What is Green Procurement and How Can I Use It to Kickstart Sustainability Goals?

Posted on 
February 16, 2021
Matthew Wright
Founder & CEO, Specright
The State of Sustainability

A recent report from Bain and Co compared the COVID-19 pandemic to a dress rehearsal for climate change: the crisis has demonstrated a need to “build resilience to deal with low probability scenarios.”Sustainability is increasingly becoming a key focus for businesses across industries. Despite the effects of the pandemic, where businesses shifted from long-term planning to fighting for survival, sustainability efforts have not been lost or forgotten. To help reignite their efforts, many companies are turning to green procurement.Let’s look closer at this concept and how supply data management can help achieve it.

What is Green Procurement?

All of the goods, services, utilities, and materials you procure to conduct business activities can be performed with green thinking leading the way. This is the concept of green procurement, which may include everything from eco-friendly light bulbs and paper towels to solar power. Procurement professionals should look at every purchase through a lens of environmental impact. This not only allows them to make more sustainable decisions but also benefit from the positive impact these decisions can bring.In a green procurement environment, everything from product materials, manufacturing processes, operation, and disposal are considered. Making valuable green procurement decisions often requires participation and support from internal and external partners to share insight on production, delivery, and packaging details.

How Green Procurement Practices are Implemented

Climbing the sustainability mountain is a long journey, one where every step and action contributes to the bigger picture. Focusing on small, incremental improvements to meet short-term goals can help create tangible cost savings and benefit the planet.For example, companies can select an area of focus, such as their warehouse. From there, you can look for specific opportunities to shift to greener practices. This might include installing LED lights or motion sensors in the facility to reduce energy usage and costs. Or, you might examine the types of waste created in the warehouse and decide which items can be recycled. Working backward from each of these areas of focus can build green procurement into your supply chain. For example, if you take stock of the amount of waste created from packaging, you can work with your suppliers to source different materials that can be recycled or are biodegradable. Small changes can amount to major traction over time. The most important priority is simply to start with green procurement so that it eventually becomes par for the course.

Building a Sustainable Future with Supply Chain Data Management

Tracing sustainability throughout the supply chain is a key challenge in green procurement - one that use of supply chain data management tools is specifically designed to overcome. With a single digital thread to deliver insights on origin, materials, packaging, recycling information, and other key details, companies can make informed decisions, find new opportunities to improve their eco-friendliness, and make changes with true impact.

Specright is the leader in specification data management software. Learn more about how brands are Turning Sustainability Into a Reality and how Specright can help yours do the same.


Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright is the founder & CEO of Specright, the first cloud-based platform for Specification Management. Specright has been recognized by Fast Company’s prestigious Most Innovative Companies list, named a Gartner Cool Vendor, and as one of the Top Places to Work by the OC Register and Built in LA. Wright is also a published author and his book, “The Evolution of Products and Packaging,”was named to the Amazon Hot New Release List for Industrial Relations Business and has a five star rating. 

Prior to founding Specright, Wright spent more than 25 years in the packaging industry, holding leadership positions at International Paper, Temple Inland, and rightPAQ — a packaging company he co-founded. He has also been involved in leading multiple M&A deals in the packaging industry, currently sits on the MSU School of Packaging and Industry Advisory Board and previously served on the Packaging Advisory Board at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo.

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