Environmentally Responsible Procurement (ERP) is a process whereby an organization adjusts its purchasing behaviour to favour products, services and activities that minimize adverse impacts on the environment.* An ERP can improve an organization's image or reputation with customers, shareholders, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders. An organization gains competitive advantage by achieving a position of leadership in the environmental area through ERP and/or the provision of environmentally responsible products or services.
*Although this is a purchasing process, we recognize that the best alternative is a fundamental concept of reduction.
Note: In the instance that this Information Product refers to environmentally responsible product evaluation, it is inferred that service and activity considerations are also considered.
1.1 ERP is driven by a variety of forces including:
a) ethical environmental responsibility;
b) government regulation;
c) community and interest groups;
d) customer and consumer preferences;
e) stakeholder and investor pressure;
f) professional standards;
g) employee concerns; and
h) industry guiding principles and codes of practice.
1.2 These forces are persuasive, but they may be countered by several considerations including:
b) competing priorities;
c) lack of education and awareness;
d) inaccurate perceptions; and
e) absence of/or incomplete data.
Global experience in business, industry and government indicates that most ERP programs pass through five developmental steps, as depicted in Figure 2.