Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable Procurement in World’s Manufacturing Firms

Sustainable procurement is an act derived from the arising issue of the traditional production methods and how these methods related to the adjacent environment. In traditional systems, the interaction of the production systems and the environment was detrimental to the environment since most of the manufacturers were so inclined to the amount of profit disregarding the effect the process was had on the environment (Lakatos et al., 2018). As a result, most of the environment in direct contact with the manufacturing processes showed damaged signs as a result of the pollution occurring from the poor waste management methods. To curb the hazardous effect, Lakatos et al. (2018) offer that most of the countries set policies that governed waste management in the manufacturing industries ensuring that, all the manufacturing firms followed these policies as an abidance to the ethical methods of operation. For beneficial impact among leaders of the manufacturing firms, awareness stands as a pivotal point connecting the leaders to desired results from the assimilation of sustainability in manufacturing procurement of resources. This is the effort of explaining the aspects of sustainability within the manufacturing industry and the effects it would have if sustainability lacked in the system. This information sets the different management in line to implement and adhere to sustainable methods of operation because they are fully aware of the consequences otherwise.

Sustainable procurement, however, deals with a wide category of practices associated with acquisition, usage, and post-production handling of the resource remnants (Yong et al., 2020). It incorporates the culture or the mode of behavior expected from most of the manufacturing industries operating around the process of acquiring resources, whereby the resources should be exploited in a manner that understands and considers their scarcity nature and promotes careful and sparing exploitation method that ensures there is less to no wastage moments during the same process. Resources are also expected to be shared within the firms since there is a general scarcity associated with the resources. The exploitation of resources, according to sustainable procurement, should occur in a way that protects and cares for the environment. Therefore, Yong et al. (2020) provide that the after-effects of resource exploitation should offer a way of mitigating the effects caused by the initial exploitation process. Sustainability in the manufacturing industry considers and promotes the use of an alternative source of energy other than the sources that cause adverse effects to the immediate environment. The major analogy passed on by the policies of sustainable procurement is involving a self-awareness code of conduct within the manufacturing industry in the world (Richnák and Gubová, 2021). This is done so that all processes in and around the manufacturing industry, promotes an almost self-sufficient system that promotes a circular economy. A circular economy is one which operates by considering the economic, social, and environmental factors.

The promotion of sustainable procurement tends to be a challenge amongst multiple organizations. The most barriers for the implementation and adherence to the ethical methods as stipulated by sustainable procurement may come from the involvement of the stakeholders in an act to guarantee profits in their business operations (Richnák and Gubová, 2021). Barriers may also come from the lack of knowledge of sustainable procurement by the leaders in the manufacturing industries. In an attempt to reveal the field of sustainable procurement within the EU, Mélon (2020) in his paper discusses the state of the EU regional trading block in terms of implementation of sustainable procurement within the business involved. He starts by presenting the vision set during the EU’s seventh Environmental Action Programme (EAP) which states the expectation of the EU trading block to have a well sustainable environment of business by the year 2050. An environment whereby, everyone around the world, lives and survives within the natural ecological limits. An environment where biodiversity is protected fully and natural resources are managed sustainably. Mélon (2020) continues to state the failure by the team players to achieve the short-term goals set in the run to achieve the vision stated. He points the failure to some of the barriers within the businesses and the environment including the tendency of the corporate law to stay silent on the hazardous issue, awareness deficiency within manufacturing firm’s management, and lack of role models to guide others. Within his argument, Mélon (2020) states that enforcement of the corporate law by governments and the positive influence by the market’s demand factor, the sustainability in the manufacturing sector can be restored. He adds that by use of appropriate incentives and punishing behavior that goes against the sustainability behavior can be highly effective in ensuring compliance to the sustainability in procurement by business organizations.

In the drive to attain a method to address the issue of over-exploitation of the planet’s resources, Purcell et al. (2019) covered a case study in their paper, involving universities that were used in investigation that was to lead to the development of mitigation measures to the state of emergency studied about the nature of resources exploitation within the world. Among the universities were UK (Plymouth University [PU] by WP); mainland Europe (American University in Bulgaria [AUBG] by WP and JS); and the USA (Harvard University [HU] by HH and JS). In their paper, Purcell et al. (2019) present the methodology and results of research carried out in the three universities involving three cases of study in each university. The research was carried out on the role of universities as the engine of transformational sustainability toward delivering the SDGs has been explored by way of three case studies that highlight different means toward that end (Purcell et al., 2019). The first case involved the UK-based public university (Plymouth University) which adopted enterprise and sustainability as the academic mission to help in securing differentiation in an increasingly marketed worldwide higher learning sector. This case was meant to act as inspiration for positive change in regional business and the local community. The second case involved the act to catalyze economic regeneration and increased social innovation in a private university in Bulgaria (American University). This case study was done within sector-led for sustainability-driven transformation. The last case involved (Harvard University) US-based research institute. This university ran a case that showcased the engagement program which connected the faculty and students in sustainability projects within the center setting and external partners. According to Purcell et al. (2019), the “living lab” model, as demonstrated by the three universities, can become a part of transformative institutional change within the real-time business and organization’s environments that draw on both top-down and bottom-up strategies that can be positioned as helpful cases in pursuit of sustainable development.


Lakatos, E., Cioca, I., Dan, V., Ciomos, A., Crisan, O., & Barsan, G. (2018). Studies and Investigation about the Attitude towards Sustainable Production, Consumption and Waste Generation in Line with Circular Economy in Romania. Sustainability, 10(3), 865. MDPI AG.élon, L. (2020). More Than a Nudge? Arguments and Tools for Mandating Green Public Procurement in the EU. Sustainability, 12(3), 988. MDPI AG. Retrieved from, M., Henriksen, H., & Spengler, D. (2019), “Universities as the engine of transformational sustainability toward delivering the sustainable development goals: “Living labs” for sustainability”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 20 No. 8, pp. 1343-1357.ák, P., & Gubová, K. (2021). Green and Reverse Logistics in Conditions of Sustainable Development in Enterprises in Slovakia. Sustainability, 13(2), 581. MDPI AG. Retrieved from, Y.,  Yusliza, Y., & Fawehinmi, O. (2020), “Green human resource management: A systematic literature review from 2007 to 2019”, Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 27 No. 7, pp. 2005-2027.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *