This is a repost from three years ago titled “Thinking Green”.

July 11th, 2011

We are reposting this oldie but goody to start a week of posts focused on progress in green supply chain initiatives.

Let’s start with an old truism. “You can’t improve what you don’t measure”. This applies to green and safety standard compliance. Importantly, companies also can’t expect their trading partners to know what they are not told. In a 2008 white paper (that you can find on our website) titled “Safety in the Supply Chain, an Irony” I listed nine steps to safer and a more eco-friendly procurement. Although simple, these simple steps go a long way towards accomplishing the most important step in any endeavor. If you don’t write it down, it won’t happen. As a guideline I offer the following:

Nine steps to safer and more eco-friendly procurement

1. Be pro-active in driving not for resale and for resale product safety within your company, and also supporting eco-standards in the procurement process.
2. Pay it forward with all of your trading partners by sharing what you are doing, and asking what they do to support yours or similar initiatives of their own.
3. Educate your employees and trading partners about common safety standards and guidelines such as the SQF Certificate  and the Global Food Safety Initiative
4. Educate your employees and trading partners about common eco-standards such as Green- Energy National Standard or EcoLogo
5. Point associates and trading partners to free educational websites such as to use their free SafeSourcing Wiki or the Sourcebook professional social network for procurement professionals.
6. Only use trading partners that follow your lead.
7. Train your team to understand and use all available tools that insure supply chain safety such the free daily safety in sourcing blog at  or the low cost SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database and Reverse Auction Tools.
8. Write it down and then impose a system of measures and controls to monitor performance against clearly defined goals.
9. Start at the top and engage all levels of your company.

We look forward to your input on this weeks posts.

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