Green Procurement and Business: What It’s All About

Businesses are more aware of the bonuses associated with green procurement than ever before, given the vast number of benefits that it can bring. Essentially, green procurement ensures that businesses protect local environments and economies from the effects of their operations, all the while allowing a business to deliver goods, services and utilities. By focusing heavily on local, or at least ethically-sound national supply chains, you can do your bit for conservation.

Now, it seems that there are plenty of financial incentives to encourage manufacturers to design environmentally-friendly items, whether it’s to avoid taxes and additional costs levied against those uninterested in resource conservation, or the extra outgoings paid through utility bills because of inefficient use of energy and water.

Sourcing locally can certainly boost sales. Flyerzone, an eco-friendly supplier, works particularly hard to forge relationships with nearby clients to boost their productivity, environmental credentials and save themselves money along the way. Many other organisations are very happy to broker regional deals to save money, even if local sourcing demands is becoming a bigger public desire.

Supermarkets in particular are angling themselves towards these programs. Waitrose, Asda and Tesco are particularly proud of highlighting times when they have sourced directly from a farmer in the region, while online stores such as solely market around these individuals and even give you specific insights into the companies and families that sustain their sales.

Procurement policies are also beginning to heavily centre on waste regulations, for money-saving reasons as much as ethical ones. The Packaging Directive tries to minimise extraneous materials and goes on to promote energy recovery as well as the re-use of packaging; it has effectively led to EU member states introducing national policies to set a minimum level of recycling, which is steadily increasing as recovery technologies improve.

The UN advocates sustainable development of products made from popular materials such as woods and metals, and the United Nations Environment Program has proposed incentives for companies to replant and recycle to limit potentially devastating deforestation and water pollution. This is limiting international companies from visiting foreign nations such as Brazil and harvesting their wares, avoiding local and national regulations through importing. When businesses demand local produce, it is becoming clearer that this approach simply isn’t acceptable.

By adopting environmentally and locally-friendly initiatives, procurement managers can reduce overall production costs, create new standards and keep a solid supply chain in their area and beyond – all the while adhering to compliance regulations.

[Image Credit: Neenah Paper, Flickr]

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