The green green grass of outsourcing


Every cloud has a silver lining. Stripping away the bureaucracy that so often blights the decision-making process will empower more companies to take a holistic view on the environmental impact they have on outsourcing.

Outsourcing, in its broader sense, has become one of the buzzwords of 2010. Despite popular belief – often perpetuated by the media, its value-added impact is a lot more than just cost-saving. Risk mitigation and reducing carbon emissions also have a key role to play.

As we see the green shoots of recovery, green, which has been on the backburner for many companies, is now firmly back on the agenda. With a new government also comes a new competitive landscape - and a commitment to green issues.

Exploring the green challenges facing the outsourcing community is increasing. And despite the turbulence surrounding any cost-cutting exercise from No. 10, David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s new coalition stance on outsourcing it’s likely to shape Britain’s economy over the next four years.

Green procurement can deliver significant benefits while addressing climate change, and, for this reason, I would invite more people to look beyond the glass ceiling of conventional business practices. Reducing wastage, increasing efficiency and simplifying compliance all marinade well to helping companies bolster their bottom-line, as well as stimulating their corporate social responsibility (CSR).

I’m pleased that more companies are looking beyond the taboo and prepared to go ‘green’ by offsetting their overheads in favour of something more honorable and tax efficient. Admittedly, the Government’s stance to reduce carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 (source CRC EES) is certainly ambitious, but, in truth, it will require nearly every company in the British Isles to engage is some form of outsourcing. Therefore, the green agenda is more important than ever.

Clearly there needs to be an additional layer of transparency thrown on the issue of greensourcing, and helping to define the incentive surrounding it. Uniformity is paramount to enable companies to make informed decisions about how to go about their business and the impact they have on the environment.

Once a standard has been determined, it would serve to create a safer and greener market for more companies to engage in. Suffice to say, companies need to explore the supply chain in greater depth.

The NOA’s Greensourcing Steering Committee aims to explore the green challenges facing the outsourcing community. If you’re looking for greensourcing information and advice, the NOA can help. Visit us at

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