Plastic Free July – Workplace Procurement

Here at Green Fulfilment, our team are on our own educational journey with best environmental practises and in this blog we’re sharing some of the practises we are introducing.

Starting with procurement, you may be surprised by the amount of single-use plastic your company regularly obtains, and even more surprised by how easy it is to change this.

Many things we use daily in the workplace, like single-use plastic cups, plates, and utensils, can be replaced with more sustainable alternatives.

The first step we undertook was to assess our company’s current use of single-use plastics. This can be done by conducting a waste audit or working with your waste management provider.

After learning more about the procedures in place, invite key procurement people to a meeting. Try and ensure someone with decision making authority is on the team, or at least aware of the initiative.

With the team, explore amending the procurement procedure to include some of the following:

– Requesting information on the recyclability of products
– Considering the whole life cycle cost of products
– Requiring minimum recycled content in products
– Prioritising products with voluntary sustainability certification schemes such as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

When putting together the list to discuss, consider simple items that your workplace obtains on a regular basis and discuss whether you can reduce packaging. This could include:

o Sourcing stationary which is plastic free
o Sourcing paper and cardboard which is 100% recyclable
o Cutting out the use of single-use plastic wipes

There are plenty of other options for more sustainable workplace procurement, and the list above is far from exhaustive. The most important thing is to get started and make some small changes that will have a big impact.

This blog is part of our on-going sustainability series, check out more on Plastic Free July here.