5 Principles to Help Increase Your Sustainability Purchasing Leadership

By: Alexandra Kueller

In May, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) announced that they were releasing their key principles for defining leadership within sustainable purchasing. When the SPLC was created the previous year, their challenge was to help minimize the lack of coordination within sustainable purchasing by increasing collaboration. 

Here are our takeaways on the 5 principles released by the SPLC:


  • It is important for an organization to understand the relevant environmental, social, and economic (ESE) impacts of its purchasing. If a company can recognize right away what both the positive and negative impacts of its purchasing are, it then becomes much easier to target what impacts are in need of increasing or decreasing.


  • Companies need to commit to an action plan to help reduce impacts. 
  • Consider creating an integrated team to help identify actions that are both feasible and significantly improve the impacts, as well as agreeing on an implementation timeline.


  • Companies that stick to their commitment show they are dedicated to delivering results.
  • In order to improve your results, providing guidance to staff and tracking progress of your actions are two ways to better your results.


  • Internal and external innovation can enhance your sustainable purchasing leadership.
  • Show you welcome innovation, and be sure to reward staff for their contributions and leadership.


  • Be transparent – by doing so, you take a risk and show that you want to lead the effort for sustainable leadership.

Interested in learning more about sustainability beyond purchasing? Read our white paper, Sustainability Through the Value Chain.