Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines

Through action and advocacy, New Belgium strives to be a sustainable business role model, and we prefer vendors who are doing the same. The world is beginning to expect that providers of goods and services be accountable for the impact of sourcing, making, and selling their products.  So, not only is sustainable procurement the ethical thing to do, it is strategically advantageous as well. We look to partner with companies who:

  • Measure and minimize the environmental footprint of their operations and products by looking at transportation, packaging, waste, energy, toxic substances, water, and CO2 emissions.
  • Create a high-involvement corporate culture which values and rewards everyone’s contributions.
  • Have a management system which demonstrates environmental commitment by setting goals and regular reporting.
  • Are working with others to improve the sustainability of their industry.

The questions below reflect some of the inquiries we make of our vendors in order to understand how sustainability is built into their business.  

Supply Chain 

How do you manage your supply chain to ensure environmental and social responsibility?

  • How do you minimize your packaging?  Is your packaging sustainably sourced or does it have positive environmental attributes?
  • Do you have sustainable and/or social procurement policies?
  • Have you quantified your CO2 footprint throughout your product lifecycle?
  • How do you ensure the sustainability of the products we buy from you? What measures do you take to promote or enhance the sustainability of the products we buy from you?
  • How do you monitor the employment practices of your manufacturers and/or suppliers?
  • How do you ensure the working and living conditions of migrant or factory laborers?
  • Does our business with you support NBB’s local economy?

Manufacturing & Administration 

What does your company do in its day-to-day operations to reduce negative and increase positive environmental impacts?

  • Do your products have positive environmental attributes?
  • Have you quantified your CO2 footprint for your operations?
  • Do you have goals to reduce your use of raw material inputs?
  • Do you use alternative energy?
  • Do you have energy efficiency goals?
  • Do you have water use reduction goals?
  • Do you have toxic material inputs?
  • Do you use natural or non-toxic facilities management practices (e.g., pest, cleaning, surface treatments)

Transportation

What are you doing to minimize the transportation impacts of your supplies and products?

  • Where do our supplies originate? How are they shipped to you?
  • Are our supplies shipped by boat, rail, air or truck?
  • Do you maximize loads?
  • Do you use alternative transportation fuels?

Waste

  • What is your policy regarding waste management? Do you recycle?
  • Do you have waste minimization goals?
  • Do you use paperless invoicing and electronic funds transfer?

Company Culture 

Are our cultures compatible?

  • Do you provide health insurance for your employees?  Paid time off?
  • Do you have an ESOP or other retirement or equity-sharing plan? A profit-sharing plan?
  • Do people like to work for your company? How do you honor their contributions?

Certifications & Reporting

  • Are you a member of any environmental organizations (e.g., USGBC, RPA-100%, SPC, etc.)
  • Do you have independent third-party certification or recognition of your sustainable practices? (e.g., B Corp, FSC, 1%FTP, EPA Smart Ways, local or state programs, World Blu, Fortune Magazine, etc.)
  • Do you have either an SMS or EMS?
  • Do you publicly disclose environmental impacts, goals and activities through regular reporting?

Advocacy 

What actions are you taking to encourage others to reduce their environmental impacts? How are you working outside of your regular business operations to “do the right thing”?

  • Are you partnering with others in your industry or supply chain to establish best practices?
  • Do you have any community outreach programs?
  • Do you support your employees in their sustainability efforts (e.g., recycling, carpooling, sponsoring nonprofits, etc.)?
  • How can your customers help you reduce your negative environmental impacts?