Supplier Engagement

A key goal of Cox Conserves is to create a culture of conservation that encourages all stakeholders to join in and support our sustainability journey. This not only maximizes the impact of our efforts, but also helps to ensure that our legacy is a lasting one. As critical partners in our business, suppliers are a natural constituency for us to engage.

To support a sustainable supply chain, we seek to work with suppliers that employ best-in-class sustainable business practices. We also follow specific Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) principles that look to:

  • Reduce the amount of energy and water used in manufacturing and distribution;
  • Take affirmative actions to prevent the creation of air and/or water pollution and waste products;
  • Make use of recycled and/or recyclable content in products and packaging, and other remanufacturing;
  • Invest in the use of alternative energy sources for manufacturing and distribution; and
  • Deploy transportation practices that are environmentally sound.

To better understand our suppliers’ views on sustainability and their needs, we conducted the Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey, the first nationwide survey to examine sustainability opportunities and challenges for small and medium-sized businesses. Among our findings: many decision-makers delay their own sustainability program because of up-front cost requirements and a belief that it won’t really matter to their respective customers. More than half the respondents were not happy with their current level of sustainability and felt corporations should do more to help their suppliers go green. Even more respondents — 65 percent — expressed a desire to develop a corporate sustainability program.

The survey also identified ways that businesses can adopt sustainable practices that will actually save costs: double-sided printing, energy-efficient light bulbs, recycling programs, paperless billing, virtual meetings and turning off electronics when not in use, to name a few. To support our suppliers, we feature ideas such as these at our annual Sustainability Summit, where our top vendors share best practices. The 100 suppliers who attend represent billions of dollars in products and services.

Our supplier relationship with Staples as our office paper provider nationwide is an example of a partnership that is working for the environment. Our use of FSC-certified paper made of 30 percent post-consumer content will help us save the equivalent of 5,040 trees, about 2.5 million gallons of water and eliminate nearly 80 tons of waste annually.