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The five essential things to look for in a green partner
Thu, 3rd Aug 2023

Going green is no longer just a catchphrase; it has become an increasingly mainstream and integral aspect of conducting business. Organisations should be doing everything they can to help the environment across their operations—such as installing solar panels on their buildings, recycling plastic packaging, using electric vehicles, and more—to promote and drive legitimate climate action. 

Implementing more sustainable operating practices shouldn’t just be a box-ticking exercise. It’s a way for businesses to recognise that environmental impact goes beyond operations and extends throughout the entire supply chain. 

By partnering with like-minded organisations, companies can create a powerful network of shared values and common goals, ensuring that every step of the business process aligns with environmentally friendly principles, ultimately leading to a greener and more sustainable future.

When evaluating whether a partner is the right fit, it’s important for organisations to outline their priorities and non-negotiables that will shape their expectations for the partnership. The five key factors to consider when it’s time to look for a green partner include: 

1. Strong sustainability culture 

Nothing says green partner like a strong sustainability culture. It’s important to find a partner that lives and breathes sustainability with an environmental commitment that runs deep in every facet of their operations, from executive leaders and management to the employees they supervise. Look for evidence of sustainability workplace goals as well as senior leadership actively engaging employees in the cocreation of sustainable practices. 

2. Cost-effectiveness and affordability 

Being green isn’t cheap, which raises concerns about the overall financial health of the organisation as well as its ability to maintain competitive pricing for products and services. Taking a look at how suppliers optimise costs in other areas is crucial in determining whether they can offer a favourable price that lets a company remain competitive. Also, for organisations that specialise in green-friendly products and business-to-business (B2B) services, it’s important to assess their pricing flexibility to ensure that pricing adjustments won’t jeopardise the profitability of the company. 

3. Demonstrated capabilities in sustainability

Ask if they can deliver on their promises. It’s always important to consider a partner’s capabilities; however, it becomes even more critical when it comes to specific deliverables required for sustainability. Evaluate the partner’s ability to deliver on sustainable goals, ensure the accuracy of their claims, and assess if they can scale their sustainability efforts to meet business needs. 

4. Track record of sustainability performance

Have they successfully implemented sustainable practices in the past? Recognition from credible green organisations—such as carbon neutral certification by Climate Active—that provides tangible evidence often serves as an indication of their dedication to sustainability. By thoroughly examining a company’s past performance, businesses can make more informed decisions about partnering. 

5. Proactive responsiveness to sustainability challenges

In addition to being responsive to the organisation’s needs, it’s important to evaluate whether a potential green partner demonstrates proactive engagement in solving sustainability challenges. Are they proactive in addressing issues that impact society and the planet, such as climate change and pollution? Do they exhibit a commitment to introducing innovative solutions towards sustainability? If so, it highlights the partner’s dedication to making a positive difference and demonstrates that their actions go beyond reactivity.

Finding green partners is a crucial step in the journey towards sustainability. It extends beyond individual operations and encompasses the entire supply chain and operating ecosystem. Through collaboration with like-minded partners and suppliers, businesses can collectively work towards achieving shared sustainability goals and reduce their environmental impact, paving the way towards a greener future for all.