Publications & Thought Leadership

December 2008

How to Start a Sustainable Purchasing Strategy

Posted in Implementation and Integration

How to Start a Sustainable Purchasing Strategy is a short 10-step roadmap to launching or advancing a sustainable purchasing strategy or program.

Sustainable purchasing can be as simple as choosing office products with recognized green certifications, buying from local suppliers or leasing equipment for temporary needs instead of buying it. Depending on the size and scale of your organization and your supply chain, sustainable purchasing programs can be very sophisticated, including scorecard evaluations that follow a ‘total cost of ownership’ approach, Supplier Codes of Conduct to govern fair labour practices and human rights in the supply chain, or collaborations among purchasers and suppliers to address key sustainability issues such as the carbon footprint of products or local employment for disadvantaged groups. The key when starting out is to follow the ‘KISS’ principle; keep it simple.

Get started now by using the 10 steps in this guide to starting a Sustainable Purchasing Strategy, whether you are a small to medium sized organization or a large firm with an international supply chain and annual spend in the hundreds of millions. These steps and approaches in the guide are proven and scalable.

  • Find Allies in your Organization
  • Tap Into Key Resources
  • Draft a Policy Statement and Make a Plan
  • Start a Sustainability Conversation with Current Suppliers
  • Find Ways to Use Less of What You Already Have
  • Choose New Suppliers Committed to Sustainability
  • Take a “Total Cost of Ownership” Approach to What You Buy
  • Make a “Top 10” Sustainable Purchasing Shopping List
  • Set Goals and Track Your Activities
  • Communicate and Reward Achievements
Join the sustainability conversation. Coro is active on Twitter and LinkedIn.