No 8. February 2013

Merger of Green Products Advisers

ECO-Buy Ltd, a supplier of sustainable supply chain services, and Net Balance, a sustainable procurement adviser, have merged and created Australia's largest consulting group for organizations that wish to use and offer sustainable and environmental products and services.

Based in Melbourne, ECO-Buy advises government and organizations on sustainable procurement and building a green supply chain, it connects buyers with suppliers of environmentally friendly products, and it can improve the environmental credentials of a client's products and services. The company has 12 years of experience in delivering programs to increase the demand and use of sustainable products and services.

Net Balance is an adviser on all aspects of sustainability and social responsibility. Its focus is on sustainability strategy and advice, climate change, environmental services, social and community investment and economics. It has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart and London.

Net Balance was recently certified as a B Corporation. This is a company that uses business to solve social and environmental problems. Net Balance said it is the fifth and largest organization in Australia to join the growing community of 675 Certified B Corps from 24 countries. B Corp status is awarded by the US based B Lab, which uses a set of standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency to assess a company's impact on its employees, suppliers, community and the environment.

ECO-BUY and Net Balance said their merger follows a number of successful partnerships between the two organizations, and presents significant opportunities to enhance their impact and service delivery through better management of supply chain risks and new opportunities for positive social and environmental impact.

"What is most exciting is the impact we are together hoping to create in using procurement and supply chains as a vehicle for efficiency, improved environmental and social outcomes, and significant value creating in local communities in Australia and abroad," said Net Balance director, Terence Jeyaretnam.

Mike Hill, foundation chair of ECO-Buy, said that after five years of operating as a not-for-profit, ECO-Buy has emerged as a player in the commercial world. "Our intention had always been to show that an agency promoting sustainable purchasing needed to be a part of the procurement scene and this merger has fulfilled that objective."

The merger is an opportunity to expand the ECO-Buy membership base, and offer new member services by drawing on Net Balance's broader sustainability expertise in carbon accounting and environmental metrics, social impact measurement, stakeholder engagement, economics and policy analysis.

Net Balance has launched the Tomorrow's Agenda Research Institute to scale up its research capability to an academic and institutional level. The Institute's focus is on client strategy, programs and on-the-ground action. It will also collaborate with academic and other research institutions. The research will be used to develop reports to shape policy and practice on social and environmental change and engaging government, corporations, social enterprises and not-for-profit organizations.





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