Guidance v1.0 Pilot Program

Table of Contents

Watch Pilot Overview
Watch the Pilot Overview Webinar Recording

Overview

SPLC piloted its Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v1.0 during the first half of 2015. Participating organizations received implementation support and were able to suggest improvements to the Guidance before it is widely available for use. The goal of the Pilot was to engage a wide variety of purchasing organizations as well as organizations affected by the Guidance in order to realize a core objective of the Council: collectively build a shared program of Guidance congruent with the Council’s Principles for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing.

The Pilot was structured as an intensive feedback period taking place from January – June 2015, with multiple avenues for and levels of participation.

Benefits

SPLC Member Organizations in the Pilot Program received access to the following benefits:

  • Education sessions(February – May 2015)
    • February 24: Chapter 2 – Starting a Sustainable Purchasing Program [View Recording]
    • March 5: Chapter 3 – Running a Sustainable Purchasing Program (Part 1) – Understanding and Launching Strategy Cycles [View Recording]
    • March 10: Chapter 3 – Running a Sustainable Purchasing Program (Part 2) – Analysis and Prioritization
    • March 12: Chapter 3 – Running a Sustainable Purchasing Program (Part 3) – Plan, Commit, Implement, and Report
    • March 17: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Professional Services
    • March 24: Chapter 4 – Procurement of IT Hardware and Services
    • March 26: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Transportation
    • April 1: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Paper
    • April 8: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Cleaning and Sanitizing Chemicals for Facilities Care
    • April 15: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Electricity
    • May 7: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Furnishings
    • May 13: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance
    • May 20: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Food
    • May 21: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Construction and Renovation
  • Live Feedback Sessions (April – June 2015)
    • April 14: Chapter 2 – Starting a Sustainable Purchasing Program
    • April 21: Chapter 3 – Running a Sustainable Purchasing Program
    • May 12: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Transportation
    • May 19: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Paper
    • June 9: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Cleaning and Sanitizing Chemicals for Facilities Care
    • June 11: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Professional Services
    • June 16: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance
    • June 18: Chapter 4 – Procurement of IT Hardware and Services
    • June 23: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Electricity
    • June 30: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Food and Beverages for Food Service
    • July 14: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Construction and Renovation
    • July 21: Chapter 4 – Procurement of Furnishings
    • July 28: Chapter 2 – Starting a Sustainable Purchasing Program
    • July 30: Chapter 3 – Running a Sustainable Purchasing Program
  • Access to the Pilot Program Online Community
  • Public promotion
  • Dedicated assistance from SPLC staff, Technical Advisory Committee, and Technical Advisory Groups

Timeline

    • Pilot Program opens for registration [Register] (November 2014)
    • Guidance v1.0 Member Preview released and Pilot Program begins (January 15, 2015)
    • Guidance v1.0 Public Release Launch Webinar (February 5, 2015)
    • Education sessions for Pilot Program participants (February – May 2015)
    • Live Feedback Sessions for Pilot Program participants launch (April – June 2015)
    • Education and live feedback sessions at SPLC’s 2015 Summit

(May 26-28, 2015)

  • Last day to submit feedback to be considered toward Guidance v2.0 (July 31, 2015)
  • Lessons from Guidance v1.0 Pilot Program published (Fall 2015)

 

Participation Options

Below are example ways that member organizations participated in the pilot. Note: participation in the Pilot does not require that your organization make a public commitment or that commentary be provided on behalf of a particular organization.

Purchasing Organizations:

OptionLevel of EffortLevel of ServiceLevel of Recognition
Use the guidance in current work.
Complete participant questions.
HighHighHigh
Review guidance based on recent or upcoming work.
Complete participant questions.
MediumMediumHigh
Review guidance.
Complete participant questions.
MediumMediumHigh
Review portions of guidance.
Provide general feedback.
Low-mediumLowLow

Suppliers & Service Providers:

  • Review the Guidance affecting your industry. To what extent are you able to meet the needs of purchasers identified in the Guidance?
  • Consider to what extent have the most significant impacts been identified? Are there metrics and indicators missing?

Certification, Standards, and Spend Analysis Providers:

  • Consider to what extent are your programs able to effectively measure the most significant impacts associated with the purchasing categories relevant to your work?
  • Consider to what extent have the most significant impacts been identified? Are there metrics and indicators missing?

Public Interest Advocates:

  • Consider to what extent have the most significant impacts been identified? Are there metrics and indicators missing?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment for the Guidance v1.0 Pilot?

It’s entirely up to an organization. Below are some examples of various levels of effort depending on the amount of time an organization would like to put into the process:

Types of Participation for Purchasing Organizations:

High Level of Effort:
A university just received approval to conduct a spend analysis. As a result, they are going to use Chapter 3 to assist them in the preparation for and conduction of the spend analysis. The team members attend the education sessions, and actively provide feedback within the community group and during the listening sessions. They also submit thorough responses to the questions posed by SPLC regarding the spend analysis section.

Medium Level of Effort:
A state government recently completed the process of developing a plan for their procurement for 2015. The primary members of their team will review Chapters 2 and 3. While they neither used a cross-functional team nor were able to complete a thorough spend analysis, they intend to reflect on how the content in Chapters 2 and 3 would have helped them do their work better. They may attend some education sessions, but will likely not be active in the community discussions or the listening sessions. They do intend to answer the specific questions posed by SPLC targeting the Chapters that they are reviewing.

Low Level of Effort:
A corporation has a large procurement of personal computers coming up in Q3 of 2015. They will review the IT Hardware & Services section of Chapter 4 and provide general feedback. They may answer the specific questions posed by SPLC targeting the Personal Computers section of Chapter 4, but don’t know if they want to commit to that.

Types of Participation for Suppliers and Service Providers, Standards and Certification Developers, and Public Interest Advocates

  • Review Guidance affecting your industry
  • Answer high level questions above, targeted toward your industry
  • Answer specific questions posed by SPLC targeting the Chapters relevant to your industry
  • Attend education sessions
  • Attend listening sessions, participation in the community forum

Can we limit the scope of our participation to a specific part of the Guidance, like Spend Analysis or Green Cleaning?

Absolutely. We don’t anticipate that any organization (except maybe a really small one with very simple purchasing!) could test out all of the Guidance in the 5 month Pilot time period. Take a look at the Expression of Interest form and you’ll see that we ask organizations to indicate what parts of the Guidance they expect they would want to review or use as part of the Pilot. Organizations can choose as many or as few as they want.

Is SPLC membership and pilot participation limited to US organisations?

Not at all. We already have a number of non-US members. We believe the approach we are supporting can be applied in any region. The specifics of an organization’s Action Plan will differ based on what is high priority in their locale and possible within their marketplace. That is true no matter what region – even in the US.

Is the Pilot relevant to corporate purchasers?

We use the term “institutional purchasing” to distinguish all purchasing conducted by organizations, including corporations, from consumer purchasing. Our guidance will be immediately useful for corporate purchasers, and we welcome them in the Pilot. We already have more than a dozen Fortune 500 corporations involved as Purchaser Role members. We believe the process guidance we are providing can be useful to all types of purchasers in all sectors and regions of the globe now. When it comes to purchasing category guidance, our initial focus is on finished goods and services (indirect spend). Manufacturers may find our guidance on indirect spend informative for planning the direct spending that goes into producing those goods and services. We may also look at direct spend in the future (e.g., strategies for priority commodities).

What's the cost of participating in the Pilot?

There is no additional cost for participating in the Pilot beyond SPLC membership dues, which vary by Role and organizational size, as described at www.sustainablepurchasing.org/membership. Member dues are what financed our guidance development process and is what will support the staffing for the Pilot.

What data, if any, will SPLC be asking Pilot Participants to submit?

We will not be asking for anyone to submit data as part of the Pilot. Throughout the Pilot we will be looking to collect feedback about organization’s experience using the Guidance or their perspective upon reviewing the Guidance. If an organization decides they want to share some of their data with us to support the feedback they are providing, that would be fine, but we have no expectation that Pilot Participants will send us any specific data.

Could a consulting company participate in the pilot together with one of their clients?

Absolutely. If the client is a member, then their staff and any consultants working with them on their sustainable purchasing program can participate in all the Pilot education sessions, peer cohorts and so on. If only the consulting company is a Council member, the consulting company would be the Pilot participant and would participate in the Pilot education sessions, peer cohorts and so on, taking what they learn back to their client.

How long will the pilot program run?

The timeline is January to May. We will accept Pilot Projects ENTERING the pilot until March. However, pilot projects can begin using the guidance as soon as it is released, on January 9th. We will also begin education sessions in late January (probably the 3rd week of the month), and listening sessions the 2nd week of Feb.

Do you have to be a member to participate in the pilot?

Yes, you do need to be a member. Member dues are what financed our guidance development process and is what will support the staffing for the Pilot. You can learn more about becoming a member here: www.sustainablepurchasing.org/membership

How can individual contributors in organizations be involved, if they are in the technical side and not a part of the purchasing, facilities, or finances departments.

Our Guidance v1.0 calls on organizations to tackle the sustainability of their spending by leveraging the full capabilities of their organization, usually through forming a cross-functional team. Business or program-side staff are often integrally important to executing a sustainable purchasing Action Plan because they are the customers of the organization’s procurement processes. Making use of business and program-side staff who are individually passionate about sustainability is a great thing for cross-functional teams to do.

But how do you open up those opportunities for yourself if you are on the business/program side? Within our Guidance v1.0 there is a section on Enlisting Support, which is really about how an individual employee – no matter where they are in the organization –can go about finding support and opportunities to work with others on applying a holistic approach to managing supply chain impacts. The advice in this chapter will apply equally to you. You might be able to use it to strike up a conversation with people in your organization already working on sustainability or procurement about how you can support that work. One of the ways you may be able to support it is by being a pair of eyes and ears that keeps them informed about the conversations happening in the Council and the resources available to them through it.

How are life cycle phases being incorporated into Guidance v1.0?

Each Technical Advisory Group (TAG) has a different set of life cycle phases they are considering. The chemically intensive products and professional service TAGs are focused on the use phase; Electricity is focused mostly on generation and use; Construction, IT hardware, Transportation and fuels, and Food are looking at just about the entire life cycle, and Wood is most focused on extraction and disposal. Many started out with larger scopes, but depending on where the major hotspot impacts were found, the scopes that are address are narrowed.

Are you considering developing different types of rating systems based on different sectors, the same way LEED does? (For example, would you consider having a rating system for universities, specifically)?

Right now, we envision we may follow an approach closer to the LEED adaptations, as opposed to completely different rating systems. For example, with the launch of LEED v4, under the Building Design and Construction rating system, there are adaptations for Data Centers, Hospitality, Warehouses, and a couple others. About 85% of the rating system is the same as New Construction that most folks are familiar with, but it is very intentionally different where necessarily to the market sector. In the Guidance we are delivering in January, there ARE considerations for specific markets (in particular, universities, government, and corporate settings, and we do intend to expand those over time).

Do you see the guidance document and programs as being mainly from a U.S. perspective or also including Canadian institutional purchasing organizations as well?

We have a couple Canadian representatives on our TAGs and Technical Advisory Committee, so we are addressing specific considerations as we can. The same is true with considerations outside North America. One of our priorities is to recruit pilot participants outside the U.S./North America so that we can ensure that where we need to address additional considerations, we can identify and prioritize them as part of the Pilot.