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IBM, GSK, Herman Miller See Healthy ROI From Green Purchasing

hermanmiller4.jpgIBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Herman Miller have found a positive return-on-investment for environmentally friendly purchasing, purchasing.com reports.

IBM takes a multitier approach to implementing environmentally friendly policy and says it integrates a green ethos into all aspects of what it does, according to the article Between the years of 1990 and 2006, IBM reduced its electrical demand by 4.5 billion kilowatt-hours, saving money and cutting emissions by approximately three million metric tons of CO2 and increased the amount of recycled materials it uses in product manufacturing.

Vice President of Global Procurement Systems and Operations at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Gregg Brandyberry told purchasing.com the company will reduce its energy use from operations and transportation and related activities by 20 percent per unit sales by 2010 and by 45 percent by 2015 from 2006 levels.

Office-furniture maker Herman Miller asked its suppliers to help them examine the environmental and health impact of materials in its Aeron chair.

Nearly 200 nondisclosure agreements later, all but two suppliers provided Herman Miller the information it wanted. The company bumped those two suppliers off its preferred vendor list.

The company’s goal is to have 100 percent of its products comply with the company’s policy of zero landfill and zero hazardous waste generation by 2020. The company estimates about 30 percent of its products hit that mark, with a goal of 50 percent compliance by 2010.

Along with other companies, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to cut its water use by 20 percent by 2020.

Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker recently outlined his companies sustainability goals.

Last year IBM announced ways it would help its clients reduce their carbon footprint.

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One thought on “IBM, GSK, Herman Miller See Healthy ROI From Green Purchasing

  1. Green purchasing is a incredible lever for organizations not only because of the tremendous environmental benefit but also from the far extent that its practices reach. If we consider that in most organizations the supply chain accounts for 50%,60%, even 70% of the footprint, there are fewer opportunities that are better matched to make meaningful improvements across any indsutry. The “environmental strategic sourcing” element extends not to just our supplier network upstream but throughout the product development cycle with dfe(design-for-environment) considerations, LCA, and our carbon footprint just to brush on the surface. Add to that the ability to apply “LEAN & CLEAN” principles along the entire supply chain to reduce muda (waste) and incorporate environmental criteria as part of SRM (supplier relationship management). Interestingly, though, 42% of companies in one survey that I’m very familiar with stated that “lack of knowledge of green purchasing skills” was the greatest barrier to implementing a strategy. Further, only about one-third of organizations today include their supply chain as part of their sustainability strategy. I find that amazing given how I began the conversation – the supply chain accounts for most of a company’s opportunity to make environmental stewardship strides.

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