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New Efforts to Create a Framework to Define Sustainable Purchasing

A newly created Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) officially launched on July 23, 2013 to help businesses implement sustainable purchasing decisions based on best practices. SPLC spokesman Joel Makower explains the challenge, “Sustainable purchasing can be confusing; there aren’t enough reliable standards for some of the things institutional buyers are purchasing. There is a need for tools and best practices and credible third-party recognition for leaders.” With this in mind, a group of business leaders have formed the SPLC to better educate businesses and purchasing managers about sustainable purchasing. Jason Pearson, SPLC’s executive director, says that SPLC’s objective is to “address the fact that institutional purchasers are asking for guidance on how to do sustainable purchasing comprehensively.” SPLC’s aim is to provide purchasers with the answers they need to integrate sustainable purchasing into their business frameworks.

SPLC efforts are intended to define, guide, measure, and reward sustainable purchasing efforts. The council recognizes that numerous frameworks on sustainable purchasing have already been published. According to Pearson, the work that SPLC is doing “will accelerate the adoption of the most credible and useful frameworks that have already been developed or are under development by other organizations.” Mimicking the United States Green Building Council’s LEED program, SPLC will create a membership-based system for recognizing the successes and efforts of companies that implement sustainable purchasing strategies based on these existing frameworks. In doing so, SPLC hopes to become the go-to, one-stop group for determining what makes products sustainable.

SPLC will be holding a summit on August 27th and 28th in Washington D.C. to further discuss long-term objectives. Among the stated goals of SPLC is to have a pilot-ready 1.0 version of the SPLC system within two years.

To learn more, click below to watch a recording of, or download a copy of the slides presented at, SPLC’s launch event webcast.