Buyers should lead on 'green' goals

30 July 2008
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31 July 2008 | Jake Kanter

Responsibility for an organisation's "green" initiatives should be taken out of the hands of marketers and given to buyers.

According to Aon Global Risk Consulting, if purchasers engage with the supply chain to reduce carbon emissions, a business can deliver tangible green results and move beyond "marketing fluff". It follows a recent study by the firm that showed 76 per cent of 50 blue-chip organisations have limited visibility of their total supply chain.

Alex Hindson, head of enterprise risk management at Aon, said businesses want to minimise their environmental impact, but don't know how to integrate green philosophies into their supply chain. He said buyers can help exercise influence and bring about change.

Purchasers should ensure sourcing initiatives set the benchmark for an organisation's environmental standards. This could mean buying goods and services more locally and cutting out the transport emissions of finding cheaper sources abroad. Buyers must measure the environmental effect of purchasing decisions by looking beyond first-tier suppliers. Setting realistic carbon emission reduction targets for vendors is also important.

Hindson added: "The long-term cost of not undertaking green reform is enormous both from an environmental standpoint, but also from the reputational standing of the organisation."


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