Procure paper products for business use from ethically certified sources
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
UN SDG Target
By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
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)
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.
3. Organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have certifications such as the CoC (Chain of Custody) certification, to ensure the process of paper 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 (Refer to the resource section)
4. 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. (Tool linked in references)
Obtaining these certifications and opting to purchase from suppliers with these certifications is a low-cost option to support the environment. Supplier diversification from choosing ethical paper suppliers can provide inventory security for your supply chain operations.
Environmental responsibility is ensured in the process of paper manufacturing when using paper that is FSC certified. Different supplier profiles can be assessed using the EPAT tool, promoting sustainable product sourcing.
Strategy Build & Execution
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.
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 must switch 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 RFI/ EOI to seek out suppliers that can satisfy your needs
Supplier Negotiation & Contract
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. When entering contract agreement with new suppliers, leverage the business creation for a discounted rate from suppliers. Agree on quality and maintenance accountability and responsibility, discuss how the certificate benefits the relationship and business between yourself and the vendor.
3. Inclusion of quality assurance and warranty clauses in the contract to ensure the extended higher quality life of the product.
4. Emphasis your initiative to source and procure ethical paper in your contract, make this a high priority item when engaged in negotiations.
Supplier Performance & Management
1. Perform an internal review after certificates have been obtained, check in with suppliers on the paper product standards, upholding the guidelines specified on the certificates.
2. Evaluate the commercial impact of procuring paper products from ethical suppliers, include an assessment on environmental impact; compare to historical data to track progress.
3. 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.