Changing a suppliers behaviour - Aware of environmental issues



Hi everyone!

Last time I posted a thread I was a student but those days are gone and I´m now the MR at a company which manufactures PCs (I began this job last week). We are certified for both 9002 and 14001.

After just one week I have realized that I have one big challenge in front of me and that is to try and make our suppliers more aware of environmental issues. We get so much excessive materials such as for example plastic and both we and the environment would be happier without it.

The problem is that we are probably too small to make an influence on some of our big suppliers. Another issue is that we are very far ahead in Sweden regarding laws within the environmental field. Our suppliers in for example Taiwan may not have heard of the information we sometimes ask for.

One good thing would be if all the customers to one supplier demanded the same thing. Together we can make a difference. But I don´t know. Does anyone have any experience in "changing" a suppliers behaviour in favor for the environment?

I can add that we ask for Environmental Declarations on a regular basis so that we can make sure that at least our product´s are ok. We also use these forms to evaluate our suppliers.

I´m grateful for any replies, I have 1000 more questions but I`ll start slowly so you dont get sick of this incompetent young girl... ;)



Super Moderator
Ford has a great deal of experience dealing with suppliers. "Don't do 14K, we won't spend money!"

The best thing to do is not alienate anybody.

Send them info on your EMS and policy.

Advise them of your wishes.

Make them aware of the potential benefits of conformance.

Stipulate your requirements in contractural instruments.

Specify backbilling for disposal of excess material above contract stipulations.


“I`ll start slowly so you dont get sick of this incompetent young girl”

First of all, if you understand you are incompetent, then you probably are not! (at least not for long)

Secondly, one of the key things to remember is you can only do what you can do. You can’t force your will on organizations that are more powerful than you. Randy made some excellent points, but I would like to add that you also need to know when to use tact, and when to use muscle.

Dave B (the other Dave)


Hi Mikaela,

You could add in one of the environmental column in your supplier performance evaluation.

Also, a site audit will be beneficial for supplier environmental awareness.

Hope this help.



Brandon Kerkstra

Hi Mikaela,

I would suggest that you talk with your suppliers about reducing their packaging materials and other items that would reduce your waste. You might point out that this would save them money in the purchase and shipping of your orders. I realize that this might not work if you are a very small customer for them and they have one standard way of doing things, but it would get them thinking of ways to save money and reduce their impact on the environment.

The interesting part is that ISO 14001 and the Environment may never be brought up in your conversation.:vfunny:
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