Don’t Become a Target for Protesters
In your conversations with environmental groups, ask them if the sources of your fiber are of concern. And if so, why and what you may be able to do about it. You’ll be well served by asking their views on the range of certification standards.
Through your stakeholder discussions, you’ll likely find that a set of issues to consider in drafting a paper procurement policy includes, but is not limited, to:
- source reduction,
- recycled content,
- sustainable forest management,
- certification and chain of custody,
- manufacturing impacts,
- alternative fibers,
- life-cycle analysis, and
- social issues.
How far you push on any of these issues will be determined by your ultimate goal, which is why Step No. 1 is such a critical starting point.
Our goal at Norm Thompson Outfitters has been to create fundamental change in the supply options available in the marketplace by working collaboratively with colleagues, environmental groups and supply-chain partners. The policy we developed is part of our strategy to achieve that goal.
(Ed. note: To view a recent copy of Norm Thompson Outfitters’ paper procurment policy, visit the Web site, www.normthompson.com.)
Step 3: Draft It
Once you feel you’ve sufficiently explored the topics that relate to your purchasing scenario, begin writing the policy. State your environmental goals at the outset, along with your business objectives (e.g., availability, price, market stability).
A critical component of any environmental policy is its implementation plan. Without it, a policy is just a set of words on paper. Set some targets and discuss them with your suppliers and relevant employees.
Be sure you understand all supply options and how their price and quality implications satisfy your policy objectives. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to write an overly specific policy that no catalog paper on the market can match at a reasonable price.