National public-private partnership will promote social, environmental, and economic sustainability in procuring goods and services
King County government, a leader in economic and environmental sustainability, has been selected as a founding member of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) – a new national non-profit established to advance best practices, measurement, and recognition for organizational purchasing programs.
"Through this partnership with the private sector, we can help preserve our environment while encouraging a diverse and sustainable economy," said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
For nearly 25 years, King County government has worked to reduce the environmental impact of its purchases of goods and services. Throughout the years, the field has evolved from its initial focus on purchasing products with recycled content to addressing the diverse environmental, economic, and social impacts of products across their entire lifecycles.
"The SPLC will bring guidance to those organizations that are starting a sustainable purchasing program, and it will offer leadership to those that want to expand their existing sustainable purchasing efforts," said Karen Hamilton, manager of the King County Environmental Purchasing Program. Hamilton recently participated in the SPLC's founding summit.
"As the complexity of environmental purchasing programs have increased, so too has the need for a national dialogue among all the players in the procurement arena," said Wendy Keller, Procurement and Contract Services Manager for King County. "The SPLC will facilitate this multi-stakeholder process."
SPLC brings together leaders from government, industry, academia, standards organizations, and non-government organizations to provide community, guidance, and leadership for sustainable purchasing professionals. The Council has also formed strategic partnerships to build on existing tools and resources. By developing a system of guidance for best practices, measurement, and recognition that can be applied to a wide array of organizations, buyers can be much more strategic in their sustainable purchases of goods and services.
SPLC is patterned after the successful U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) green building standards program. As a member of SPLC, King County will be able to influence the direction of the Council. In addition, King County is one of only four local jurisdictions in North America invited to be part of the SPLC Founders Circle, along with the cities of Portland, Ore., San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The organization will elect its board of directors in January.
For more information, visit the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council website at www.purchasingcouncil.org or King County's Environmental Purchasing Program at www.kingcounty.gov/procurement/green.