eProcurement & Procure-to-Pay Resources

Sustainability and the Role of Procurement

Published October 6, 2021 at 10:30 AM

We recently published a post discussing the increasing importance of Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) to corporations and the impact procurement can have by engaging in these types of programs on behalf of their businesses. Among the areas of ESG where Procurement can have an impact is sustainability.

The importance of Sustainability

According to the article, The 3 Pillars of Corporate Sustainability, “Sustainability is most often defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. It has three main pillars: economic, environmental, and social. These three pillars are informally referred to as people, planet and profits.”

The article goes on to describe ways that businesses have been actively exploring to address the various pillars. For example, to address the environmental pillar, companies have focused on activities that can reduce their carbon footprint. For the social pillar, they have performed activities that improve the treatment of employees as well as striving to be a productive member of the global community. Concerning the economic pillar, the focus is on surviving and thriving so that the company can make a long-term positive impact.

Examples of Sustainability

Corporations globally have actively engaged in sustainability programs, with many having detailed ESG reporting on their website. Among some of the programs are the following:

  • As part of their ESG summary, Walmart promotes various goals that include a vision for zero waste in the US, Canada, and Mexico by 2025.
  • McDonald’s has worked to source all of its paper food packaging from recycled or sustainable fiber.
  • GlaxoSmithKline’s efforts include a commitment to reduce their impact by one quarter by 2030 by using renewable energy.

Impacts of Sustainability

The US Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment’s 2018 trends report noted that investing in assets that are sustainable, responsible and impactful grew from $8.7 Trillion in 2016 to $12 Trillion in 2018. The investment community sees the enhanced value of corporations that spend on sustainability, rewarding companies with that focus.

How Procurement can Address Sustainability

The Article, “Powering Your Sustainability Strategy Through Procurement” makes the point that, “only procurement has the capabilities to ensure that their organization not only performs well but is more socially and environmentally responsible. This is because procurement alone has the most comprehensive overview of corporate ecosystems, including internal structures, suppliers, assets, and customers.”

The Procurement organization is uniquely qualified to deliver on the business's sustainability goals through its relationship across the organization and the entire corporate ecosystem.

BuyerQuest Marketplace and Sustainability

The BuyerQuest platform can help the procurement organization achieve its sustainability goals. From small wins such as the elimination of unnecessary paper trails associated with manual processes to the development of strategic partner relationships with sustainable suppliers, BuyerQuest’s browser-based, user-friendly technology makes it easy for procurement to build an ecosystem that represents corporate sustainability goals. Suppliers, buyers and executives can quickly access what they need to achieve their goals.

Sustainability is a critical component of corporate ESG initiatives. Look to technologies such as BuyerQuest to help support a broader, more diverse supplier ecosystem.

Learn more about BuyerQuest Marketplace

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