Sustainable buying on hold during downturn

19 April 2010

19 April 2010 | Nick Martindale

The economic downturn has forced organisations to postpone sustainable sourcing initiatives, the Italian association Acquisti & Sostenibilità has found.

But while activity may have stalled, levels of interest and understanding among procurement teams have continued to increase during the three years the organisation has been operating, co-chairman Luca Guzzabocca said.

“The level of interest is increasing step by step. It starts from the most appealing areas, like green car fleet or renewable energies, as they are also very widely spotted by the media,” he said.

Companies that lead the way in this area tend to include sustainability in their total cost analysis, he added. One of the lessons learnt over the past three years was that if managers were not committed to sustainability as individuals, they would not be in their professional position either.

Procurement has a major role to play in extending initiatives down the supply chain, said Guzzabocca. “The proper way to bring suppliers on board is to be clear on your sustainable programme and objectives and engage them in including sustainability in their proposals and offers.”

Acquisti & Sostenibilità works with international partners, including Action Sustainability in the UK, in its mission to promote more sustainable and ethically sound supply practice.

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