The five principles, released this month by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, were developed to help all types of organizations within the institutional purchasing marketplace align and benchmark their sustainable purchasing efforts.
The remaining four principles include taking responsibility for ESE impacts of purchasing by committing to an action plan, delivering on a pledge improve ESE impacts, actively promoting internal and external innovation and soliciting and disclosing information that supports a marketplace of innovation.
The principles were designed to serve as a moral compass for a program the council is launching in May, SPLC says. The multi-sector program will guide, benchmark and recognize leadership in sustainable purchasing.
The SPLC also released guidelines for suppliers of products and services to support leadership in sustainable purchasing that include understanding and investing in research and development based on relevant ESE impacts of its products and services.
Suppliers should strive to provide products and services that exceed industry standard performance along quantifiable ESE metrics, SPLC says.
Suppliers should also meet or exceed credible standards, seek third-party validation, demonstrate how products and services can help purchasers achieve strategic objectives and ESE performance targets and track, evaluate and report metric and non-competitive insights on product and service performance using clear and easy-to-interpret methods.
Executives from Office Depot, World Resources Institute, Goodyear, American University, certification and consulting company DEKRA, the National Association of State Procurement Officials, UL Environment and others helped form the SPLC, which launched in July 2013.
The Sustainable Purchasing Council was created to help institutional buyers incorporate sustainability in procurement decisions through a shared platform that guides, measures and recognizes leadership in sustainable purchasing, similar to the US Green Building Council’s LEED program.
Its two-year goals include an application programming interface (API) that will allow eProcurement, enterprise resource planning and other software vendors to display SPC guidance within their tools and a pilot-ready version of its sustainable purchasing rating system.