Implementing sustainability into your business practices is an imperative choice in these times. But “sustainability” is a huge category, and you may wonder where to start. Why not at the source? Here are some ways that a green procurement policy can help you make your business practices more environmentally and economically friendly.
What is Green Procurement?
Green procurement, or sustainable procurement, refers to practices that prioritize sustainable sources for all product development stages. Most importantly, it involves making sure that your suppliers are following proper sustainability standards so that your resources are coming from environmentally responsible avenues. You want to make sure your sources aren’t hurting the environment. It is then important to first identify best practices. Communicate and monitor your suppliers regarding their sustainability practices and goals.
Establish Sustainable Supplier Standards
Some helpful steps in pursuing green procurement practices include clarifying your sustainability standards for suppliers and maintaining consistent communication with suppliers regarding these standards. Your sustainability standards should ideally touch upon the supply chain’s environmentally significant factors, including how suppliers should procure and manage natural resources, how they should sustainably transfer and manufacture materials, and how they can remain environmentally efficient in all stages of development. Of course, the specifics of these standards are dependent on your business’ individual sustainability plan, goals, and needs. If you need some additional guidance in establishing these standards, the UN Global Compact published a helpful, detailed guide regarding sustainability implementation down the supply chain.
Communicate With Suppliers
As you’re setting and maintaining supplier sustainability standards, consistent communication with suppliers is necessary. This is to ensure that your suppliers understand your expectations, consistently adopting, and following your expectations. You may decide to share case studies and instructional materials with your suppliers to prompt discussion and further understanding of sustainability standards. It would help if you discussed implementing assessments or audits to evaluate your suppliers’ progress towards sustainability goals. Above all else, always ensure that your suppliers know—and comply with—your expectations for sustainable procurement.
Maintain Internal Sustainability Goals
While you work with your suppliers to pursue green procurement, it is also crucial to ensure your business is following your established sustainability standards and goals internally. Much like with suppliers, communication is always key to keeping internal operations sustainable. Maintain communication at all levels to ensure you are all using resources responsibly while at work—choosing reusable containers, recycling, and using less energy, for example. By defining and following these standards across the board, your business will be on the fast track to environmental and economic progress.