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Sustainable Purchasing Employee Training

I recently completed the course on Sustainable Purchasing offered by the Green Business Bureau. Here’s a quick review of the course and what I learned.

The Green Office Academy’s own Julia Craighill takes the wheel in this online sustainability training course designed to teach sustainable purchasing/procurement for professionals at all levels.

The course consists of 4 distinct units that each take less than 25 minutes to complete.

  1. Sustainability Overview for Businesses
  2. Sustainable Products and Packaging
  3. Sustainable Vendors and Manufacturers
  4. Creating YOUR Own Sustainable Purchasing Plan

Overall, the course is a great introduction to green purchasing, with a focus on purchasing for the office environment.  It covers the basics of business sustainability as well as product lifecycle management.

Sustainable Purchasing Course

Who Is This Sustainable Purchasing Course For?

This course is for every professional and enthusiast who has an interest in green purchasing, or whose professional responsibilities require a better understanding of the subject. It’s ideal for 

  • Office administrators
  • Office managers
  • Head of facilities
  • Head of operations
  • Small business owner
  • Sole proprietors
  • Work at home employees

Although generally aimed at being a beginner’s course, it should be mentioned that this course can still be a useful refresher for professionals already well-versed in the ins and outs of green purchasing.  

What Is the Scope of the Green Procurement Training?

The course covered the following 4 topics:

  • Unit 1: Sustainability Basics For Typical Businesses – This material covers an overview of the lifecycle of a product from design to materials to distribution to sales to maintenance.. It covered examples of some commonly purchased items.
  • Unit 2: Understanding the Sustainability of Products & Packaging – This material covered the environmental and social impacts of products and packaging based on the fundamentals learned in Unit 1. The decision criteria that you should consider and  apply to everyday office purchases is covered in detail.
  • Unit 3: Selecting the Right Vendors & Manufacturers – Once you know what you want to buy, you need to determine from who. This 3rd unit focuses on exactly that, what vendor criteria to evaluate in selecting your providers. It includes a checklist of what to look for when deciding whom you should buy from.
  • Unit 4: Choosing Your Purchasing Path and Developing a Green Procurement Plan – This last unit covers how to build a specific green procurement plan. It takes what you have learned in the previous units and applies them to the real world situation in your workplace and office.

Bonus Materials Included 

As part of the course, students also receive 3 super valuable documents and tools.

  • #1 Sustainable Criteria Booklet – This booklet takes the environmental issues associated with office products, including personal illness, habitat and species loss, pollution, and resource depletion – and codifies those impacts into simple, easily identifiable criteria for products commonly purchased for office operations.
  • #2 Selection Tools Booklet – This is an index of the Terminology, Ecolabels, and Apps that will help you make the best product selections.
  • #3 Ranking Worksheet – This is a spreadsheet tool where you can list what you are already purchasing as a baseline, choose applicable criteria you would like to aim for, prioritize them, and plan which changes you will implement over the next three years.

Training Review and Findings

I highly recommend this to any person who is involved in purchasing for their company or office.  It’s perfect for helping you identify what products you can purchase that are more eco friendly and what vendors you should use who are more committed to sustainability. Overall, the training was practical, easy to understand, and only took a few hours to complete. The Green Purchasing Course by Green Office Academy is a good fit for all professionals who want to step up their game by understanding the real-world elements of sustainable change for the better.

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