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Survey: Sustainability an ‘Important Factor’ in Supply Chain Choices

Seventy-two percent of US companies say sustainability influences their purchasing decisions and is an important factor when selecting a service provider, according to a survey by cloud computing firm Rackspace Hosting.

Outside of the US, 91 percent of companies that participated in the survey said sustainability has been built into their purchasing decisions on either a periodic or standard basis.

The survey results show sustainability expanding from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” as companies understand that selecting solid partners as part of their supply chain translates into lower risk and more efficiency, said Melissa Gray, director of sustainability at Rackspace.

The 2012 Rackspace Green Survey questioned randomly selected companies on the importance of sustainability versus cost. Of the 2,000 companies selected for the survey, 232 responded. The respondent companies came from 24 countries including the US, UK, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil.

The survey also found:

  • 26 percent of respondents said cost considerations outweighed environmental factors when purchasing products and services;
  • 54 percent of companies said when two purchasing choices are equal (including cost), the greener product or service is better;
  • 20 percent said when two purchasing choices are not equal, greener is better;
  • 17 percent of companies said sustainability is a standard part of their request for information, proposal or quote system;
  • 59 percent of companies said they consider sustainability periodically for specific types of purchases.
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