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Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing is available

  • Published on December 10, 2015
Organizations can use this Guidance to understand the environmental, social, and economic life cycle impacts of their purchased goods and services & identify the best actions.

The Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing Version 1.0 is a comprehensive handbook for organizations seeking to exercise leadership in sustainable purchasing. Organizations in a wide variety of sectors and regions can use this Guidance to understand the environmental, social, and economic life cycle impacts of their purchased goods and services, identify actions that best address these priorities, and benchmark progress toward goals.

How is it structured?

Chapter 1 provides an overview of sustainable purchasing and the scale of the opportunity it presents.

Chapter 2 helps champions for sustainable purchasing to build support for and design a strategic Sustainable Purchasing Program.

Chapter 3 describes a continuous improvement process that cross-functional teams can use to plan strategies that achieve specific environmental, social, and economic performance goals.

Chapter 4 offers guidance on how to apply this strategic thinking for specific categories of purchasing.

Together, these chapters give organizations the steps to achieve leadership in sustainable purchasing.

Who uses it?

• “Champions” who advocate for their organization to create a strategic sustainable purchasing program. Champions can be in a variety of roles, such as purchasing, operations, sustainability, management, investor, or customer. Champions will find Chapter 2 particularly helpful.

• Program leaders charged with developing and running a strategic sustainable purchasing program. Chapters 2 and 3 will be of special interest to them.

• Members of cross-functional teams working on developing specific sustainable purchasing strategies. Chapters 3 and 4 will help them identify and prioritize areas of purchasing needing attention, and effective actions that can address them.

• Buyers of goods and services looking to understand the impacts of their purchases and identify actions they can take to improve the environmental, social, and economic performance of their purchasing. Chapter 4 will be a good gateway into the Guidance for many buyers, though achieving the greatest possible benefits often will require the type of cross-functional collaboration described in Chapter 3.

What are its benefits?

Leadership organizations following the strategic, comprehensive, priorities-based approach described in the Guidance have been able to:

  • Save money;
  • Reduce supply chain disruption risk;
  • Improve vendor relationships.
  • Enhance and protect brand reputation;
  • Find better solutions to meet organizational needs;
  • Empower staff to be part of a collective solution;
  • Promote more resilient supply chains;
  • Use their influence to promote market innovation.
  • Be recognized for advancing a leadership agenda; and
  • Be at the forefront of the movement to transform the sustainability of our economy.

In addition to these internal benefits, as the number of organizations using SPLC’s Guidance grows, their collective influence sends a powerful signal into the marketplace to positively shapes the future for society and the planet.

Check out brochure about the Guidance.

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