More than 400 purchasing gurus and sustainability wallahs gathered in Minneapolis for the 5th annual Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) May 14-16. SPLC has become the premier event where professionals with purchasing responsibility and budget interact with corporate, government, university and sustainability strategists.

Circular economy, stewarding embedded water, deforestation, sustainable financing, and challenges with global recycling markets were just a few of the issues, trends and innovations that were debated, discussed and dissected.

A highlight every year is Connect, where attendees can book as many as twelve 20-minute one-on-one meetings with peers, suppliers, customers and experts.  Conversations were focused, useful information was gleaned and many a lead harvested.

More than 25 diverse organizations from Ecolab, Cubehydro, Interface, and TreeZero to the United Nations were represented in the exhibit area – a recycled train depot.

A highlight was SPLC’s 5th anniversary party held at US Bank Stadium – the Gold LEED Certified – home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Attendees were treated to a behind the scenes tour of this marvelous 68,000 plus capacity stadium that somewhat resembles a Viking ship.

US Bank Stadium is 100% powered by renewable wind energy.  Rainwater is collected, stored, filtered and slowly recharged into the local aquifer – eliminating the need to pump runoff into the city’s sewer system.  Nearly all packaging used in the stadium is compostable.  Administrative offices use 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  As host of Super Bowl LII, 91% of all game day waste, more than 63 tons, were recycled, composted, reused or donated.

The 6th Annual SPLC will be held in Portland, OR in mid-May 2019.  TreeZero plans to attend again because we’ve seen the ROI in a number of ways, not only in our business deals coming out of the Summit, but also the invaluable brand visibility in front of hundreds of sustainability and procurement leaders.

Jeff Foote

Jeff Foote is Executive Vice President, Sustainability at TreeZero. He’s also an investor. He has helped hundreds of organizations, both large and small, successfully incorporate sustainability strategies into core business functions. Jeff has traveled to all seven continents working to protect and preserve the environment. Jeff’s mission is to help organizations and individuals use fewer resources to sell more, more profitably.