Sustainable Purchasing Today
The Power of Purchasing
Governments, businesses and non-profits in Canada spend billions of dollars each year on goods and services.
Imagine if this purchasing power were harnessed to help promote environmental stewardship and social improvement. It’s true, we could see a world of change. Every organization has the chance to send a signal to the market that it’s time suppliers develop products and services that are healthier, more energy efficient, less resource intensive and more socially beneficial.
Organizations in your community have the collective clout to create environmental, social and economic transformation. Through thoughtful procurement strategies and careful supply chain management, an organization can help fulfil its own corporate responsibility objectives and reduce business risks.
ABCs of Sustainable Purchasing
The idea behind sustainable purchasing is simple. When organizations buy goods and services, they take into account the economic value (price, quality, availability and functionality) and also the related environmental and social impacts of those goods and services - at local, regional, and global levels.
For example, an organization purchasing goods would include in its selection criteria such factors such as:
Top to Bottom Benefits
One lesson learned through the BuySmart Network is that there are often people in organizations that want to purchase more sustainably, but don’t know how to “make the case” for it. The critical factor seems to be having the organization as whole recognize the importance of its own supply chain in fulfilling its public commitments to customers and the community.
BuySmart strives to support all levels of an organizations (executives, directors, managers and their staff) in seeing how procurement can support agreed-upon corporate social responsibility objectives. It’s the way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
What’s in a Sustainable Purchasing Policy?
A sustainable purchasing policy or program might include a range of objectives:
Are you ready to explore?
Here’s a first step: visit our Resource Centre for research, best practices and case studies on sustainability purchasing and how it can benefit your organization.
And a second step: contact the BuySmart Network for opportunities to deepen your understanding and begin a sustainable purchasing plan for your organization.
Already off and running? Consider becoming a sponsor of the BuySmart Network or volunteering as a presenter at one of our events. It’s a perfect way to step up and encourage others.