Green purchasing policies hampered by information void

Identifying "green" products is one of the most painstaking chores facing purchasing departments in both private and public sector organisations, as the recent efforts of one council to implement a chemical action plan have underlined. The biggest gap is the lack of a central source of information to reduce duplication of effort by purchasing officers.

Many local authorities and businesses have established environmental policies committing them to use products deemed to be "environmentally acceptable". The task of finding and selecting such goods generally falls on purchasing officers who have few information sources and are often bombarded with competing manufacturers' claims.

These obstacles were evident in local "green purchasing" initiatives launched two years ago within the Nationa

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