Best practices


Green purchasing

Tourism and green purchasing

Green purchasing is a process by which environmental, social and ethical considerations are taken into account when making a purchasing decision.

Looking beyond the traditional parameters of price, quality, functionality and availability, it involves choosing products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health, the environment and society when compared to competing items that serve the same purpose. 

One of the principles of green purchasing is life-cycle costing. It is a technique that establishes the total costs of purchasing a product or service, from “cradle to grave”, by asking questions relating to each stage of its life cycle. 

 Green purchasing considers the following:

  • whether a purchase is necessary at all;
  • what products are made of;
  • under what conditions they have been made;
  • how far they have travelled;
  • their packaging components;
  • how they will be used; and
  • how they will be disposed of.

Purchasing decisions can have significant environmental and social impacts, particularly for the tourism and hospitality sectors, which often find themselves under pressure to import large numbers of goods, including food, from distant countries to cater for guests’ demands.

This section of the online educational tool aims to provide an introduction to the best environmental practices in encouraging green purchasing in accommodation sector.