The internal "Guideline for Sustainable Procurement" describes how the topic of sustainability is anchored in the purchasing performance of the GFZ.
The transformation process towards systematic sustainable procurement practice was initiated in 2020. In detail, sustainability features have been defined for all product groups, which are taken into account for every order placement, unless technical aspects or disproportionately high costs would argue against this.
In order to permanently establish the success of this process, the "sustainability" feature is recorded in the ordering system for each transaction. This will be reviewed and continuously optimized at regular intervals in terms of expediency, effects and measurability.
Purchasing, with its many interfaces to internal and external partners, can have a significant influence on sustainable management. This guideline discusses the framework conditions and describes concrete measures. The Purchasing Department of the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences sees its role in supporting science in sustainable research. Nevertheless, establishing sustainable procurement is a transformation process in which it is necessary to convince and integrate all parties involved.
In order to be able to measure the success of the sustainability strategy, meaningful reporting is required, according to which Purchasing seeks to measure compliance with the sustainability promise within the bounds of what is technically possible and administratively justifiable. All related measurement procedures are continuously refined. In doing so, the GFZ records sustainability on two levels: Supplier & Product/Service.
Suppliers are classified as sustainable if they are certyfied an ISO14001 or equivalent. ISO 14001 sets out globally recognized requirements for an environmental management system and is part of a family of standards. ISO 14001 focusses on a continuous improvement process as a means of achieving each of the defined goals related to a company's environmental performance.
This information is to be documented in the SAP in several steps. The first step is to classify the "top 10 suppliers" in terms of procurement volume and number of orders. The GFZ defines a procurement (product/performance) as sustainable if it meets at least one of the following criteria:
- Services awarded, for example, with special consideration of workshops for the disabled or the use of particularly environmentally friendly work equipment or compliance with critical social and ethical standards.
- Capital goods, which were awarded, for example, with special consideration of TCO (life cycle analysis, energy consumption, maintenance costs), energy efficiency, sustainability certificates (e.g. Blue Angel) or other ecological sustainability criteria.
- Raw materials, consumables and supplies that were awarded, for example, with special consideration of TCO (life cycle analysis, energy consumption, maintenance costs), energy efficiency, sustainability certificates (e.g. Blue Angel) or other ecological sustainability criteria.
- Performance specifications that define minimum requirements for environmental protection (e.g., energy consumption, ingredients), social standards (e.g., fair compensation, occupational health and safety), and • economic sustainability (e.g., TCO or recycling).
TCO: TCO Certified is the world's most comprehensive sustainability certification for IT products (The label is a Swedish quality and environmental seal with global significance).