Green procurement overview

What is green procurement?

Green procurement means reviewing the items and services your office buys regularly and selecting ones with lower environmental impact.

Why buy green?

Good risk management and sustainable procurement go hand in hand. For business, interrogating procurement needs and practices can reduce operating costs, improve employee health and productivity, lower environmental impacts and help compliance with environmental legislation. Improving the sustainability of your products (both used and distributed) reflects well on your company's image.

A strong procurement framework can also reduce equipment running costs, improve end-of-life disposal practice, and minimise packaging and transport costs. When it comes to buying energy efficient equipment - it can have a marginally higher upfront capital expenditure (capex) but will deliver significant lifetime cost and emissions savings. Costs can be further reduced by buying in bulk, purchasing longer life materials, or establishing a re-use for materials purchased.

In the built environment, green built buildings whose maintenance and procurement practices are not sustainable can have a negative impact on the performance of the building as a whole.

How to introduce green procurement

To embark on sustainable procurement organisations should:

  • adopt clear policies and guidelines
  • communicate their position to staff and suppliers
  • identify the most purchased items by volume and value and establish their environmental impacts and possible alternatives
  • develop procurement management systems, tracking and benchmarking
  • identify end-of-life options
  • provide necessary training
  • review processes and identify areas of improvement


City Switch Quick Guide to Sustainable Procurement






Related resources

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Beginner's Guide to Sustainable Procurement

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End of life

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