Example of a Green Strategy Implemented Grass Roots vs. Management Edict

Purchasing.com has an article about Seattle Children's Hospital grass roots based Green procurement initiative.

Sustainable procurement at Seattle Children's Hospital is the outgrowth of a grassroots, voluntary program that began in various pockets of the hospital several years ago, and which were then eventually coordinated.

“Our goal is to become the Greenest hospital in the U.S.,” says Dennis Gawlik, who is responsible for non-clinical sourcing at the Seattle-based facility. Gawlik is no novice, either. He is a member of the ISM Committee on Sustainability and Social Responsibility, and teaches at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, which offers an MBA in sustainable business and weaves sustainability through all its courses, Gawlik says.

The end results they admit are slower.

Seattle Children's strategy, according to Gawlik, is an admittedly slower, more organic way of getting into Green procurement, but he believes it tends to build more short-term and long-term commitment, because it is based on a “pull” model from users, rather than a “push” model from a procurement or management mandate.

And contrasts the way the majority of people have chosen to implement Green procurement.

Many companies take one of two strategies in launching a Green procurement initiative. Either purchasing takes the lead and directs internal customers on how to be more environmentally friendly in product selection, or management issues a Green mandate and purchasing develops its portion of the overall corporate strategy. Both strategies can work well, but in both cases, the internal customers often feel left out of the decision-making process.

However, there is a third strategy that may, in the long run, lead to the most successful and long-term results. This involves the procurement department piggybacking on existing internal Green initiatives, but is driven by the internal customers first, rather than a mandate. A good example of this strategy has been taking place at Seattle Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, which has a very strong commitment to Green procurement.

The article has logical steps on how Seattle Children's Hospital put their program in place and there are good words of advice for those of you considering how to integrate Green into your data center purchasing.