The Greening of Procurement: 5-Part Series discusses how sustainability focus is influencing our buying decisions

Posted on October 31, 2011


Like pulling out the old tuxedo for a wedding or high school reunion, last week’s post (October 26th, Procurement Insights) on Rosslyn Analytic’s collaborative launch of a spend intelligence app focused on quantifying the environmental impact of business activities, brought to mind a white paper I had written in 2008 on the Greening of Procurement.

Penned in concert with my popular seminar series of the same name, and offered as part of our new Resource Library service, The Greening of Procurement: How Social Consciousness is Re-Shaping Procurement Practices is ironically more relevant today than it was in 2008.

Part of the reason for this conscientious awakening is that sustainability and all things green has made an important shift from being the right thing to do, to being the smart thing to do, and believe me there is a world of difference between the two.  In fact, nothing better illustrates the tenuous nature of something that is perceptively sound but practically (i.e. bottom line) deficient than what happend to Six Sigma Black Belts when the economy went south of the birder.

In an April 23rd, 2009 interview with acclaimed Six Sigma IEEE author Forrest Breyfogle III, we discussed the spate of Black Belt layoffs that followed the economic nose dive in a segment titled “Unemployed Excellence – Why Lean, Six Sigma Have Left Some People Out in the Cold.”

Which way to bottom-line results?

It was a sobering example of what happens to even the best intentioned and well-positioned strategies when fiscal realities invade the corporate mindset.  In short, what happened with the Black Belts also impacted the adoption of green purchasing programs, which ceded to the bottom-line imperatives of the day.

Of course the argument can be made in both instances that the real problem with adoption had little to do with the actual value that could be delivered by these programs, and more to do with their advocates’ inability to clearly identify and present tangible savings.

This is why the recent launch of the Rosslyn sustainable app is both interesting and timely.

All this being said, what is the impact of sustainable procurement and is going green more than a morally laudable sentiment that goes well beyond being just the right thing to do?

Starting tomorrow and for the balance of this week I will be posting sequential excerpts from the paper in tandem with the launch of my newest blog SpendShifts.

As a means of encouraging you to subscribe to this exciting new blog, everyone who signs-up will (with thanks to Rosslyn Analytics) receive a complimentary copy of the actual Greening of Procurement white paper.

NOTE: Use the following link (The Greening of Procurement (Part 1)) to access Part 1 in the The Greening of Procurement series on the SpendShift’s Blog.