Report Ties Sustainability and Green Practices to Savings

Sustainability and green can play a critical role in cost and risk reduction in an economic downturn, Spend Matters reports

Chicago, IL — October 14, 2008 — Sustainable procurement and supply chain practices now often include cost reduction as well as other factors such as safety, quality, environmental concerns and overall supplier stability, according to a new research report from procurement and supply chain blog Spend Matters.

The report, entitled "Redefining Sustainability: Saving Money, Reducing Risk and Going Green," provides case examples and analysis that show many of the world's most respected companies are pursuing green and sustainable sourcing and supply chain practices.

However, Jason Busch, Spend Matters editor, notes that many of these companies are not going public with the more strategic aspects of their programs. "That's because they view the cost and risk reduction side of their activities as a competitive advantage in the marketplace," Busch said.

Nevertheless, the paper unearths some of these strategies and the results that leaders are achieving whether they're engaged in global sourcing activities or working with regional or local suppliers.

Spend Matters' findings suggest that the companies getting the most out of green and sustainable investments are making these initiatives as much of a supply management (and cost) priority as corporate social responsibility (CSR). The research also suggests that companies are expanding their definition and focus on sustainability across multiple categories including packaging (such as corrugated), transportation/logistics, plastics and even metals.

In addition, the paper provides case examples that show how industry leaders are working closely with their suppliers to define new materials and contract specifications, create options and develop alternatives to save money and reduce risk in highly volatile commodity and credit market environments.

"Today's financial crisis is not a time for companies to turn their backs on sustainability," Busch said. "Rather, the current environment provides cause to expand the definition of sustainability and to prioritize new types of cost reduction initiatives that such programs can bring."

The white paper is available free for download (registration required) at