[Newsletter] could green procurement save you money?
Sent Thursday, November 11, 2010
Client Success Story: The Bolton Museum
Pierrette Squires is a participant in Greener Museums 2010
Sustainability Leadership Program*
Participating has uncovered the potential to save money in a time
of fiscal uncertainty–which is a huge organisational benefit, as
is the potential for improving staff morale through doing something
positive. In terms of actual cost savings, Bolton is estimated to
have saved at least £50,000 due to not installing air conditioning
in their Archives. This was as a result of extensive research into
the existing conditions in the Archive, which were found to be
stable without any artificial conditioning.
I don’t know that I’d have had the confidence to push for this
without being on the course. In addition to the capital savings it
will save at least £10,000 a year on running costs. I had a good
level of personal understanding of sustainability as I was already
fascinated by the science behind the subject.
I am a good communicator but did not have the confidence in
managerial support to advocate for a lot of change. My biggest
discovery has been that I am supported by management in a lot of my
beliefs. In addition, my understanding has improved, particularly
in procurement and carbon footprinting. I am much more confident to
argue for change. This has hugely benefited my professional
development persuading me to take a risk and push the accepted
standards in the argument against air conditioning. My biggest
personal benefit has been improved recognition at National level
–Pierrette Squires, Conservator
The Bolton Museum
*All 2010 Participants have been funded by Renaissance North West
Can Buying Green Save Money?
When can spending money save you money? Well, certainly when you
are looking at a long-term investment. Green procurement is one of
these areas. The definition of Green Procurement is to choose
purchases that minimize environmental impacts. In addition,
you can take it further by purchasing products that are made in a
responsible way by considering the three pillars of sustainability,
namely economic and social factors as well environmental factors.
In other words when you are making buying decisions, you’re looking
at more than just the initial upfront cost. It means you are taking
into consideration other important factors such as environmental
and ethical criteria. When buying green there are two main
questions you should ask.
Do we need that?
The first question to ask is always, “Do we actually need this?”
Perhaps it is an item that can be shared and there is already one
in the office– like staplers, printers, copiers, etc. When buying
you need to get out of habits and question the necessity of
purchases, this can happen with stationery purchases in particular
where certain items are ordered on a regular basis without
questioning the need for them. For example you might be buying
note pads regularly when there are piles of scrap paper which could
be used for making notes. Simply by just considering the need for
something you will cut down on unnecessary purchases. This sort of
behaviour also happens with replacing printers where each person
may have a printer on their desk. When such items break and need
replacing, it may be worthwhile considering a multi-function
What’s the total cost?
In tough times we cut back– but could cutting back actually cost
us more? In many cases the answer is yes. That’s why the second
question to ask is “What will this product cost over its entire
life?” Not what it’s going to cost to buy it right now, but what
would it cost to buy it, to operate it, to dispose of it and
finally to replace it. This is what is referred to as life cycle
costing or whole life costing. It refers to factoring in more than
just the purchase price to your buying decision. When you’re
evaluating in particular the environmental performance of a good or
service, you look at the purchase price, but you must also look at
all of its associated costs. Operating cost like energy use or
maintenance, end of life costs such as disposal, any hazardous
waste separation that has to occur and recyclability. So you’re
looking at more than just the initial upfront cost.
These two questions are essential before you make any purchase.
Planning for a New Reality: How Sustainability Can Help Your Museum
to Cut Costs, Cut Carbon, Create Opportunities and THRIVE in the
New Financial Reality
London, United Kingdom
December 10th, 2010
This unique one day course shows Museum, Gallery and Cultural
Sector Professionals the special tools and techniques I use to help
clients save money, engage staff and achieve more than ever before
through their sustainability approach.
Irish Museums Association Annual Conference: The Way Forward:
Sustainability and the Museum
February 25-27, 2011
I’ll be delivering the keynote address at this year’s Irish Museums
Association annual conference.
Register at http://www.irishmuseums.org/annual-conference/