Hero image

3 Steps Government Agencies Can Take to Accelerate Responsible Purchasing

Find out how government agencies can migrate to more socially responsible purchasing.

Procurement leaders are positioned to positively impact their agency’s sustainability goals. However, responsible purchasing does not have a one size fits all approach and can differ across state, local, and federal agencies. Local and state agencies have self-imposed goals based on internal commitments, others, like the federal government, have formal mandates they must satisfy and report on regularly. Even with initiatives in place, 40% of procurement leaders find it difficult to find qualified diverse suppliers.

Agencies that adopt socially responsible procurement policies can generate value and realize greater profitability. According to World Economic Forum, organizations that implemented responsible purchasing saw a 5-20% revenue uplift and a 9-16% supply chain cost reduction.

If your agency is looking to improve social responsible purchasing performance, you will need to manage the short-term goal of transitioning existing procurement practices, while driving the long-term goal of inclusivity across the supply chain and organization.

“We always look for ways to make our processes more efficient and save money for the state. We started working with Amazon Business to give our agencies the familiar buying experience they use at home, but with the open, fair, and transparent process we need for state government. They had us up and running in 2 months –it was the easiest implementation we’ve ever had.” 

— Carol Wilson, Chief Procurement Officer, State of Connecticut

Here are some steps to accelerate responsible purchasing within your agency with Amazon Business:

1. Define goals and purchasing policies.

First, identify a goal. This could be as simple as “Spend toward more-sustainable products.” A defined goal that includes a diversity, local buying, or sustainability requirement will help your agency stay accountable within its strategy. A responsible purchasing strategy will not only look at cost savings, but will also consider the supplier’s contribution to and compliance with the agency’s overall responsible purchasing goals.

Procurement will need to align with your agency or team’s responsible purchasing objectives and develop purchasing values that meet those goals. Integrating these metrics into procurement standards is a powerful lever to hold suppliers accountable and track performance.

2. Identify and select suppliers.

Once your goals and targets are defined, agencies must assess whether current suppliers and partners meet sustainability and social responsibility practices. When evaluating new suppliers, screen their business practices to ensure they meet your organization’s sustainability and social objectives.

Amazon Business helps simplify the process of finding and purchasing products with sustainability certifications. We recognize 150+ certifications from national certification bodies, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) form 889, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and others that make it easier for purchasers to identify local and diverse spending. Amazon Business enables public purchasing to meet transparency and quality control standards while delivering a familiar self-service buying experience.

With Amazon Business, account administrators can set up certification policies that enable your team to choose which seller certifications matter most to your agency, and locations to purchase from. Administrators can personalize a message for buyers explaining the policy and set a pricing threshold for offers. Amazon Business will automatically mark those types of sellers as preferred making process simple for buyers.

3. Measure and report impact.

After you’ve defined your goals and identified sellers, you will need to assess progress. Look to build in reporting capabilities to showcase progress towards responsible purchasing goals. Effective reporting and evaluation help quantify impact, highlight wins and opportunities, and create accountability. Amazon Business Analytics allows you to gain visibility into your team’s purchase history to ensure they purchase from the preferred local, small, and diverse sellers’ list. You can also create exportable reports to share with key stakeholders to ensure that you are meeting your responsible purchasing goals and staying within compliance with purchasing policies.




Migrating to more socially responsible purchasing procurement model doesn’t have to be a challenge. Contact Us to learn insights on your agency’s buying behavior and discover how Amazon Business can help your agency define, meet, and measure social responsibility and sustainability goals.

Learn how Amazon Business supports your socially responsible purchasing goals.

Product Updates