4 Things to Know about SPLC's Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing Program

By: Alexandra Kueller

Beginning in January 2015, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) will be launching a pilot program aimed to help companies have more leadership guidance in sustainable purchasing. This program strives to fix the lack of coordination and standardization among purchasing companies when it comes to sustainability, and it hopes to provide more detailed guidance. Currently, SPLC is recruiting companies to join the pilot that will begin in January 2015 and will last until May 2015.

With the program set to launch in a few weeks, we decided to provide a brief overview of what a company can expect from the new guidance program. Below are four key aspects everyone can expect:

Getting Started

When first entering the pilot program, SPLC offers some advice on some of the best ways to start. One of the first steps is to gain support from key internal and external stakeholders. It is then important to create a scope of all the activities, goals, roles, and responsibilities that will come up during the program. Finally, make sure that you have internal and external stakeholder engagement set up throughout the entire process.

The Process

During the pilot program, there are four key areas of the process:

  • Analyze – identifying impacts within spending, prioritizing categories for action
  • Action Plan – identifying and selecting proven strategies for mitigating impacts while delivering values (purchasing category guidance is used here - see below)
  • Implement – setting goals, timelines and policies, training staff, and engaging suppliers
  • Measure – tracking and benchmarking performance while evaluating for continuous improvement

Category Guidance

SPLC recognizes that not every company purchases the same products. Some companies deal with food purchasing, while other companies handle transportation and fuels, and SPLC has designated categories that address specific guidance for a company in each sector. While each category might have different guidance, each one will have the same structure by providing a scope, potential challenges, metrics, indicators, case studies, resources, and more.

Getting Recognition

Each company that participates in the pilot program will have the opportunity to earn recognition from SPLC. Depending on a company’s involvement in the program (there are different levels of participation), a company can earn leadership recognition. More information regarding this aspect of the pilot program will be released once the rating system is released.

Earlier this year we wrote about SPLC's tips to improving your purchasing leadership. You can read that blog entry here.