Unfounded Myths About  Green Procurement and Green Products

by Nancy W

A lot has been said about green procurement, most of which are mere unfounded myths. If a myth is said several times, it sounds like the truth and chances of subscribing to it are quite high. It is, therefore, important that you distinguish myths from facts as far as green procurement is concerned because as Barbra Streisand once said, “Myths are a waste of time. They prevent progression”.  Outlined below are some of the most common unfounded myths about  green procurement

A- Unfounded Myths About  Green Procurement and Green Products

  1. Green Procurement is a Costly Affair

The initial cost of implementing the green procurement program has been seen as expensive by many. This is in terms of training, switching suppliers, and other initial costs. However, if you look at the costs in the long-term, you will definitely realize that this is just a myth that cannot be substantiated. The long-term costs reduce considerably once you go green. The green products, for instance, cost less to transport, store, and even dispose of. The risks related to health and safety are significantly reduced.

Most people also perceive green products to be relatively costly. This may have been true some years back since most suppliers were not stocking green products. As a result, there were shortages which resulted in higher prices. Today, there are enough green products in the product which has made suppliers of the same price them competitively. The energy saving laptops retailing at the same price as the traditional less efficient ones tell it all.

  1. Green Procurement Twarts Competition.

It is believed that the production of green products is expensive and makes SMEs shy away from bidding for contracts. This significantly discourages competition as only big firms are able to engage in green products production. Reduced competition results in higher cost, and lower quality, and supplier complacency. The truth is competition is not affected in any way. The only change that happens is the evaluation criteria, as environmental issues are put into consideration. The belief that the production of green products is costly remains an unfounded myth.

  1. Green Procurement is Time-consuming and Cumbersome

A lot of time is spent developing the strategy, switching from the traditional ways, selecting green suppliers, and sensitizing various stakeholders, among other milestones. The selection of green suppliers is particularly cited as cumbersome as the selection criteria have additional green details which require more verification. While this may be true when starting, less time is required as you go on since you become familiar with the process and seamlessly assimilate green requirement into your processes.

Look at it this way; You have received some computers which you have to inspect before signing and issuing that inspection certificate to the supplier. You need to confirm that the computers are not over-packaged and the packaging materials are recyclable or easily disposed of. The first time you are doing this inspection may take a longer time than subsequent inspections you conduct. Similarly, the evaluation team, which was evaluating the bids may also have taken shorter analyzing subsequent bids since they are already familiar with various environmental certifications asked in the bid document. This is how green procurement will save you time throughout the process.

  1. Green Products are of Lower Quality

There is a wide misconception that recycled products are inferior in quality. This is just one of the unfounded myths about green procurement and green products, which has had some negative consequences on the uptake of green procurement across the globe.  The main determinant of the quality of goods you receive is the specifications you give your supplier. Whether the goods are green or not, if you get it wrong during specification setting, you definitely get low quality-items. Green products perform just as perfect or even better than their traditional counterparts, the difference is the environmental impact of each.

  1. Green Products are not Readily Available

It is surprising the way people just assume and believe that there is a serious shortage of green products in the market. This is sheer ignorance of what the contemporary market is offering. Things have changed, every manufacturer wants to have environmental-friendly products to remain competitive. Look at home appliances like laundry machines, refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwashing machines. Most of them have an energy saving rating that indicates the level of efficiency in regard to energy consumption. Most of these appliances cannot be compared to what the market offered a few years ago, in terms of energy consumption. Energy sufficiency has gone up by up to 70%.

Similarly, manufacturers of paints have significantly gone green; they are offering paints with lower volatile organic compounds.

Lack of such information makes consumers subscribe to the myth that green products are unavailable.

B- Debunking Unfounded Myths About  Green Procurement and Green Products

To post remarkable success, it is important that every stakeholder engages in debunking these unfounded myths about green procurement and green products. This can be achieved by continually creating awareness and diminishing cynicism that people have. How can this be accomplished? Simple! Have a look at the following strategies that will make a whole world of difference.

  1. Supply chains that use green procurement and consumers of green products should heavily tout the benefits they enjoy by so embracing green procurement and green products. Let those who are not aware of green programs learn through the success stories. Consumers of green products should also publicize the benefits they get by using green products over the traditional non-green counterparts.
  2. The government should organize educational and informational outreaches where the public will learn more on green procurement and green products. Those governments which have no legislation on green procurement should come up with the same. Incorporating green issues in the school curriculum will also help learning institution release into the job market, a workforce that is well versed with green skills.
  • Suppliers and manufacturers of green products have a role to play too. They can have vendor fairs where they disseminate information on their green products.

 Parting Shot!

Green procurement is the way to go if your supply chain has to remain competitive in the ever dynamic market. You most probably have desired to go green in the past, but got derailed by the unfounded myths about green procurement and green products that go round. You now know the truth. You are in a better position to make an informed decision, which is, certainly implementing the program.

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