New Zealand’s implemention of an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will force businesses to examine how they can reduce their carbon footprint, and this would extend to the way companies procure products and services.
A sustainable procurement policy can help businesses reduce their overall carbon footprint by giving preference to purchasing products that are more energy-efficient, which utilise less supplies such as paper or toner, or have takeback programmes at the end of a product’s life cycle.
For resellers, handling objections to green IT products starts with educating buyers about how green IT can improve a business’s bottom line. Some common objections and their counter-arguments include:
I need to cut costs and can’t afford to pay extra for green IT.
The decision to purchase IT equipment needs to be made from a total cost of ownership (TCO) perspective. Green IT is about the efficient use of resources and this goes hand in hand with cost reduction. Instead of looking at the outright purchase price of a product, business owners need to evaluate the ongoing running costs, such as energy consumption and the use of supplies. Resellers need to be prepared to challenge objections by having a TCO argument prepared in advance, highlighting the savings that can be achieved.
My company is too small to make a difference.
Just over 96% of enterprises in New Zealand are small and medium businesses, and these businesses are inherently linked to large corporations through their supply chain. Resellers can point out that large corporations are looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint by reporting their carbon emissions and supply chain risks to shareholders. If small and medium business owners do not attempt to reduce their own carbon footprint, they may lose their competitive edge or miss opportunities to work with large corporations.
We don’t have a green procurement requirement in our organisation.
It makes financial sense to adopt a green procurement policy in any company. Besides reducing an organisation’s impact on the environment, a green procurement policy will improve a company’s image and create positive associations with its customers and employees. There are also financial implications to consider if a green procurement policy is not adopted. For example, resellers can highlight the additional costs of having to dispose of any equipment at the end of its life if a customer bought equipment from vendors who do not operate a take-back scheme.
We are doing our bit for the environment with practices such as recycling or energy efficiency.
Beyond looking at energy efficiency and recycling, organisations need to adopt the concept of continuous improvement to reduce their carbon footprint, eg: investing in new energy-efficient hardware to introduce digital workflow.
I still don’t believe that green products are genuine
Resellers can help customers make informed decisions by educating them on evaluating products based on industry standards such as Energy Star ratings, or products certifi ed by bodies such as Environmental Choice New Zealand. Showing them how investing in green IT can actually save them money will enable them to make informed decisions about approaching IT investments from a TCO perspective.