World Sustainable Procurement Day write-up
Our Marketing Executive attended a number of the webinars celebrating World Sustainable Procurement Day on 21st March. Here are the top takeaways!
By Christina Smart
The first-ever World Sustainable Procurement Day, hosted by Sustainable Procurement Pledge (SPP), took place during the Spring equinox on 21st March 2022. The day aimed to empower and equip Procurement Practitioners with knowledge, best practice approaches, and practical solutions to sustainability challenges.
Topics ranged from Child Labor & Forced Labor, to Supplier Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Living Wages, Human Rights, Conflict Minerals & Mining, Human Trafficking, Scope 3 GHG Emissions, SME suppliers, Supply Chain Transparency & Traceability, Social Procurement, and many, many more! Check out SPP’s resources here, including recordings of each session. For now, here’s a summary of some of the top sessions we attended!
The Value of Social Procurement
Lucie Durand, Director and Head of Unusual Partners at Yunus Social Business, gave us a great introduction to social procurement and the leadership required. 63% of executives responded to a survey in 2021 marking sustainability as a key priority for their procurement, compared to only 25% just 2 years prior – a great statistic displaying the growth of sustainability-driven action in business. Her talk was centred around the development of social procurement, and how implementing it is a multi-layer process needing visibility in the supply chain, various resources and negotiation with stakeholders including existing suppliers.
Andy Daly, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Social Enterprise UK, explained their ‘Buy social corporate challenge’ in partnership with the Government’s DCMS department. The aim is to collectively spend £1 billion with social enterprises through their procurement. Their latest report (July 2021) shows a spend of almost £165 million since its launch in April 2016, 2020 being the most successful year despite the pandemic. The challenge began with 7 founding corporate partners, now up to 27 including the likes of AstraZeneca, Barclays, Deloitte, GSK, PwC and Zurich. The challenge has also created a further 2030 jobs.
Jaime Paiva represented Zurich as Head of Procurement and Vendor Management, also an SPP member as co-chair for supplier diversity. Jaime made a point of understanding company strategy before applying a procurement strategy to understand fully how social procurement can contribute.
How to Champion Sustainable Procurement Leadership
This session’s panel was made up of SPP members who are also Chief Procurement Officers. A key point taken away from this hour was how suppliers themselves can implement sustainable procurement practices by creating their own external ecosystem. Lisa Martin, CPO at GSK, described this as creating a bridge to the outside world to improve scope 3 practices.
Also discussed was the structure of procurement teams. Thomas Udesen, CPO at Bayer as well as co-founder of SPP, argued the procurement function should have its own Centre of Excellence (COE) that is both governing and enabling. Bertrand Conqueret, CPO at Henkel and second co-founder of SPP, added to this idea of central talent with the notion that an organisation may find it best to have a team dedicated to sustainability who then work to embed practices into every function. We liked the mindset of sustainability benign a catalyst for innovation, ‘sustaination’ as Bertrand liked to call it! Thomas suggested companies host supplier innovation sessions and facilitate briefing sessions to drive change.
The Diversity of Supplier Diversity Programs
This diverse panel included the founder and CEO of Minority Supplier Development (MSD) UK, Mayank Shah and representatives of large corporate bodies. The UN definition of a diverse-owned business appears to be the most followed. This characterises a diverse business as 51% or more owned, managed and controlled by members of underrepresented groups in the country in which they operate.
Zurich was again represented by Head of Procurement, Jaime Paiva, who introduced the defining factors of a diverse supplier. Interestingly, compared to 48% of the entire UK workforce, 61% of social enterprise (SE) workforces are female. 14% of SEs are led by a person from a minority community compared to 8% of mainstream SMEs. And 55% of organisations reported having directors with a disability, with 1 in 10 reporting their leader to have a disability.
Mayank Shah from MSD UK introduced the first certification for self-employed freelance ethnic minority founders, launched 1st April this year. It will recognise diverse suppliers and improve diverse procurement practices.
So, that was a summary of just a few of the 20 talks held on World Sustainable Procurement Day. It was incredible to learn so much and hear from all corners of the sustainability and business worlds! You can catch up on recordings here, and keep up to date with SPP by signing up on their website! The challenges section will provide many more articles and webinar recordings held outside of World Sustainable Procurement Day!