We are pleased to provide a final report on the 2-year Purchaser Power project.  The full report can be downloaded in both English and French.

Final Report (PDF, 1018.71 KB)

Through the many conversations held over the course of the project, it has been rewarding to note the level of engagement and creativity of many corporate teams in addressing energy conservation and reduction.  Of the companies who are on the brink of creating an energy savings program, it was evident that the tools and case studies provided under this project would assist with furthering their endeavors.

ENERGY STAR Visibility in Supply Chain

The Benchmarking Survey showed that ENERGY STAR® brand is widely recognized by Canadian supply chain professionals (80% of the sample) and is influencing purchasing decisions where there is latitude to consider a purchase beyond sticker price.

However, supply chain professionals have identified a number of roadblocks to how much time and effort they are able to place behind their operational roles to carry-forward on their passion to bring sustainability to their working environment. 

The Current Procurement / Sustainability Model

Procurement officers are tasked with sourcing products and services into their firms to “feed” the requirements of their organizations – whether manufacturing flow or simply office supplies to keep the administration running smoothly.  As such, they perform their tasks, often with urgency in a hectic paced environment where the mandate to get products to where they need to be, when they are needed, often overrides consideration for the type of quality products being sourced, including energy savings.

As shown in the case studies and also evident from our engagement activity, it can take the average firm 3-7 years to build a management team focused on sustainability – one that encompasses many stakeholders across an organization, up to and including procurement resources.

Access to Procurement Data

In many instances it was clear that procurement resources had limited access to their purchasing data.  It was fairly common practice that the procurement team set up a bid/buy process for stakeholders in their charge to facilitate multi-year procurement contracts.  However, after initial set up of the contracts, purchasing rarely saw the granular data points relating to actual purchases.

Authority to Share Corporate Procurement Data

In many cases it was determined that procurement was not authorized to share data externally without approval,  making it difficult to use tools that would allow the company to benchmark itself against others.

LED Lighting

Many companies have taken steps to include LED technology in select areas of their businesses.  Companies report increased health and safety through better lighting levels and quality while gaining the benefits of lower maintenance and energy costs.  However, the current version of the Simple Savings Calculator does not include LED technology.

Time Availability

Many procurement teams simply were not able to expend the time to analyze and collect their data to share with the program at this time. Depending on the purchasing systems in use the task could be simply completed in a couple of hours or could require a couple of weeks with multiple persons going through manual files.

Recommendations

It is recommended that:

  • A wider product set should be made available in the SSC and other tools to include LED lighting products.  Since LED retrofits are an easy conversion for firms to make and LED is often the starting point for energy savings projects it would be valuable to update the SSC list of applicable products and distribute to all participants.
  • There be a centralized location (website) providing information or links to sites where information can be found on subsidies, credits etc. for purchasing or retrofitting with energy efficient products.
  • Continue to develop an educational approach towards life cycle costing with visibility into rising energy costs.
  • Additional case studies should be developed.  Perhaps a template for companies to self-report with a prize offered for the best case.
  • A set of courses be developed for a sustainability specialization that can be added on to supply chain professional designations.
  • The Data Sharing site should remain open, as a means for those trained participants to share their data as their sustainability options continue to mature in the firms they represent and as their exploration and use of the tools continues.
  • As webinars attract a larger audience and reduce delivery costs over onsite training, it would be an advantage to run one at least quarterly to continue to grow and educate this supply chain audience.