Sign up for Procurated
Procurated helps public sector buyers make more informed buying decisions through peer reviews. It is completely free to use.
Write and read reviews, find new suppliers, manage vendor performance and more!
Build Sustainability Bona Fides Today for Green Procurement Tomorrow
Despite the innate mandate of governments to better the communities they serve, sustainable procurement or green procurement practices in government lag behind the private sector. There are two reasons for this:
- Sustainable procurement rules and requirements generally require political policy action before being enacted. Even if we set aside the segment of voices that wants us to bury our heads in the sand on climate change, policy change is rarely something that operates on a rapid timeline.
- Sustainable procurement makes good business sense. Corporations are not waiting for policy to get their sustainability bona fides in place. They know that society’s interest in green products is only going to grow. They know that a sustainable supply chain insulates them from several forms of nightmare pr scenario, while giving them a new competitive advantage.
It isn’t unusual for government to lag behind private business a bit, especially on procurement policy that is reactive to new technologies or circumstances. But that’s just what it is – a lag. That same consumer demand for ecologically friendly practices is already starting to impact policy in many places:
- President Biden has issued an executive order mandating zero-emissions procurement by 2050, with new emissions disclosure requirements for federal contractors coming into effect.
- The state of Minnesota has a stated objective of 25% of total state spend on priority contracts to be “sustainable purchases” by 2025.
- Major cities like Portland are introducing robust sustainability policies to guide government decision making.
These are just three of hundreds of examples of sustainable procurement goals and plans popping up in recent years.
Don't miss a roundtable discussion on Sustainable Procurement hosted by the Procurement Insight Network (PIN) on April 25th. Register for free today!
Getting Ahead of the Sustainable Procurement Curve
Given the incoming wave of green procurement policies, government purchasers can benefit from getting ahead of the curve and introducing sustainability concepts into their practice. Government contractors and suppliers can start to build their sustainability bona fides and make it easy for government purchasers to see their progress.
For government purchasers:
- Begin work with existing suppliers to understand every step in their supply chains – evaluate the links in their supply chains for risk which can come in the form of lack of transparency, use of substances like PFAS or questionable environmental practices.
- Start to include sustainability questions on RFPs – even if they aren’t yet impacting your rubrics and criteria – it is never too soon to start collecting insight into things like emissions and environmentally conscious practices.
- Lean on your fellow procurement professionals – Procurement practitioners are sharing their insights and experiences with suppliers on Procurated. Do your due diligence and read reviews on potential suppliers to minimize risk – especially when those suppliers are doing work that can seriously impact the environment in and around your community.
For government contractors and suppliers:
- Do your own due diligence into your supply chains – expect that this is something that both your public and private sector customer will be looking for in the future.
- Share details of your sustainability efforts – placing content and articles on the work you are doing prominently on Procurated and wherever you are meeting with government buyers is key. Prove to them that you will be partners in these sustainability efforts.
- Stay ahead of the curve – converting your fleet to EVs where possible, eliminating PFAS, matching the federal government’s emissions standards, building LEED certified buildings, stocking your office cafeterias with food that is sustainably grown – Taking sustainability seriously today will translate for your customers and clients, shareholders and stakeholders tomorrow.