globalization, sustainable procurement practices remain an important and necessary process for business professionals.  When sustainability is mentioned, most think immediately of the environmental impacts such as climate change and biodiversity.  However, sustainability should consider not only environmental impacts but also the economic and social impacts of sustainability.  Social impacts of sustainability in the procurement world are those at times most neglected and those that can help developing countries continue to grow.

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) provides key points of social sustainability, which should adhere to international labor standards and policies.  Healthy work environments, minimum wage payments and a fair price for socially and environmentally sound work are a few points that are most important in developing countries that provide goods and services for developed countries.   Social impacts create more environmentally friendly trade and production practices, as well as strengthen the global economy.  Sustainable procurement must therefore encompass the environmental, economic and social impacts to be effective.

The procurement professional most importantly has a direct influence on how goods and services are purchased and as such impacts the social impacts of sustainability through free trade.   Globalization has made our world much smaller, and therefore more intertwined and reliant on shared resources.  Sustainability is a pivotal process in negating any potential negative environmental, economic or social impacts globalization may have caused.  Sustainable Procurement will create more socially and environmentally aware suppliers and customers which will allow the rest of the world to enjoy the benefits of globalization. 

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist with finding suppliers that operate under sustainable principals, please contact a Customer Service Representative for more information.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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