Rating System v1.0

Building on SPLC’s PrinciplesGuidance, and training programs, SPLC’s Rating System for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v1.0 is a critical part of transforming the sustainability of our global economy.

Organizational Benefits

The Rating System provides organizations with a:

  • self-assessment framework,
  • benchmarking tool,
  • and leadership recognition opportunity.

These enable and incentivize organizations to pursue the most meaningful actions they can take to address the environmental, social, and economic impacts of their spending.  

Marketplace Benefits

The Rating System provides the marketplace with clarity on:

  • what counts as leadership within various product categories, and
  • who are the genuine leaders in sustainable purchasing, within peer groups.

This clarity enables suppliers to focus their efforts, and allows consumers, investors, public interest advocates, and policy makers to recognize and reward genuine leadership in sustainable purchasing.

Program Design

The Rating System is designed to create a flexible system that evaluates the performance associated with an organization’s sustainable purchasing program and encourages its continued improvement. It is intended to allow users to:

  • evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s program;
  • self-assess an organization’s sustainable purchasing program and performance outcomes, in house and over time;
  • identify opportunities to improve the program efficiency and effectiveness, as well as overall performance outcomes;
  • benchmark to compare performance against common metrics, previous scores, and industry peers;
  • validate organizational purchasing leadership, offering third-party certification of purchasing programs.

The SPLC’s Rating System achieves its functions through the following strategies:

  • identifying a set of yardsticks (metrics) to allow for to quantitatively measure actions taken or performance achieved (or proxies for performance) in a particular area.
  • identifying baseline criteria that purchasing organizations must meet within their sustainable purchasing program; and
  • allocating points to specific processes and strategies that designate levels of achievement relative to purchasing impacts.

Rating System Consensus Document

In 2012 and 2013, the Steering Committee that oversaw the launch of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council created a Rating System Consensus Document [LINK] to guide the program’s eventual development. These criteria are meant to ensure that stakeholders will benefit from using the system and that the program is rigorous and credible. Below are the program design criteria.

  • The rating system will be designed to make product selection more straightforward and efficient.
  • The rating system will use available assessment methods (e.g., ecolabels, standards, certifications, and product attributes), where appropriate, to achieve performance goals.
  • Where appropriate, the rating system will rate assessment methods (e.g., ecolabels, standards, and certifications) for their level of contribution to performance goals, per category.
  • As appropriate, the rating system will be developed to maximize alignment and inter-operability with existing credible systems of sustainability assessment at the product, category, and institution scales.
  • The rating system will be designed for documentation efficiency.
  • The rating system will require the minimum level of documentation/verification to ensure credibility and integrity of the program.
  • The rating system will be scalable for all types and sizes of purchaser.

The SPLC Bylaws, the Membership Policies and Operating Policies and Procedures govern the Technical Advisory Groups and the development of SPLC’s Rating System. Contact Christina Macken with any questions.

Read about our newest platform – the Sustainable Purchasing Benchmarking System.