Sustainable purchasing is purchasing that builds healthy communities, economies, and environments all along local and global supply chains.
Individually and collectively, institutional purchasers and their suppliers create and shape our modern industrial marketplace and, in so doing, determine its sustainability. Organizational purchasing decisions send powerful economic signals up and down the supply chain, with the potential to influence the environmental, social, and economic performance of the entire system.
Overall, institutional purchasing represents an estimated two-thirds of U.S. economic demand. The environmental impacts associated with an organization’s purchasing are typically four to nine times greater than its direct, operational impacts. And purchasing is a core business function, rather than a one-off project or nice-to-have, so embedding sustainability expectations into supplier relationships and product and service specifications can drive ongoing, fundamental change throughout an organization and its supplier community.
SPLC Support and Guidance
The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council supports the sustainable purchasing community – from newcomers to longstanding leaders in the field – to build strategic, impactful sustainable purchasing programs by:
- Identifying their most significant procurement-related sustainability impacts
- Establishing meaningful and measurable goals for sustainable procurement
- Developing strategies to reduce negative and increase positive impacts
- Increasing the sophistication and impact of their sustainable purchasing programs over time
The Getting Started resources linked from this page provide a starting point for developing a leadership sustainable purchasing program that addresses critical issues and aligns with other purchasers for increased impact. If you are just starting your sustainable procurement journey, we encourage you to begin here to get the basics under your belt.
You’ll find materials to help orient you to the importance of sustainable procurement, research to support your engagement with staff and leadership within your organization, and self-evaluation tools to help you consider where you are and where you want to go!
We also invite you to consider membership in the SPLC to access the growing pool of resources, tools, networking, and educational opportunities we have created and continue to develop for and with our member community.