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The “Green?Purchasing Agent
Sharon Calhoun, ISHP - Creo Hospitality

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The role of the hospitality purchasing agent has changed in the last few years.  We as a profession have become even more of a guide and resource for designers and clients than in the past.  One specific area is “Green and Sustainable”.  This has become more relevant in today’s projects, therefore, purchasing agents need to take more responsibility in researching the manufacturers who are actively providing “Green” products and thoroughly understanding their product’s value.

Working with the designer and client at the beginning of a project can help in the process of specifying the right products.  Obviously, there are already many products available that are dedicated to minimizing the impact on the environment.  For this reason, the purchasing agent has to become the “knowledge bank” for the designers, clients and hotel owners.

It is important to know, that “Green” products used in the hotel will naturally help guests themselves become more aware of “Green” and what effect it has on the environment.  In the process of placing the correct product in the hotel, specifiers and buyers will be creating a healthier environment for the guest through such specifics as biodegradable and recyclable.  A hotel guest can experience special guest room “sustainable” fabrics that are superior in softness while being “green” to the environment.  Hotel operations will find that these materials allow energy savings by taking less laundry cycles, less water and are formulated to dry faster.

Traditionally, purchasing agents played an important role on the impact of a budget.  Now it is their responsibility to continue that role but to expand to include obtaining the best pricing for the best “green and sustainable” products (without compromising the design of the project).

Understandably, the significance of our environment and the positive impact the hospitality industry can have…..is important!  This attention to detail is necessary in building a better eco system for all our futures.  If purchasing agents make themselves knowledgeable in the field of “Green Products”, it will help them become a valued player in the final outcome of all future projects.

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