Sustainability is a large and expanding trend and procurement has been a major part of this trend. Efforts to adopt more sustainable supply chains have been around for years. We now have ample information to confidently make the claim that businesses practicing sustainability are leading the way forward. Procurement and supply chains are key components of sustainability.
However, a lack of standardization and guidance have made this transition difficult for some. That is rapidly changing as we have seen more guidance and now forthcoming standardization.
President Obama has launched a major initiative to reduce greenhouse gases with an executive order related to the federal government’s supply chain.
As revealed in an Environmental Leader article, public sector procurement accounts for around 12 percent of GDP and 29 percent of government expenditure in OECD member countries.
ISO standards, specifically ISO 20400, Sustainable procurement – Guidance will be published in 2017.
“ISO says because sustainable procurement is a key aspect of social responsibility, ISO 20400 will complement ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility, by enabling organizations to contribute to sustainable development efforts by minimizing their impact on the environment, tackling human rights issues and contributing to society and the economy.”
The nonprofit Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council is also developing a Sustainable Purchasing Benchmarking System consistent with the ISO 20400. Sustainable Purchasing Council provides guidance on incorporating sustainability in procurement decisions.
In 2015 SPLC released its Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v1.0. This guidance has been field tested in a pilot program by a number of organizations including Lockheed Martin and Office Depot.
SPLC will provide third party recognition for their procurement efforts.
The SPLC has previously released five principles for sustainability leadership which includes environmental, social and economic impacts of purchasing. The SPLC also released guidelines for suppliers of products and services.
Obama Signs Executive Order to Reduce GHGs in the Federal Government and Across their Supply Chain
Sustainable Procurement: Environmental Social and Economic Supply Chain Considerations
How to Craft Value Out of Sustainability Focused Supply Chains
Supply Chain Advocacy to Advance Renewable Energy: The Story of E.ON
Winners of the 2013 Green Supply Chain Awards
Sustainable Supply Chain Transparency: Strategic Analysis and Best Practices
The Sustainable Supply Chain Imperative