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8 Improving corporate processes, product... > Involve the supply chain - Pg. 213

8. improving corporate processes, products, and projects for corporate sustainability 213 Involve the supply chain Another way to minimize social and environmental impacts is to put pressure on sup- pliers to reduce the negative impacts of the components of the products or services they provide. By pushing these concerns throughout the supply chain, companies can reduce their social and environmental impacts and their costs. It is also an opportunity to stimulate markets for socially and environmentally sensitive products and materi- als. 30 Reputation risk can become a factor when deciding on suppliers and contract facili- ties. Many companies have endured protests from social activists and environmental groups because of their supply practices. From 1997 to 1999, environmentalists protested against The Home Depot stores around the country stating that the company purchased its wood from endangered forests. In August 1999, The Home Depot stated that it would not purchase from endangered forests, and by 2003 the company was working with environmental groups to protect forests in Chile. Responding to these claims is one step; however, being proactive about supplier sys- tems can help companies face these difficult challenges. The many benefits of socially and environmentally sensitive purchasing systems include: G Cost avoidance: lower waste management fees and hazardous material man- agement fees