Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v2.0






The Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing is a comprehensive handbook for organizations seeking to exercise leadership in sustainable purchasing. The Guidance supports organizations working to develop or grow their sustainable purchasing efforts into a comprehensive Sustainable Purchasing Program that takes meaningful responsibility for all significant environmental, social, and economic consequences of its spending. The Guidance is based on the SPLC’s Principles for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing, which define what it means to be a responsible—principled—actor, as an organization and within the marketplace.

Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing – Executive Summaries share the key “take home” messages for each of the category guides, and provide an overview of the full chapter guidance for sustainable purchasing staff and decision-makers. 

SPLC Members – Access the Category Guidance Executive Summaries in the SPLC Member Community Resource Center.

Not an SPLC Member? – Get your Category Guidance Executive Summary for “Personal Computers” and “Cleaning & Sanitizing” by completing the form below.

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What’s included in the Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing

Organizations in a wide variety of sectors and regions can follow the strategic process detailed in the Guidance to:

  • Understand the sustainability impacts of their purchased goods and services,
  • Identify actions that best address these priorities; and
  • Benchmark progress toward goals. 

The Guidance is organized in four chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Background
    Provides an overview of sustainable purchasing and the strategic opportunity that it represents.
  • Chapter 2: Program Design
    Helps sustainable purchasing “champions” build strategic and leadership-capable Sustainable Purchasing Programs within their organizations.
  • Chapter 3: Program Operation
    Describes a continuous improvement process that cross-functional teams can employ to develop effective strategies to achieving specific environmental, social, and economic performance goals.
  • Chapter 4: Purchasing Category Guidance
    Offers guidance on how to apply this strategic thinking for specific categories of purchasing that may be priorities for a wide variety of organizations.