4 Consumer Purchasing Decisions Based on Supply Chain Sustainability

At Iasta, we have teams working on the front lines of spend analysis and we’ve noticed a definite upward trend in the number of organizations tracking the sustainability levels of their supply chains. I personally love seeing this B2B trend become so powerful that sustainability conversations have started popping up in B2C environments as well. I frequently see consumers make buying decisions based on sustainability practices of the company making the product they are purchasing.

As a consumer, have you ever purchased a product or service based on a company’s sustainability practices? I have and it seems like I’m doing it more often. Check out these examples.

1.    Cars:  I live in the Midwest and we’re not famous for being overly progressive or “green”. However, I see more hybrid and electric cars than ever before. I drive one and there are more than five hybrid cars on my block alone. A recent article by Danny King, By the Numbers, found that green car sales in 2013 jumped 30% from those in 2012.

2.    Restaurants: I frequently see restaurants strutting their organic, local and sustainability “stuff” on the menu. A few weeks ago I ate at #10 Trattoria – a restaurant that proudly proclaims to be one of the first restaurants in Chicago to become “Guaranteed Green“. In order for a restaurant to be labeled “Guaranteed Green,” it must achieve a high level of environmental responsibility in all aspects of the restaurant’s operation – from water and energy conservation efforts, to the sustainable local food they serve.

3.    Cleaning products: Two years ago, the environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies were a scanty stripe of a few high-priced and not clearly effective products at the far end of the cleaning aisle. However, today you have to search through the “green” products (Method, Simply Green, Greenworks, JR Watkins, etc) to get to “traditional” products. Demand for biodegradable, non-phosphate, and non-toxic cleaning products has  grown so much that availability has risen dramatically while prices have been dropping.

4.    Grocery stores: Today, it’s common for the produce section at your local grocery store to offer a complete genealogy on fruits and vegetables:

  • Where was the produce grown?
  • Is the produce certified organic?
  • Is the produce fair-trade certified?

As you can see, it’s not uncommon for a product to have a “resume” in order to be selected by the growing community of picky, environmentally-focused consumers (like myself). These examples are just a few of many items my family has recently purchased based on sustainability factors.

What commodities have you purchased based on sustainability factors? Share your story below or tweet us @iasta.

One Response to 4 Consumer Purchasing Decisions Based on Supply Chain Sustainability

  1. Sustainability factors in the supply chain are huge! One of the sustainable supply chains I enjoy supporting the most is locally crafted beer. From grain to bottling, so many small breweries get most of their supplies locally. It feels great to buy something from your own backyard.

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