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As green as your partner: New IBM consulting service helps companies apply green credo to buying practices

Follow the money. That's the best way to understand whether or not a company really has embraced green information technology policies or broader green practices.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

Follow the money. That's the best way to understand whether or not a company really has embraced green information technology policies or broader green practices. I've been saying for some time that all the great ideas around green tech were nothing if the procurement team didn't get on board. IBM apparently agrees: the company has just introduced another consulting service related to sustainability practices called IBM Sustainable Procurement.

The new service looks across a company's procurement departments to determine how efficient and sustainabile they really are and what adjustments might be made that won't completely whack out the cost structure. It covers everything: from supplies in the office to ingredients in the corporate cafeteria to finished goods and services they use to run their operations (which would include computers and other office equipment) to transportation services for moving everything around. Ultimately, the service helps a company look at each one of its suppliers and weigh its overall green/sustainable credentials.

As an example of how the service might impact a company, IBM estimates that a company can cut greenhouse gas emissions AND energy costs by 10 percent simply be addressing how they transport finished goods.

It probably won't surprise you to hear that IBM uses its own experience with suppliers at the model for its new service. (Here's a podcast explaining the new service.) The company works with approximately 30,000 "supplier locations" around the world and has its own Supplier Conduct Principles.

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