Chapter 7: Purchasing & supply chains

This section examines why it is important to consider environmental and sustainability issues as part of all your purchasing decisions and how to put in place a programme for sustainable supply chain management.

Twenty-five years ago when we purchased products or services we gave little thought to what effect our decision would have on the planet or the lives of people who populate it. The only criteria were whether what we were buying was ‘fit for purpose’ and issues such as quality, effectiveness, value for money, design and product lifespan. These considerations are still as important as ever, but now the process is complicated by the fact that because environmental and socio-economic issues feature more and more in our lives, we have a moral and ethical obligation to factor them into our decisions about what we buy.

A sustainable procurement policy is a key part of managing the direct environmental effects of your hotel. You will also be helping to influence the environmental behaviour of your suppliers which will, in turn, help to shape a more sustainable way of life for everyone. Hotels everywhere rely on suppliers of goods and services in order to satisfy the needs and desires of their guests. The process involves millions of individuals and businesses all acting as links in a ‘chain’ to provide their customers with what they need, the ultimate customer being the end-user. The introduction of responsible purchasing practices into the supply chain is known as sustainable supply chain management (SSCM).

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