Procure environmentally preferable office products
12. Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
UN SDG Target
By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
Level of Effort
Level of Effort Scale
1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.
2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).
3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)
• Understand your current waste disposal process of office products.
• Evaluate the inventory of stationaries that are for use in the office and note types in use. Identify percentages of supplies that are single-use and those that are reusable. The evaluation would interestingly bring to attention how many in use are not reusable (sticky notes. markers, etc.).
• Assess and identify potential suppliers to procure environmentally preferable office products from and analyze the potential leverage that you could have (such as promoting their brand as a green supplier).
• The links in the resource section lists out multiple recycling options, refer through, and identify the best sustainable disposal method for the single-use products used by your organization.
Create value through the use of re-useable options (brand image), and cost savings if not realized early on, it will come into the picture at a later stage.
Reduce single-use wastes in landfills.
Strategy Build & Execution
• Identify environmentally preferable products that are priced equally or less compared to your business-as-usual (BAU) products.
• Assess to identify whether making the switch to reusable products is feasible for your company based on allotted budget.
• Identify and decide on the most viable disposal of choice for your organization (based on size and capital available to the cause).
• If possible, work with your current suppliers to execute a roll-out plan in phases, the goal is to gradually change your office supplies, you do not have to change everything all at once.
• Align stakeholders towards the sustainability initiative and have them on board by explaining benefits and potential sacrifice in quality that comes with the adoption of the initiative.
Supplier Negotiation & Contract
• Obtain alignment with suppliers on sustainable waste management and deliver the same training program to them to ensure commitment to these practices.
• Negotiate with existing/potential suppliers on the value-adding elements such as shipping and handling, and disposal of end-of-life supplies.
• Consider the implementation of a warranty program with suppliers in case the quality of the sustainable alternative is not up to standard, decide on the level of standard in your contracts.
• Encourage them to recommend such initiatives to other clients, which will result in business creation (circular economy). Leverage this into the contract for discounted rates.
Supplier Performance & Management
• Track all cost savings, recycling improvements, and user satisfaction scores during the phase out of non-reusable and environmentally damaging products.
• Report these findings regularly to internal stakeholders and proceed if successful. Integrate the accumulated data and report it in conjuncture with carbon footprint reductions into the annual supplier performance reports.
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