IN DEPTH [green purchasing]
Green Purchasing Around the Globe Common challenges, common solutions By Scot Case
overnments and other institutions around the world have adopted green purchasing as a way to reduce the human health, environmental and social impacts of routine purchasing decisions. Purchasers around the globe have adopted remarkably similar approaches to integrate these considerations into standardized purchasing practices, have encountered remarkably similar challenges in their efforts to do so, and are beginning to build common solutions collaboratively to make green purchasing even easier. This article highlights some trends and examples gathered from recent reports and conferences on international green purchasing efforts (sources listed at the end).
16 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014
DEFINING GREEN PURCHASING In the United States and in other countries that first adopted green purchasing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, green purchasing began with a narrow focus on buying products made from recycled content or that are more energy- or water-efficient. As the science of product life cycle assessment matured, highlighting the significant environmental impacts throughout the manufacturing, use, and disposal of products, purchasers began expanding the definition and practice of green purchasing to reflect the full range of potential impacts. They began considering the total energy used to make a product, the environmental impacts of mining or harvesting the raw materials, the hazardous materials found within products,
The official publication of NIGP.