Archive for the ‘Green eProcurement Practices’ Category

Multi vs. Single Stream Recycling

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives. Please Enjoy!

Not long ago, if you wanted to participate in recycling programs, you had to have several different bins in your home that separated glass, plastic, and paper. But increasingly we see bins in public businesses that simply say “recycling”, and have a single roll-away blue container accompany our regular trash cans. In a nutshell, the old system I described is called “multi-stream” recycling, and the second system is known as “single-stream” or “mixed” recycling.

The advantage of single-stream is that it allows users to fill a single recycling container with almost any kind of recyclable material. This in turn makes it easier to participate in recycling programs, because it doesn’t require any pre-sorting by the person disposing of the material. This ease of use dramatically increases the amount of material that is actually recycled (usage triples on average), whereas there was a lot less participation in recycling programs when consumer had to do their own sorting. There are some limitations however.

There are actually a lot of materials you cannot recycle in the typical single-stream recycling program. Most of these banned materials have their own recycling program, such as electronics recycling centers, composting centers, etc. Users must prevent these materials from going into their recycling:

  •  Food waste
  • Grass, leaves, or any kind of yard clippings
  • Styrofoam of any kind
  • T-shirt bags (plastic grocery bags) or any kind of plastic film
  • Medical or hygienic waste of any sort
  • Electronics or batteries

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Perhaps the most important reason, is that the above materials contaminate the materials that are meant to be recycled. No facility will ever be able to separate materials down to 100% purity. When there is glass or food in the bales of cardboard that are collected to be recycled, it lowers the quality of the product, therefore lowering its reusability. If material is contaminated badly enough, it just goes to a landfill anyway, making the effort to recycle it pointless. Furthermore, having food, battery acid or medical waste be a part of the recycled material used later to hold someone’s meal may have unknown health consequences.
  2. The sorting facility can become damaged by inappropriate use of materials. A nail stuck in a sheet of cardboard for instance, can ruin the very expensive machinery meant to break down the material into paper fibers.
  3. Most facilities sort recyclable materials they receive both mechanically, and by hand. Food, medical waste, and electronics can be hazardous to handle. At the very least, be considerate of those that have to sort through your recycling, and don’t expose them to waste that could be dangerous to their health.

The bottom line is that recycling hasn’t advanced to the point that we can dispose of it the same way we would anything we typically throw away. There is still some degree of sorting we have to do. Without this, if a large enough percentage of users inappropriately recycled, it could cause the whole enterprise to become too expensive to maintain, or too contaminated to reuse. However, with the simple rules of what to exclude listed above, we can maintain and even increase the 33% of waste that we recycle in the United States.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.


Why “Green Bar” Copy Paper?

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017


Today’s post is by Steven Belvin, Sr. Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

What is the benefit of using a type of copy paper that is not very recycle friendly.  There are actually many benefits to using Green/Blue Bar copy paper; however, before I explain that, let us understand what Green/Blue Bar Copy paper is.

Green/Blue Bar copy paper is a type of paper that is commonly used in printing terminals such as DEC writers. A few noticeable discrepancies behind this paper, and your standard copy paper, would be the alternating colors on each line of the paper. This is to help people separate the text that is printed out on each line of the page. Another difference to this type of copy paper would be the tear off edges. The edges help the paper flow through the machine, and in some cases keep the top and bottom copy of the paper perfectly aligned.

That also leads us to another noticeable difference. That difference would be that in this type of copy paper has a bottom “Carbon Copy”. This bottom copy can be used for multiple reasons. The most popular reason would be to provide a costumer a “Receipt or Carbon Copy”. You will primarily see these type of “Receipts” in just about any auto parts store. This style of paper is beneficial because not only is it easy to read, but it makes two copies of one page at once. Also, as opposed to your standard copy paper, the Green/Blue Bar copy paper is thinner than your standard paper. Another benefit would be that you would not need to load the printer as much. This is because, with most Green/Blue Copy, paper the pages are connected until they have been torn apart. One can obviously see the benefits of both Green/Blue Copy paper and standard copy paper. Whatever style you prefer, SafeSourcing can help you source it and find the best value for all your paper needs.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.


Green Bar Paper Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2017.


What is Green procurement and what are some its many benefits

Friday, August 5th, 2016


Today’s post is by Tyler Walther, Account Manager for SafeSourcing.

Sustainable procurement or green procurement has become critically important for many of today’s businesses. What is green procurement and what are some of the benefits for business?

According to Hari Srinivas, 5-14-2015 Green procurement is the purchase of environmentally friendly products and services, the selection of contractors and the setting of environmental requirements in a contract.  Green procurement consists of assessing your supply chain, determining where the products come from, what they consist of and what happens to them once they have been expended. Possibly the most important aspect is considering if the purchase needs to be made at all and – if it does – ensuring quantities are accurate and lessening surplus.

A few benefits of becoming a green procurement organization:

  • Cost Reduction: A common misconception is going green costs more. Amortized it actually saves money, considering the new products use less energy, generate less waste, and last longer. Plus, sometimes green products work better than their toxic counterparts!
  • Customer Satisfaction: An organization that goes green in response to customer demand increases its levels of customer satisfaction, a key factor in customer retention.
  • Corporate Image: Companies that go green are seen as good corporate citizens. This increases its image in the eyes of the public.
  •  Reduced Risk: Not only is any company that does not go green risking potential legal consequences by failing to comply with green regulations, which are steadily increasing, but it is also maintaining more liability than necessary. With green procurement, you can offset financial and environmental risk, rather than just inheriting it from your suppliers.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments


What is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification?

Monday, March 23rd, 2015


Today’s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

Over the past two decades, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)  has received the status as the most difficult to obtain credible forest certification. Therefore, there are significant benefits to selecting FSC-certified products.

FSC is an independent, member-led group. Members elect the board of directors and vote on major decisions. Anyone committed to responsible forest management can apply for a FSC certification.

FSC’s forest management standards protect water to insure its quality, outlaw the harvest of rare old-growth forests, and prevent loss of natural forest cover.  In addition, FSC prohibits the use of atrazine which is legal in the US, but forbidden in Europe because it has been attributed to cause water pollution and birth defects. There are other forest certifications that allow the use of atrazine and even aerial spraying of the chemical.

FSC requires the results of certification audits get released to the public, even on private lands, which makes FSC distinctive among all other forest certifications.  FSC even requires forest managers to engage local community members to protect the rights of the indigenous people to ensure their voices are part of the certification process. 

Numerous companies have adopted policies that state a preference for FSC-certified products.  US Green Building Council’s (USGBCLEED program provides incentives for using FSC- certified materials. Consumers are also requesting that FSC-certified products are carried in retail stores across the country. In addition, many governments require the use of FSC-certified products. Companies that produce FSC-certified products achieve access to these markets as well as many others.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers.  The FSC certification is an example of one of the many certifications that SafeSourcing tracks.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to an appreciate your comments.

What is “The International Green Construction Code”?

Friday, March 13th, 2015


Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

We have posted about LEED  in the past as a certification we use when vetting our SafeSourceIt™ construction suppliers. However,  that is not the only way for companies to address their desire to support green construction projects.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED seems to get most of the press, and is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council or USGBC. However there are multiple ways to drive construction projects in a green direction.

In addition to LEED, in 2009, the International Code Council  or ICC launched the development of a new International Green Construction Code (IgCC) initiative, subtitled “Safe and Sustainable: By the Book,” committed to developing a model code focused on new and existing commercial buildings addressing green building design and performance.

In the future SafeSourcing will be vetting SafeSourceIt™ suppliers against both of these initiatives in order to provide the broadest support of Construction Company’s support of our customers CSR initiatives.

If you’d like help sourcing construction suppliers that help to reduce your carbon footprint, please contact a SafeSourcing Project Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Todays post is from Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

For guidance with your green purchasing practices, look no further than to our federal governments Environmental Protection Agency or EPA.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a number of programs that as a result of government use offer companies a great opportunity to educate themselves in support of their social responsibility initiatives.

One of those programs, the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) helps the federal government “buy green,” and in doing so, uses the federal government’s enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products and services. Geared first to help federal purchasers, this site can help green vendors, businesses large and small — and consumers. Use the easy index to:
• Find and evaluate information about green products and services;
• Identify federal green buying requirements;
• Calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices;
• Manage green purchasing processes.

The U.S. EPA website contains a wealth of information relative to finding and evaluating green products in any number of categories from construction to office supplies. If you truly review and evaluate the green portion of your company or individual social consciousness regularly the  U.S. EPA site is a great place to start.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can assist your procurement department in the deployment of your environmental initiatives, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Maybe we really are making progress!

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Today?s post is from Ronald D. Southard, CEO of SafeSourcing Inc.

As many of our readers are aware, we post regularly regarding social responsibility. A significant area of social responsibility?? is? a companies? efforts to reduce their total carbon foot print. Most recently this author offered a post titled Corporate Social Responsibility on March 11th of this year.

It was a pleasure for today when I was reading the Wall Street Journal to see the headline 72% Share of S&P 500 companies that published sustainability reports last year which was attributed to The Governance and Accountability Institute. According to the article this number is up significantly in the last 3 years from 20% in 2011. Great News!

Now if we can just get the public to support these companies by making sustainability a significant part of a company?s annual results through Triple Bottom Line accountability we might actually have something. To learn more about TBL visit our post titled How should companies determine today?s true value? Part I of III or visit Wikipedia?s definition.

Pay it forward and Support companies that support our environment.

If you?d like to learn more about our efforts at SafeSourcing to vett suppliers on your behalf that support your CSR initiatives, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.



As procurement professionals, each and every one of us should accept personal responsibility for protecting the environment.

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

I was rereading a survey conducted in 2008 by the Disney Family of eight thousand (8,000) adults. When asked who should enforce environmentally sound practices?  Forty percent of respondents indicated that it should be the government; thirty nine percent indicated that it should be individuals; thirteen percent indicated that it should be businesses and nine percent indicated that it should be the schools. That forty percent of individuals surveyed defaulted to this being a government responsibility is an issue or a cop out dependent on your own beliefs.

This author doesn’t believe that government can do it alone without guidance from the people. I don’t believe that businesses can do it alone without guidance from the government in the form of standards. I don’t believe that people can do it alone without taking it to the work place. And, unless we focus on it in the home and the workplace there is not much schools can do to enforce their environmental educational content. If parents don’t support it, children will not participate. In fact without all of us working together towards a common goal success is questionable.

At SafeSourcing there are many things that we are passionate about. However, three drive our daily thinking and actions.

1. Reducing the costs of goods and services for our customers.
2. Supporting the global community through the sourcing of safe goods and services.
3. Supporting the environment through eco friendly sourcing practices that we hold suppliers accountable to that provide those goods and services.

Through these beliefs, we try to pay it forward every day where the environment is concerned. Can you or your company boil your environmentally focused CSR initiatives down to three distinct points that can be measured? If you can, your customers will notice. Ours do.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing  can help you reduce your operating costs and give back at the same time, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Go LED and Save Energy, Money, and Time

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Today?s guest post is from Sarah Kouse an account manager at SafeSourcing.

Switching over from fluorescent bulbs to LED bulbs can definitely save you energy, money, and time. In this blog post, I will explain the reasons why it will save you energy, money, and time just by making the switch.

First, switching from a fluorescent bulb to LED on average saves nearly half the wattage that normally would be used. For example, a High-Output fluorescent bulb that uses 54 watts of power, using an LED Tube (fluorescent replacement) bulb, it uses around 36 watts of power.

Not only do LED bulbs use less power, but they also last longer, they don?t flicker when they are about to burn out, don?t have to ?warm-up?, and they don?t get hot while being used as well.

Typically fluorescent bulbs last up to around 20,000-30,000 hours and an LED bulb lasts up to around 50,000-60,000 hours. This will not only save you money because you won?t have to change them as often, but it will also save you time because you won?t have to change them as often.

Switching a fluorescent light fixture to LED is a simple retrofitting process and the cost is very low for the overall outcome you will receive switching to LED.

Yes, LED bulbs are ultimately more expensive at the initial purchase, but the perks of saving money on the electric bill, saving energy and helping the environment, saving money with not having to purchase bulbs as frequently, saving time by not having to change the bulbs as frequently, and just the overall features of the LED bulbs, make it a huge savings and better value.

Contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative today to see how SafeSourcing can help source your switch to a ?Greener? alternative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

What is The Certified Humane Raised & Handled Program?

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO of SafeSourcing.

To begin with, we have many farms, processors and agriculturally focused companies as customers and suppliers in our database.

I was reading today in the Arizona Republic about proposed legislation by the states ranchers and farmers that would allow them to police their own farms for livestock cruelty. This is being supported by the Arizona Cattle Growers Association.?In fact if a public citizen takes a picture or video?of such cruelty and does not turn it over to them within 5 days it would be considered a class 1 misdemeanor. Isn’t this kind of like the of watching the henhouse with a shotgun? Nor to mention the constitutionality?of restricting free speech.?

There are programs out there that provide protections against cruelty in factory framing and The Certified Humane Raised & Handled program which is an inspection, certification and labeling program for meat, poultry, egg and dairy products from animals raised to humane care standards is one of them.

According to the Humane Farm Animal Care website over 10 billion animals raised for food in the U.S. annually endure inhumane treatment. Most are confined such that they can?t behave normally. Chickens can?t flap their wings or move. Pigs can?t turn around. Crowding and stress from these conditions compromise animals? immune systems. They must ingest antibiotics regularly to prevent disease. Further, the current system of factory farms causes problems for the people involved, the environment, and consumers, as well as for the animals.

According to Humane Farm Animal Care the impact extends beyond the animals. Overuse of antibiotics in animals is causing more strains of drug-resistant bacteria. The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences estimated the annual cost of treating antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S. at $30 billion.

What can retail buyers do? Look for and buy products labeled Certified Humane Raised and Handled? and encourage the suppliers of your favorite food brands to become certified and to use Certified Humane Raised and Handled? ingredients in their products.

The SafeSourceIt??Global Supplier Database contains all suppliers that are Certified Humane Raised & Handled and we encourage others to follow this model.?For those companies that are found guilty of cruelty in factory framing practices or violate the laws that are there to protect our livestock, they will be eliminated from our database and not allowed to participate in events for our customers.

Please contact a SafeSourcing customer service representative to learn more about our risk free sourcing trial program.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.