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relationships purchasing departments can engage with suppliers to encourage innovation fromthem. Closer collaboration with suppliers allowsorganisations to encourage new thinking andimproved environmental practices in line with theirown product development plans. In addition, suppliers are encouraged to proactivelybring new ideas to their customers, which can beused to improve their overall product portfolio orefficiencies. A leading consumer goods company faced thechallenge of finding a new competitive advantage for its main product. The marketing and purchasingdepartments worked together to develop anenvironmentally friendly eco-design product, that was made from renewable plant adhesives and was 100 per cent recycled paper. The re-design resulted in an increase in the sellingprice, but also strengthened the brand image andreinforced the company's position in the marketlong-term, based on a strong business case.Implementing a sustainable purchasing modelmeans going beyond the limited vision of thestandard Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approachand transforming it into a sustainable cost ofownership that takes long-term benefits intoaccount. This should include the opportunities to open new markets and boost themarket share. MAKING SUSTAINABLE PURCHASINGA REALITYIn our opinion, cross-functional involvement withinan organisation and with its suppliers is aprerequisite for a successful sustainable purchasingpolicy that creates value for that organisation.Sustainable purchasing practices are driven by bothinternal and external customers, with 46 per cent ofpurchasing directors acknowledging that in-housecustomers also expect value creation fromsustainable purchasing. The next generation of buyers will increase theirareas of responsibility and control sustainable TCOthroughout a product's lifecycle. They will play a keyrole in driving innovation within the organisation -from the early design phases of a product through toits production and distribution. Organisations that are quick to respond to thegrowing trend will benefit from improved relationswith customers, suppliers and employees alike.The implementation of sustainable purchasingreflects sourcing and CSR best practices. It alsoprovides a real development opportunity for the mostadvanced organisations. Although half of our panelbelieves that the Corporate Social Responsibility isincompatible with short-term objectives, otherpurchasing directors have managed to overcome thisobstacle in a proactive and positive way. The business case for change is quickly identifiedand the benefits achieved can reach beyondpurchasing. Making sustainable purchasing a realitydelivers results for both the planet and business! nABOUT BEARINGPOINTWe deliver Business Consulting with managementand technology capabilities. We are an independentfirm with European roots and a global reach. Intoday's world, we think expertise is not enough.Driven by a strong entrepreneurial mindset anddesire to create long-term partnerships, our 3,200Consultants are committed to creating greaterclient value, from strategy through toimplementation, delivering tangible results. As our clients' trusted advisor for many years, wedefine where to go and how to get there.To get there. Together. www.bearingpoint.comGREEN SUPPLY CHAIN077SUSTAINABLE-TCO ("S-TCO") MODEL

he Conference of the Parties hasassembled for the past 17 years in orderto assess the very real impacts of andprogression in climate change. Theleadership and influence of the Conference attendeeseach year truly speak to the significance of climatechange and its relevance on our world agenda. Thisglobal issue unites us all, driving us towards findingsolutions that will ensure a viable future. As the world continues to urbanise and develop, theimpacts of this growth affects individuals from allsocioeconomic status in an equal manner. Thispositive progression in development for society is notwithout its negative impacts, including the depletionof finite natural resources and unchecked growth ingreenhouse gas emissions, leading to drastic changesin weather patterns and our environment. Theseeffects reach all facets of societies, men, women andchildren alike.After considering the intermingled complexities of theentire world, how do we even begin to pinpoint asolution? There are multiple stakeholders involved,each with a different perspective. So, more thananything, the answer lies in transparency. Sharinginformation amongst one another is crucial, especiallywhen the issues involved are entrenched throughout allof society.There is no time to scramble as individuals for thegreater good; instead, it is imperative we unify towardsall-encompassing sustainable solutions that willreduce our negative impact on climate. We must find away to let business prosper within the limits of theplanet. But it must be more than this. We must notonly focus on limiting our harm, but doing more goodas well. We must have an attitude of restoration.The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) has undertaken asignificant challenge in assessing this magnificentquandary. TSC is a global, academically driven, multistakeholder organisation which is conducting researchand developing systems and tools that improvedecision making around issues of sustainability.Suppliers, retailers, NGOs, governments, anduniversities alike collaborate in an effort to improveenvironmental performance by examining every facetof the supply chain: from sourcing raw materials, to themanufacturing, assembly, distribution, use anddisposal of consumer products. No operation hasattempted to drive innovation on such a large scale, orwith this much complexity and diversity.TSC focuses its efforts on a variety of industry supplychains, including electronics, agriculture, home andpersonal care, toys, paper and forestry products andpackaging. As the organisation expands, it willencompass other sectors as well. Within theseindustries, TSC is creating a SustainabilityMeasurement and Reporting System (SMRS) to deliveractionable sustainability information and a large-scalesystem supporting harmonisation of product life cycleassessments over time. It is in this robust frameworkand generation of powerful analyses that a practical setof principles can be established that minimiseenvironmental pressures without sacrificing our needs.The SMRS is revolutionary in its design -accessible tocompanies, buyers, service providers and consumers.Such a vast audience and collaboration of relevantparties allows for wide adoption that will produceexponential environmental benefits. The unique opinion and perspective of governmentaland non-governmental organisations is very importantto this sustainability initiative. In this process, TSC isSUSTAINABLESUPPLYCHAINS:A SOLUTION TO THE CHALLENGE078GREEN SUPPLY CHAINBONNIE NIXON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE SUSTAINABILITY CONSORTIUMTIllustration: shutterstock.com