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Responsible Procurement

From the world of pharma to food production, from fashion retail and the automotive manufacturing industry to the design & build of public infrastructure, how public and private organisations and companies manage their supply chains and procurement is now more visible than ever.

In the 21st century, the world of procurement and the supply chain is faced with ever increasing levels of scrutiny. 

This is further amplified by the impact of Climate Change and its effect on global resourcing which in turn drives the need to create attainable, sustainable business and manufacturing models and processes.  

Arguably, it is the rise and rise of the social channels, digital and mobile communications that has in part, enabled this move for greater scrutiny; stakeholders, shareholders, the media, activist & lobbying groups, NGO’s and other special interest groups as well as the public can now easily find out more about what goes on behind the ‘closed’ doors of a company.  

With the “door” harder to keep shut - let’s not even mention a certain car brand beginning with V – it means that the commercial custodians of supply chain and procurement management must be ever mindful of the need for transparency, ethical practice and responsible business activity – after all we, as consumers, especially the ‘Millennials’ all want to know more about how and why ‘things go wrong’ – and, as importantly, we want to know more about where things come from. 

Because we are recruiters specialising in the procurement and supply chain sector, our experience means we understand the current and future skill sets required by today’s procurement professionals -with this in mind we’re rounding up a selection of reports, insights and examples of the best responsible procurement and supply chain activity we’ve read  -  we hope you do too.

As @NickMartindale says in this Supply Management piece about the Four Ethical Issues that Matter to Supply Chains

“Retailers are coming under increasing scrutiny over just how responsible their supply chains actually are.

While issues are usually found towards the bottom of the chain – often involving working conditions in emerging markets – it matters not; retailers and manufacturing brands have realised they have no choice but to take responsibility for everything that happens, from field or factory to fork or store.

Triple Pundit cites 5 brands going big on sustainability   

“Agriculture and food are integral to the earth’s ecosystem. Heinz is one company practicing sustainability in all aspects of the food chain.

It practices quality control in sustainable agriculture, overseeing that the health of the land in which so many of Heinz-branded products are farmed from are safely grown.

Furthermore, supply chain management is at the forefront — reduction in factory production emissions and packaging waste is a key goal.”

10 Challenges that Will Transform Global Sourcing 2025 – the need for transparency and being social media- savvy is one of them

“Transparency: Social media and the increasing acceptance of information transparency will amplify the degree of scrutiny on procurement organizations.

This disruptive change, coupled with the adoption of real-time social technologies, will make procurement one of the most visible corporate functions to the outside world.

To that end, procurement leaders need to encourage their teams to adopt a social mind-set and operating model that will sustain the corporate brand in this more transparent era.

By 2025, the best procurement officers will be as comfortable speaking to consumers, regulators and the press as they are with suppliers.”