As crucial links in the supply chain, procurement professionals have a unique opportunity to drive sustainability initiatives, support decarbonisation, and minimise the carbon footprint of their organisation. By incorporating sustainability into their buying practices, procurement professionals don’t just contribute to environmental preservation – they also set up the organisation for long-term success.
Beyond reducing an organisation’s carbon footprint, sustainable procurement also helps organisations mitigate supply chain risks. By considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors during supplier selection and evaluation, procurement professionals can identify potential risks and vulnerabilities within the supply chain. This proactive approach reduces the likelihood of disruptions, such as supplier failures, reputational damage, or regulatory non-compliance.
Furthermore, sustainable procurement can be a powerful driver for both innovation and cost savings. By developing eco-friendly alternatives, adopting the principles of a circular economy, and implementing energy-efficient processes, procurement professionals introduce operational efficiencies, reduce waste, and optimise resource utilisation, which can result in significant cost savings in the long run. Organisations that embrace meaningful sustainability often attract environmentally conscious consumers and investors, creating new business opportunities and enhancing competitiveness.
It’s time for buyers to adapt
As the climate crisis intensifies, a growing number of people have come to understand that the way we access and consume goods and services has a direct impact on the environment—and must change quickly if we want to prevent global catastrophe. Thankfully, individual consumers are heeding the warnings and modifying their behaviour. According to a recent survey by The Economist, searches for sustainable goods increased globally by 71% since 2016.
This is a prime example of the need for buyers to adapt and consider changing consumer demands to preserve the future of their organisations.
Addressing the knowledge gap
Despite the obvious benefits, most procurement professionals lack the background or training to implement effective strategies and create sustainable relationships with suppliers. Without a thorough understanding of how to participate in the circular economy, most buyers will continue doing exactly what they’ve always done.
Addressing the knowledge gap between sustainable sourcing and procurement, Sustainable Procurement is a new course designed specifically to help procurement professionals explore the central role they play in supporting their company’s social responsibility efforts and reducing environmental impact. The course helps buyers understand that environmental procurement must go beyond simply sourcing at the best price and outlines new methodologies to help re-evaluate and rethink the procurement and purchasing process.
The course features a series of five-minute videos that offer practical guidance on:
- Why the role of the buyer is key in the sustainable transition
- The future of sustainable procurement
- How to establish a responsible procurement policy
- Ways to be a more responsible purchaser (including how to buy less!)
- How to get your suppliers involved and create a sustainable relationship with them
Beyond these topics, the course also investigates best practices for meeting Scope 3 targets and sets up a framework to explore issues related to biodiversity, resources, pollution, human rights concerns, duty of vigilance, social dialogue and working conditions. It aims to help buyers think critically about every step of the supply chain.
Ready to equip your procurement professionals to make informed decisions that promote sustainable practices throughout the supply chain? Explore Within’s offerings and establish your organisation as a leader in sustainability.