Eco-friendly procurement, also known as green procurement or sustainable procurement, refers to the process of purchasing goods and services that are less harmful to the environment. This involves considering the environmental impacts associated with the products or services throughout their entire lifecycle, from raw material extraction, through production and use, to disposal or recycling.
Here are the key principles involved in eco-friendly procurement:
- Resource Efficiency: This involves selecting products or services that use fewer resources or that make more efficient use of resources. This could include products that are energy-efficient, water-efficient, or made with less material.
- Reduced Emissions: Eco-friendly procurement might involve choosing products or services that result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, whether in their production, use, or disposal.
- Waste Reduction: Products that are durable, reusable, or recyclable are often preferred in eco-friendly procurement, as they can help to reduce waste. This also includes considering the packaging of the product.
- Hazard Reduction: This involves choosing products that are free from hazardous substances or that reduce pollution in their production, use, or disposal.
- Supplier’s Environmental Performance: The environmental performance of suppliers is also an important factor. This could involve their compliance with environmental regulations, their efforts to reduce their environmental impact, or their use of environmental management systems.
Eco-friendly procurement can help companies to reduce their environmental impact, comply with environmental regulations, save costs (for example through energy or water efficiency), and meet the growing demand from consumers for environmentally friendly products. However, it often requires integrating environmental considerations into procurement decision-making processes and working closely with suppliers to improve their environmental performance.