Sustainability in Procurement

It is widely recognized that sustainability in procurement requires a high degree of collaboration between all parties in the supply chain.  This has to be built on a strong commitment from the organization of sustainability across, not only the procurement function, but all business requirements.  Successful sustainability therefore starts with Business Needs Analysis and, as so often is the case, effective communication with stakeholders is vital to maintaining sustainability.

We are all more than aware that the last year has given business unique and unplanned-for challenges.  For some it has meant swift adaption to the market place they operate in, with the opportunity for new products and services and the challenges these bring to sourcing and procurement.  Unless sustainability is baked-in to the sourcing process, when responding to market demand, there is the risk it will be compromised, or at worst overlooked.  Unpredicted challenges have also impacted supply chains, driving the need for inventive swift action.  Sustainability must always remain on the agenda.

We are all aware that the impact of poor or negative sustainability on a brand can be devastating.  With sustainability demanding its own section within Annual Reports, and senior executives heading up responsibility in this area, organizations are turning to the education of not only procurement, but also stakeholders on this topic.  Sustainability has to be embedded in all Business Needs Analysis to inform RFI, RFP, ITT and the entire supplier selection process, all contract content and ongoing Supplier Management.

The first step in a sourcing process is to analyze business needs and identify all impacted stakeholders.  If individuals in the organization are specifically responsible for sustainability, their involvement should be secured from this step forward.  To ensure clear communication to the business, stakeholder and supplier business needs should be categorized into a standard approach, covering Assurance, Quality, Service, Cost, Innovation, Regulatory and Sustainability (AQSCIRS).  The three pillars for consideration for sustainability are social, environmental and economic.

If you feel your procurement team would benefit from some specific focus on Business Needs Analysis, including sustainability considerations, please contact us to discuss your requirements and learn more about what other organizations are achieving.