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12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

procure business use paper products that is certified as ethically sourced




SDG Alignment

Target Description

Level of Effort

UN SDG Target


By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Category Assessment



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(1) Identify the sourcing process of paper and paper-related products from your current and potential suppliers.
(2) Perform an internal assessment of your current paper usage and the percentage of products that are ethically certified.

Organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have certifications such as the CoC certification to ensure the process of the paper that is being manufactured is ethical throughout. Businesses that purchase printers and/ or papers from suppliers that are FSC trademarked are far more beneficial to the environment than paper & paper processing machines that don't have this trademark (

The environmental non-profit, GreenBlue, has created an innovative assessment tool that allows buyers and sellers of paper products to evaluate environmental performance data along the paper supply chain. The Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (EPAT), helps buyers and suppliers find each other and assess the trade-offs and environmental attributes in paper purchasing decisions. (


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Business opportunity: Obtaining these certifications and opting to purchase from suppliers with these certifications is a relatively low-cost option to support the environment. Supplier diversification from choosing ethical paper suppliers can provide inventory security for your supply chain operations.

Sustainability opportunity: Environmental responsibility is ensured in the process of paper manufacturing when using paper that is FSC certified. Suppliers profiles can be assessed using the EPAT tool, promoting sustainable product sourcing.

Strategy Build & Execution

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Option 1:
1) Conduct an internal assessment, identified your current suppliers' sourcing and manufacturing practices, and see if they are FSC certified.
2) Contact suppliers and work out with them the various ways that they can improve their current operations
3) help the suppliers with the implementation of the certificate, set agreements with suppliers, and internally to regulate paper purchasing.

Option 2:
(1) Seek out ethical suppliers in the EPAT platform (or other platform equivalent promoting green suppliers in the paper industry).
(2) Conduct a self-assessment to determine the feasibility and the level of commitment your company is capable of switching to more ethical and diverse suppliers.
(3) Align with stakeholders to ensure that awareness of changes being made and it is an initiative or a part of the goal being pursued.
(4) Based on data, make an informed decision and make the switch.
(5) Submit an RFQ/ EOI
(6) Award Contract
(7) Ensure that quality is maintained and progress is tracked in regular reporting.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

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(1) Consider working with a supplier to build their resources, tools, and capacity to adopt FSC practices and develop ethical sourcing practices in their operations.
(2) Leverage the business creation for a discounted rate from suppliers. Agree on quality and maintenance accountability and responsibility, quality management, the turnaround time for emergency response, and the opportunity to sell/receive credits for exceeding performance benchmarks.
(3) Inclusion of quality assurance and warranty clauses in the contract to ensure the extended higher quality life of the product.
(4)Consider extending contract length to maximize leverage.

Supplier Performance & Management

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Perform annual Supplier Relationship Review and are required for sustainability reporting in annual reviews. Maintain records of turnaround time, takeback program profit and loss reporting, purchasing and warehousing cost, average inventory level, and inventory variations.

Perform an internal review after certificates have been obtained. Evaluate the commercial impact of procuring paper products from ethical suppliers, include an assessment on environmental impact; compare to historical data to track progress

Discuss new certificates and see if it is the new standards for paper manufacturing in terms of sustainable paper materials and the necessity for applying for these new certifications.

Resource Links

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