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E3: Economy, Energy and Environment

E3 Supply Chain How-To Guide

The Supply Chain How-To Guide presents large manufacturers with key steps for initiating a project for their supply chain, including resources for recruiting suppliers and recognizing supplier achievements.

Note that several documents on this page use outdated terms. The Green Suppliers Network originally called manufacturers within supply chains "Partners" and manufacturers targeting their supply chains "Corporate Champions."

  • Step 1. Identify and Recruit Key Suppliers

    You know which of your suppliers can benefit most from an assessment. It's important to include both purchasing and operations staff when selecting suppliers to recruit. In the past, large manufacturers have chosen suppliers to participate in assessments based on:

    • Product lines
    • Role of supplier (critical versus noncritical)
    • Financial challenges
    • Environmental challenges
    • Likeliness to participate
    • Other defined goals (e.g., minority-owned suppliers to work toward diversity goals)

    You can organize an informational meeting to introduce your suppliers to the Green Suppliers Network and E3. You can also work with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to organize a webinar hosted by EPA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to introduce your suppliers to the benefits of joining.


  • Step 2: Confirm Suppliers' Participation

    After hosting a supplier meeting, you should send a quick email to EPA with the number of suppliers that attended. We also recommend that you send a follow-up email to suppliers to gauge interest and continue to work with interested suppliers, and direct committed suppliers to register for an assessment.

    Email your final list of confirmed suppliers to EPA. Once your suppliers complete the registration form, EPA will send a welcome email and direct them to the website for tools and resources to guide them through the assessment process.


  • Step 3: Get Results

    EPA will notify a manufacturer when one of its suppliers completes an assessment. We encourage you to send emails to suppliers thanking them for their participation and offering to share implementation resources as available and appropriate.

    Once five of your suppliers have completed assessments, EPA will provide you with aggregated results showing the potential savings from all of the identified lean and green opportunities. Aggregated actual results will be available within one year of completing the technical assessments.

  • Step 4: Recognize Your Suppliers' Achievements

    One way a manufacturer can motivate suppliers to implement improvements is to recognize their participation in an assessment and their success in reducing costs and improving the efficiency of their operations. In addition, EPA recommends that you look for opportunities to integrate sustainable manufacturing strategies in your procurement policies and throughout your supply chain.