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Sustainable Sourcing - Towards Greener Pastures

With rising commodity & energy costs coupled with government regulations & the increasing awareness of the end customer, green or sustainable sourcing has become the need of the day.

It has a twofold impact on the company, not only by leading to sustainable sources but also improving the company's goodwill in the market. It can help in deriving cost saving opportunities sometimes such as usage of substitute materials, lower usage of the material by formulation alteration, reduced consumption of other resources such as water, energy etc. and waste & emission reduction. Many organizations now have environmental related clauses in their corporate procurement policy.

Green sourcing is not a new sourcing process, it is just a modification of the existing sourcing process to include parameters of sustainability. However, since it contains using substitute materials or modification in the formulations, it would involve a bigger percentage of internal stakeholders including R&D, product managers, engineers, production managers, marketing etc.

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Capturing the benefits related to green sourcing might be complex and long term as compared to the normal sourcing levers however green sourcing is the need of the hour now. The developed countries have already implemented measures towards attaining this (such as REACH in Europe) and the developing countries have started realizing the importance of this initiative. The introduction of low VOC (volatile organic content) & heavy metal free paints in India few years back, is a classic example of this. What steps does your organization take towards attaining sustainable sourcing? Let's continue the discussion.


Hi Deepa, thanks for writing a very relevant topic which all procurement folks should know. It can also help procurement earn revenue for organizations (carbon credits etc.). You gave great examples too of compliance and product substitutions across verticals. Keep writing.

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