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The Procurement and Supply Manager's Desk Reference, + Website, 2nd Edition by John Semanik, Fred Sollish

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CHAPTER 8

Sustainability

By now it is clear to almost everyone that the earth's environment is facing some very significant challenges, considered by most to be the result of human activity and waste. We somehow need to reverse these trends so that available resources, including the very air we breathe and the water we drink, are available to future generations. We call this concept Sustainability.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) defines the term sustainability as follows:

Sustainability is the ability to meet current needs without hindering the ability to meet the needs of future generations in terms of economic, environmental and social challenges.

The philosophy of sustainability revolves around the general concepts of social responsibility in terms of how we use our earthly resources. In supply management, we have simplified the term for this philosophy as “green sourcing.”

Sustainability requires commitment by management and employees alike. New global and national standards for socially responsible and environmentally sound practices are continually being developed, and to maintain effectiveness, organizations must constantly adapt and stay a step or two ahead of the changing dynamics.

It is very difficult to identify best practices that are themselves sustainable. But clearly it is still in every organization's best interests to review its operations and determine what can be done to meet the current demands of its industry, its business partners, and its shareholders. ...

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