Author: Ryan Collins
Sustainable procurement aims to reduce the adverse environmental, social and economic impacts of purchased products and services throughout their entire life cycle. Looking for items made from recycled materials is a big part of this. And with more consumers being more likely to buy products and packaging made with recycled content, we offer 3 simple things businesses can do to start buying recycled.
Depending on the business, some easy changes may include starting with paper products:
It’s important to begin discussions with your current supplier about sustainability and buying recycled. It may also be handy to identify the key suppliers in the industry who are engaged in sustainability. This is where bodies like
Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) can be particularly useful.
GECA provides rigorous, independent environmental certi cation and standards for products in the form of an ecolabel and one of those standards addresses recycled products. The ecolabel signals that a product is a good environmental choice.
APCO is an initiative focussed on sustainable packaging and aims to change the culture of all businesses to decrease packaging waste and increase recycling rates. APCO also provides resources to help businesses develop sustainable procurement policies in relation to packaging.
Communication is the key to success, so the next step is to establish a ‘buy recycled’ policy as part of a sustainable procurement strategy. This policy can be used to communicate your commitment to buy recycled content products to suppliers, employees and clients. It is beneficial to ask suppliers to report on the recycled content of
the goods they provide to enable your business to promote this information to clients.
Ryan is the Recycling Programs Manager at Planet Ark. After nearly a decade working in the banking and finance industry Ryan was drawn to a career in environmental conservation that saw him work in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji. With a background in psychology and environmental management, Ryan’s role at Planet Ark since 2012 has been focused on developing engaging and positive environmental behaviour change programs to help everyone recycle and reduce waste.