Going Green Procurement

Incorporate green into job
Leading the Way: Office Supplies, Cleaning Products, and Computers

As Joel Makower noted in the 2009 State of Green Business report, Information technology "is one industry experiencing a ‘race to the top, ' in which companies are both cooperating and competing to create high standards of performance." During our recent survey, we asked panel members to identify all products that they are purchasing based upon green criteria. Cleaning products and office supplies lead in their respective categories (78 percent and 57 percent respectively). Computers and other IT hardware were called out by 55 percent of the companies responding.

Office supplies led all product categories by a long shot, with 78 percent of survey respondents reporting that they evaluate these as part of their green procurement standards. It turns out that size matters: Only 53 percent of companies with revenues over $1 billion consider office supplies when buying green. We've seen similar findings from other surveys, where fewer than 5 percent of companies with revenues under $10 million flatly stated "I will not pay a premium for a green product" compared to 19 percent of companies with revenues over $1 billion. In fact, there's good news for those companies targeting small business buyers: 70 percent say that for some products they would pay a premium that exceeds six percent of a comparable product's cost.


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