Sustainable Purchasing Blog Post: February 22, 2019
Sustainable Purchasing Tackles the Promotional Product Industry
By: Ryan Hallman, Stephanie Hauschildt, Gabriel Hernandez, Corbin Kehrberg, Ayahna Mack, and Monica Portillo
The Sustainable Purchasing team is making strides researching the steps that ASUCLA’s top suppliers and licensees are taking to promote ethical labor and sustainable production practices. Compiling qualitative information from employee reviews, codes of conduct, third party certifications, and information offered on the company site, the team has come across a wide variety of transparency levels from each supplier. Going forward, the team is brainstorming effective mediums to procure information regarding our licensees’ product safety, social accountability, environmental stewardship, product quality, and supply chain security. The team will be drafting a survey to send to our licensees asking open ended, yet pointed questions regarding five pillars of ethical and sustainable standards.
After successful meetings with our stakeholder, Cindy Holmes, the team has identified areas in the purchasing procedures where ASUCLA can encourage other UCLA departments to purchase our ethically and sustainably preferred products. When UCLA departments want to buy a promotional product to distribute at an upcoming event, they must choose from a catalog provided by UCLA’s licensed suppliers. We see opportunities here to influence UCLA buyers to make an ethical and sustainable decision using the Sustainable Purchasing’s evaluation system to indicate which products leave the smallest environmental impact.
Initially, we want to divert from forcing UCLA buyers to purchase an item that may be over budget or not suitable for their event, so an effective educational campaign is necessary for the buyers to make a responsible decision. We intend to outline the metrics used to evaluate the suppliers and products within this catalog, while also making this information available online.
Pictured above: The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) is one solution to tackling transparency issues in the promotional product industry. Companies who are QCA approved have been audited to comprehensively ensure these 5 pillars of supply chain ethicality and sustainability are met.
Team member, Corbin Kehrberg, crunching the numbers!