Sustainable or Green Procurement

Without a doubt, governments are big spenders and hence have a profound effect on people and the environment. Like most governments, the U.S. federal government has adopted various procurement codes which aim to ensure interested parties access, fairness and value while also providing guidance and redress. However, to date, few procurement codes account for the environmental impact of government procurement. Those codes that do account for environmental impact are often referred to as "green" procurement codes. Rarer still are "sustainable" procurement codes. As discussed below, some important distinctions exist between "green" and "sustainable". For example, the City of Austin, Texas, provides the following definition of "sustainability":

Sustainability has been defined as meeting current generations' needs without compromising future generations' ability to meet their needs. Thus, the goal of sustainability requires that we seek to improve the quality of life in our communities without depleting the many resources—social, economic, and environmental—on which all human activity depends [4].

In theory, sustainable procurement codes aim to promote practices that try to avert all paths to an environmental and/or social disaster while green procurement codes or green practices merely make an effort to be cognizant of the environment. Unfortunately, objective standards have yet to emerge to determine what is sustainable or to determine if a practice is sustainable. In contrast, the practice of recycling aluminum cans or newspapers may be considered "green". Thus, at the onset, some hurdles exist in moving from green to sustainable.

Metric or philosophical concepts such as Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), ecological management, cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-cradle all have merit in their attempts to address system or global consequences related to production and consumption. These concepts may lead to an objective standard for sustain-ability and, in turn, pave the way for sustainable procurement codes.

In the United States, the concept of ecological management was introduced at the federal level around 1920, at least in part by Aldo Leopold. Leopold examined individual ethics that prompted cooperation in human communities and then redefined community to include "soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land". This is the "Land Ethic," which Leopold articulated in The Sand County Almanac, published in 1948 [5].

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

Always wanted to get a better deal but didn't have the needed negotiation skills? Here are some of the best negotiation theories. The ability to negotiate is a skill which everyone should have. With the ability to negotiate you can take charge of your life, your finances and your destiny. If you feel that others are simply born with the skill to negotiate, you should know that everyone can learn this wonderful skill.

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