What is Sustainable Procurement and Why You Should Care About It?

September 14th, 2011

Today’s post is by Lauren Finnessy; Account Manager at SafeSourcing

In general, procurement refers to two different factors, price and quality.  For a company these factors are obviously important to the bottom line, but there are other factors that should apply for the bigger global picture.  Sustainable Procurement has a wider agenda by looking at a company’s “triple bottom line” which includes the impact the company has on the environment, the economy, and the social implications.  This indicates that a supplier will be evaluated on many more levels than just the product they are selling.

Environmental concerns are the dominant issue for sustainable procurement since humanity is currently putting such excessive demands on the available resources the environment offers.  A company that focuses on purchasing their goods and services from environmentally friendly companies is considered a “green procurement” company.

Economic concerns are another area that companies can focus on for a more sustainable procurement process.  In many situations a company that engages in sustainable procurement has the opportunity to offer assistance for smaller and/or ethnic minority-owned businesses.  By focusing on economic concerns a company may be more likely to purchase fair trade certified products which allows extra investments to be channeled towards developing countries.

Sustainable procurement can also be addressed through social policy and responsibilities.  In the United States, most companies are already conscious of the social responsibilities that influence the global supply chain.  The social implications include whether or not a company promotes equality and diversity among its work force. 

The overall goal for sustainable procurement is to ensure that goods and services purchased for a company are designed, manufactured, delivered, and used in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.  Why is this so important for you?  The answer is simple;  the more environmentally and socially responsible each of us is individually, and within our company or organization, the better off we will all be in the long haul.  In a global marketplace where people are becoming more and more concerned with the legacy their company can build and leave, it is becoming increasingly important that we leave positive footprints to be filled by future generations.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how your company can become more of a Sustainable Procurement partner, please contact a Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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