Purchasers urged to take up environmental cause

2 November 2000
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02 November 2000 | Liam O'Brien

CIPS has urged buyers to take the lead in promoting environmentally aware purchasing.

The launch of the institute's new environmental policy - published after six months' consultation with its 150-member-strong policy advisory network - coincided with prime minister Tony Blair's call last week for the promotion of environmental issues up the business agenda.

CIPS's 11-page policy sets out the key issues that need to be addressed by purchasing professionals. They include existing and forthcoming legislation, public procurement rules, the contractual specification of environmental requirements, certification schemes and whole-life cost approaches to sourcing.

Melinda Johnson, head of policy at CIPS, said the institute was saying to members that they should take a more proactive role. "For 20 years, green issues have been at the bottom of the pile," she said. "Buyers have thought that it would be something good to do, but they didn't know where to start. Now we are saying 'This is your job, something that you should be doing'."

Barbara Morton, co-ordinator of the Environmental Supply Chain Forum and research fellow at Umist, said: "We are encouraging members to do more than comply with the law. They should be driving environmental purchasing - something not done at the moment."

The policy document argues that there need not be a conflict between obtaining the best terms from a supplier and complying with environmental best practice. Firms that do not pursue environmentally aware sourcing policies will find themselves under increasing scrutiny, it says.

CIPS plans to follow up the policy paper with guidance notes to help members on the delivery of green policies.

- For more details, call Melinda Johnson on 01780 756777.


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