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Environmental Purchasing Policies And Managemet Essay

2480 words - 10 pages


Environmental problems have received an increasing attention during last decade. One of the major sources of environmental problems is supply chain implementations (Aronsson, H. and Brodin, M.H., 2006). In a supply chain, purchasing function is in a critical position to affect an organisation’s response to concerns about natural environment. The goods and services procured, and the actions or lack of actions by purchasing professionals have a direct impact on the natural environment. They also have an influence on equipment selection which impacts energy use and emissions level (Zsidisin, G. and Siferd, S.,2001). Transport sector also is one of the main sources of pressure on ...view middle of the document...

and Hendrick, T., 1998). Purchasing managers deal to obtain a wide range of raw materials, components, consumables and packaging materials for production of finished goods and satisfy market demand (Zsidisin, G. and Hendrick, T., 1998). Klassen and McLaughlin (1996) stated that public demand for environmentally safe products and potentially decreasing in costs, the adoption of environmentally sound purchasing policies also may provide firms a competitive advantage in the market (cited in Zsidisin, G. and Hendrick, T., 1998).

Klassen and Johnson (2004) stated that Green supply chain management can be defined as the ‘alignment and integration of environmental management within supply chain management. (cited in McKinnon, A. et al, 2010, p.16). The main focus of a green supply chain is decreasing energy consumption, emissions and waste, and increasing recycling and reuse. Companies which apply green principles to their internal operations wish to ensure that their suppliers that also meet certain minimum environmental standards. They want to minimize any environmental liability related with purchased goods and services (McKinnon, A. et al, 2010). At the same time, investors want to know that your organisation and supply chain is green. Shareholders, employees and customers are eager to related with or purchase from a green company. For example Wallmart announced in August that not just suppliers but also their entire product portfolio must be environmentally labelled or retail giant will not use them (Strokes, S. and Tohamy, N., 2009).

National and regional governments and international agencies provide many guidelines, ranging from advice to legal requirements, to ensure that organisations knew the social policies within which they should work (Cousins, P. et al, 2008). Legislation has a direct impact on environmental protection, and a few companies go far beyond their legal requirements (Preuss, L., 2005). Companies should assess their own and their suppliers’ environmental ‘footprints’. To manage this aim there are voluntary standards. Firstly BS 7570 and then ISO 14000 standards emerged as a reference for good environment practices. ISO 14000 is a scheme for accrediting the firm’s activities and policies and grow from the world’s first Environmental Management System (EMS) Standard, British Standard BS 7750 (1992) which derived from the quality assurance standard BS 5750. (Cousins, P. et al, 2008). ISO 14000 standards provide a set of formal guidelines to ensure the environmentally sound performance of a firm. (Zsidisin, G. and Siferd, S., 2001). This standard requires companies to incorporate environmental considerations into their procurement procedures, including the improvement of their own supplier’s environmental performance. BS 7750 is designed to help companies to evaluate their performance and to define their policy, practices, objectives and targets in relation to the environment (Cousins, P. et al, 2008).

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