Sustainability focus a 'surprise'

20 June 2007
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21 June 2007 | Rebecca Ellinor

Public sector organisations focus more on employee health and safety and buying from small or local companies than on "green" sourcing.

This is according to an international study of sustainable procurement priorities by researchers at the University of Bath. Helen Walker and Stephen Brammer from the Centre for Research in Strategic Purchasing and Supply (CRiSPS) described the revelation as "surprising": "Our data suggests parts of sustainable procurement concerned with purchasing from small or local companies and those focused on employee health and safety, rather than environmental practices, are those most commonly embedded."

They also concluded the UK "may indeed meet its target of being among the leaders [in sustainable procurement] in Europe by 2009".

The study received more than 100 responses from buyers in the UK, 52 from the US and Canada, 49 from Western European countries, 36 from Eastern European countries, 29 from Scandinavia, and 15 responses from other countries.

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