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Procurement refers to all steps and activities involved in the process of obtaining goods and services. This topic goes far beyond the high level action of simply exchanging currency for products – procurement and purchasing processes include sourcing, negotiating, transporting, receiving, and recording those goods as well.  

credit card machine making a transaction

With such a broad scope of influence, you can imagine that the procurement process is essential to making impactful steps in the journey to increase the sustainability of your laboratory operations. Your initial thoughts may be apprehensive – How will I know which products to buy? Who can help me find this information? What tools are used to quantify the sustainable qualities of the goods and services I need? 

Purchasing is a powerful driver in almost all sustainability action areas, as the items we buy and where we buy them from have profound implications for people and ecosystems locally and globally – from production to use to disposal. This module will explain the basics of purchasing, as well as give you tools and examples to guide your way as you explore methods to align your organization with the principles of sustainable procurement.