The only way to know is to ask the questions during the RFP process you already use. Decide what practices are vital to your organization and what practices (if not already in place) vendors should be working towards. In meetings and events, many times vendors are in close contact with our key stakeholders such as exhibitors, sponsors and participants. Their green meeting practices reflect on the organization.
Here's a list of questions to get you started:
- Does your organization have a written sustainability policy? Can you send it to me?
- What is your sustainable purchasing policy?
- How many of your products are environmentally preferable?
- Do you purchase environmentally responsible products? What percentage?
- Are your materials and/or labor sourced locally? What percentage?
- Do you have a plan to minimize packaging?
- Do you have a third party certification or meet the criteria outlined the in APEX/ASTM Standard for this sector?
- How do you track and measure your performance?
Make your supply chain decisions based on the vendor who can provide the most sustainable product along with the usual factors such as cost, availability, accessibility, etc. Don't forget to do due diligence and include a measurement of their performance in the contract.