Green purchasing policy for business

A green business will implement a green purchasing policy to help the environment, save money and improve their public image.

green purchasing policy will save you money

A green business will implement a green purchasing policy to help the environment, save money and improve their public image.

 

Benefits of a green purchasing policy

There a many benefits that a green business will gain from developing a green purchasing policy.

Reduced costs:

Green businesses save money by using more durable products.  Often green office supplies will use less energy, reduce waste and last longer.  This means less money is spent on re-supplies.

Improved public image: 

A green business is seen as a good corporate citizen.  People value and respect businesses taking on environmental issues for the benefit of society.

Increased value:

Investors look favourably on businesses with a good public image and customer loyalty.  Those increasing sales whilst reducing operating costs are also great for investors.

 

How to implement a green purchasing policy:

Implementing a green purchasing policy takes time.  It has to be strategically thought through. Errors in judgment early on will affect the overall outcome of the policy.  The following is a brief overview of how you should implement a purchasing policy.

Get management involved:

Management have to be involved.  Encouragement from the top down will help your policy become successful.

Create a team:

A green purchasing policy will cover all departments of your business.  This means there should be a team with members from each department:

  • Accounts
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Public relations
  • Legal
  • Procurement
  • Environmental

It is not possible for your green business to have just one person overseeing a purchasing policy with so many departments involved.  This is one reason why implementing a policy can take time.

Assess current supplies:

You should take a look at your current purchasing policy before beginning a green one.  Draw up a document that lists your current conventional supplies.  How many do you need?   What is the current quality and standard of each item.

With this knowledge you will be in a better position to make appropriate purchasing decisions.

Small steps:

It is important for a green policy to be implemented gradually. By making small changes you can prioritise which areas of you business need to be focused on.  For instance do you need:

  • Energy efficient appliances; check for energy star label
  • Non toxic cleaning products
  • Recycled products; take a look on www.thegreenoffice.co.uk

It also helps employees get used to the new ways of working and cause less confusion. 

Track progress:

Once a green purchasing policy has been implemented you have to regularly track the progress. This will help you to make sure your purchasing policy is working.

The first step a business will take to becoming a green business is to implement a new purchasing policy.  By following these steps you can begin moving towards sustainability.

 

Image: Philip Taylor PT

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