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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Leadership and Governance for Sustainability > Global Leadership

Add Green Practices to Outsourcing Contracts for ROI and Risk Reduction

Green your supply chain by working green practices into your outsourcing contracts.

Find green business solutions
california consumer pollution solutions Business runs on outsourcing. Not just to China and India...but across town and across the state and nation. Science and technology have become so complex that we've become a world of specialists. Along with this specialization comes outsourcing to find the best expertise, availability and cost-effective production. And logistics.

The green business model hits outsourcing head-on. Not only are the sustainability of raw materials important. But how the operation is run with energy efficiency, green chemistry and healthful work environments. And transparency of sourcing information among partners in the outsourcing chain of supply.

One way to green your supply chain is to work green practices into your outsourcing contracts. US businesses have been at an disadvantage on the global business stage in pricing -- but our leaders have compensated by developing expertise and procedures that are greener and cleaner. Clean tech is now an American advantage. Compliance with globally tightening laws is now turning a favorable advantage to American companies who took an early lead in engineering greener, cleaner processes and products.

To maintain that advantage in this season of global concern about climate change, pollution's health impacts, and local quality of life issues, these environmental leaders can become more aggressive in greening their supply chain. Keep the supply chain strong and clean.

Work green practices into outsourcing contracts to meet regulatory, shareholder and customer concerns.

How? This is a great opportunity to call together a multi-disciplinary brainstorming lab to identify creative ways to green your contracts. When shipping talks with purchasing and sales talks with engineering -- wonderful breakthroughs can happen.

The first rule: "Ask for it."

Suppliers tend to accomplish only what they are asked to achieve. If your products would be greener if your supplier tracked how many miles their parts traveled...ask for that transparentcy.

If minimal packaging would help you meet weight restrictions or recycling goals. Ask for it.

If hardware energy consumption, waste disposal, using recycled and environmentally superior content, water and energy efficient products and alternative fuel vehicles will green your supply chain so you can get a "chain of custody" it into your upcoming contracts.

The first step is to know your green goals. Do you need to meet ISO 14000 standards? How about FSC CofC? Or a Green Seal requirement? Or Energy Star? Which certifications and programs are shaping your industry so that you can position yourself as a leader among your peers?

Do you know what the leaders are doing? Can you dove-tail with them to help them get or keep their certification standards? Could your green certification rub off on your key prospects? Ask them!

Transparency is also about listening to your customers ... not just telling them what your are doing.

Investors are making their dollars speak for them: investment dollars are flowing to companies that will gain an edge through efficiency-related cost reductions, and that will face less risk from environmental liability.

That's the power of being a respected link in the green supply chain.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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