IGPN - International Green Purchasing Network

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SENDAI DECLARATION on Green Purchasing

- Expansion of Green Purchasing towards sustainable development -

1. Introduction

Having recognized that:

The world has become very concerned about global environmental degradation and global warming in recent decades;

The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) proclaimed the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development containing principles to be followed by national governments and other stakeholders;

Agenda 21, adopted at UNCED, identified environmentally sound purchasing as an effective means to reduce environmental impacts and to shift towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production;

Stakeholders, including citizens, NGOs, businesses and public organizations, are now actively engaging in Green Purchasing around the world:

Citizens are influencing businesses to green their goods, services and operations through their purchasing power;

Public organizations, such as national and local governments, have been vigorously implementing Green Purchasing, thus serving as role models for other organizations;

Furthermore, Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are becoming more relevant in many public and private organizations and this is also encouraging the growth in green purchasing policies and practices;

Many business firms are also keen to practice Green Purchasing, with particular attention to new issues such as sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR). The focus is across their supply chain from raw materials procurement to the final disposal of the product;

Eco-label systems managed by various organizations around the world have also become a very effective way to promote Green Purchasing.

All stakeholders are now urged to work together to share information and cooperate in common programs in order to further promote Green Purchasing around the world.

We, therefore, convened at the 1st International Conference on Green Purchasing, held in the City of Sendai, which is a leading advocate of Green Purchasing. In this conference, we have debated and discussed various issues on Green Purchasing.
Green Purchasing as defined by the Green Purchasing Network of Japan, starts with the assessment of the need for a product or service, ensuring that we only purchase what is necessary. When the purchase is necessary, environmentally preferable goods and services should be chosen from environmentally conscious businesses, taking into consideration quality and price.
We proclaim here the Sendai Declaration with an earnest hope to contribute towards preserving our precious planet through our vigorous coordinated efforts in Green Purchasing.

2. Status and Significance of Green Purchasing

  • Green Purchasing has already been initiated and is extensively practiced in various regions across the world.
  • Green Purchasing is an essential step in creating a Green Marketplace, by leveraging spending power and purchasing environmentally preferable goods and services. This will stimulate businesses to develop greener goods and services through technological innovation. This approach also ensures that we nurture environmentally conscious industries to maintain a good balance between the environment and the economy.
  • A Green Marketplace has a key role in addressing the environmental needs of the planet
  • However, greater support is needed to encourage the expansion of existing efforts, ensuring that we spread Green Purchasing initiatives to all parts of the world.

We therefore strongly urge all stakeholders to engage much more actively in promoting and practicing Green Purchasing.

3. Stakeholders' Responsibilities for Promoting Green Purchasing

  • All Citizens on the Earth are influential in making the marketplace greener by purchasing environmentally preferable goods and services in their daily lives.
    All citizens are encouraged to become much more aware of their responsibilities as end consumers of goods and services. They must give strong support to Green Products, as well as to the actual manufacturers and suppliers of these products.
  • NGOs are encouraged to assume the very important responsibility of leading and educating citizens and businesses towards the expansion of Green Purchasing. They are also encouraged to collect, interpret and evaluate environmental information and data concerning goods and services. This will assist in the further development of green purchasing principles and guidelines. We also ask that NGOs ensure effective communication is in place to educate consumers as well as businesses. This will stimulate the demand to develop ever greener, environmentally preferable products.
  • Businesses are encouraged to green the goods and services they develop, produce and market. They are also encouraged to green their own purchasing of goods used in their own operations, including the materials and components used in their goods and services. They are also responsible for providing reliable and easily understandable environmental information on their goods and activities.
  • Public organizations all over the world are encouraged to take the initiative in implementing Green Purchasing. This will enable them to become best-practice models for their country. This will involve the creation of policies, strategies, regulatory frameworks, incentive plans and relevant education programs to promote Green Purchasing nationally and locally, among citizens, NGOs and businesses.

4. A New Framework for Promoting Green Purchasing Globally

In order to enhance Green Purchasing activities worldwide, we will organize the International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN). This will aim to share information on purchasing principles, product guidelines, good practice and know-how amongst its participant members. IGPN will also aim to evolve the approach to embrace sustainable development, thereby ensuring that the wider needs of sustainability are addressed.

(For its implementation plan, please refer to the attachment) 

The 1st International Conference on Green Purchasing in Sendai

October 7, 2004

IGPN Implementation Plan

We will:

  1. Encourage all relevant organizations to join the IGPN.
  2. Encourage the IGPN to collaborate in promoting Green Purchasing globally with various International Organizations, such as the United Nations - including UNEP - as well as ICLEI, the World Bank, the European Union and the Asian Productivity Organization, etc.
  3. Initially accept the offer of the Green Purchasing Network, Japan, to assume the role of secretariat for this network.
  4. Encourage the IGPN to develop its own web-site in English with links to various relevant organizations,
  5. Encourage the IGPN to investigate and pursue constructively the development of widely usable Green Purchasing principles. This will include guidelines, product databases, measurement/ evaluation methodologies, training materials and other tools and techniques to ensure the effectiveness of Green Purchasing.
  6. Encourage the IGPN to initiate Green Purchasing Workshops in various parts of the world. This will ensure the expansion of the Network, involving as many stakeholders as possible
  7. Encourage the IGPN to examine the feasibility of organizing a 2nd International Conference on Green Purchasing and urge any organization to volunteer to organize it.

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