-- Positive News --
According to the JapanFS.org newsletter, there is a Japanese group known as the "Green Purchasing Network (GPN)" that has working towards a sustainable economy for 20 years along with "1,570 companies, 154 governmental bodies and 193 civil groups".
Their main agenda for green purchasing starts with determining if an item is really necessary before purchasing it - a lot of items are purchased brand new when an alternative could be found (buying used, renting, sharing with other businesses, or creative thinking). Secondly they feel it is important to understand the environmental costs or benefits that come with purchasing a new item from purchase to disposal. For instance, if you have decided on an item that can not be recycled, reused, or repurposed - it has a huge cost. A third consideration is to really investigate your suppliers - find out what their policies are, charities they support and efforts to reduce their impact on the environment. A fourth consideration, according to the GPN group, is to look even further into your suppliers, such as who they purchase their products from and how they treat their employees or perhaps how they ship the items and how far the items/supplies are shipped.
I was really gladdened to learn of this organization... there are many like them in most countries, however hearing of their hard work is heartening.