Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our Sustainable Purchasing Decision Matrix

Last week we moved into new offices. Our new office naturally reflects the culture and values we are developing at TriLibrium. With our move, we’ve recently made a flurry of investment and purchasing decisions. I’d like to explain how we make our decisions.

The old purchasing paradigm was a two dimensional decision seeking to optimize the competing tradeoffs between price and quality. Given equal quality, one would simply shop for a better price or, given the same price, one would opt for higher quality.

With every purchase decision at TriLibrium, we introduce a third factor -- Triple bottom line performance (TBL). Accordingly, we look at price/quality/TBL performance and seek to optimize these sometimes competing factors.

TBL performance is enhanced by:

  • Supplier relationship
  • Supplier location
  • Materials
  • Environmental impacts
  • Life cycle assessment considerations
  • Social impacts
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle mentality

The first consideration was location. This single factor alone will have a huge impact on our footprint. We opted for a centrally located building with excellent public transit access.

Our desks were made out of doors reclaimed from the Heathman Hotel and repurposed for us by Endurawood. Our conference table was also made for us by Endurawood out of a technical material made from sunflower seed husks, recycled paper and natural resins.

We purchased two new employee desk chairs. One made locally and the other manufactured using cradle-to-cradle design.

We purchased numerous used items including our conference room white board, conference room chairs, refrigerator, filing cabinets, reception area chairs, and more.

Most of the subs and vendors we used were clients helping us re-circulate more money in the green and sustainable community.

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