New Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council focuses on green procurement

In a new effort to develop green procurement standards, private and public organizations formed a new partnership called the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"Procurement is a tremendous point of leverage in our economy," said Kevin Lyons, supply chain management professor at Rutgers University.

After having its official launch on July 23, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council currently has a membership incorporating state and government organizations, higher education institutions and businesses.  The Founders Circle of the council are divided into purchasers like the State of California Department of General Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, suppliers like Dell and Office Depot and finally, market advisors like the CIPS Sustainability Index. The council kicked off with a webcast presented by Jason Pearson, executive director of the council.

"Consumption, that is purchases of goods and services, is the demand engine that drives our economy . . . [and] that [engine] drives all of the social and environmental impacts of that economic and industrial activity," Pearson said.

The nonprofit said its mission includes raising awareness of purchasing leadership and supporting related efforts that achieve sustainability goals. The council hopes to build its resources from grants, membership dues and meeting revenues and in turn it hopes to provide members with guidance related to spending analysis and services for a sustainable future.

Currently, purchasers in the market use a mix-match of standards and measurements for green products as well as different sustainable ratings systems. This could be confusing in determining whether products are actually environmentally or not depending on the outcome.

As a potential counterpart to the LEED U.S. Green Building Council, instead of LEED procurement, the council will focus on green procurement. The council plans to provide its members with Refined Action Planning guidance, a guide for common product and service categories and a pilot-ready version of a purchasing rating system.

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