Incorporating Green Purchasing as a Best Practice in Procurement of in-flight Products at Kenya Airways Limited
Companies are perceived as important actors in the drive for sustainability. Linked to this, and in response to increasing demands from various stakeholder groups, companies start to look at their supply chain to enhance their overall sustainability profile. Two major triggers can be identified: (1) focal companies are held responsible for environmental and social problems caused by their suppliers, which become more and more important as (2) an increasing share of value is created at the supplier level. In response to such demands, companies have to find ways to incorporate environmental and social aspects into their supply (chain) management. Therefore, environmental and social standards are integrated into supply management by amending the purchasing processes. This paper presents an approach to integrate Green Purchasing into supply policy and supply management at the Kenya Airways limited, a 3-star airline projecting to become world Class Company and a 7 star airline by 2020.The objectives of the study was to establish the ways in which Kenya Airways Limited incorporates Green Purchasing as a best practice in procurement of in-flight Products as well as the challenges being faced in incorporating Green Purchasing. The findings of this research were geared to establish the "as is" situation for green purchasing and this was a case study. Focused interviews were conducted with stakeholders who are the key participant in supplier prequalification and purchase decisions through competitive bidding process. This was a qualitative research focusing on collecting precise and exact facts hence data collected was analyzed using content analysis. The results showed there is limited scope to incorporate green purchasing in purchase decision of core products and even less for support products. The company has a SHE evaluation policy for its suppliers which are a key step to environmental considerations in purchasing. Involvement of the Industrial safety team in supplier pre qualification points to the increased step towards best practices and this is a platform to advance green purchasing practices into supply chain. The study recommends consideration of the environment in procurement may include considering the environment from the outset. There is most scope available early on when defining needs and specifications, and early action is more likely to be successful. Additionally an array of strategies to institutionalize green purchasing in Kenya Airways into their procurement practices has been spelt out. At the end of the study are recommendations for further research in the gray area of green purchasing such as to what extent purchasers are expected to have environmental competence and expertise to face challenges of green purchasing and scope of green purchasing for core products and support products.
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