Preparing For Ever-Changing Supply Chain Regulations: But Where’s Procurement?

Supply Chain Regulations

Mandatory enforcement of human rights, environmental due diligence and even data privacy are a few examples of the regulatory challenges procurement faces in managing complex global supply networks.

I could also talk about the negative impact that a failure to address these regulatory conditions can have on an organization's brand as a company and employer. Of course, it's not exactly a revelation that negative press regarding regulatory violations will certainly impact your image with the public, e.g., your customers. However, did you realize that in a highly competitive job market, "58% of candidates surveyed said they consider a company's social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work." This mindset isn't just a checkbox sentiment: "55% said they would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if the salary was less."

While employee attraction and retention are not often discussed in the same breath as ESG regulatory compliance – at least not enough, it is yet another indication of the expanded importance and impact of getting ESG right. In other words, people are taking this seriously.

Learning How To Get It Right

Given ESG's recognized importance, I will be part of the panel discussion on preparing For Ever-Changing Supply Chain Regulations at the upcoming SIG Procurement Technology Summit.

We will specifically get into the critical aspects of identifying and managing compliance risks in your supply network, focusing on the following four Learning Objectives:

  • The importance of collaboration between procurement and compliance teams to effectively manage risk 
  • Why continuous monitoring of the supply chain is critical to ensure compliance 
  • How integration can elevate risk exposure and what to do about it
  • How to streamline approval procedures across teams & automate re-validation 

Of course, it takes all stakeholders to communicate and collaborate across extended supply networks to build the necessary adaptability and resilience to achieve your ESG mandates. The question is, what is procurement's role in tracking and managing compliance?

Where Is Procurement?

Asking you who owns ESG success in your organization may seem redundant, even rhetorical. However, if the answer isn't immediately procurement – which is the case with many companies, it is a question we should be asking.

According to an August 2022 CFO DIVE article by Maura Webber Sadovi, the corporate departments responsible for ESG reporting and tracking is sustainability (27%), investor relations (24%) and legal (23%), followed by finance (9%).

Okay, but where is procurement in the above equation? What is procurement's role? To what extent is the proactive collaboration between procurement and each one of these departments regarding regulatory compliance synchronized?

Transforming Procurement

In a January 2022 Thomson Reuters article about “Powering Your ESG Strategy through Sourcing and Procurement,” Mondolez International’s Christine Montenegro McGrath talked about how the “corporate procurement process is undergoing a transformation.”

The Vice President & Chief of Global Impact, Sustainability and Well-Being at Mondolez said, "sourcing is absolutely critical to achieving our ESG objectives." However, she emphasized that "it's hard for any one company or one supplier to solve these issues." McGrath then concludes all stakeholders "need to be working in partnership" with their suppliers and "bring them on the journey."

Who at your organization owns the supplier relationships? Once again, where is procurement in your ESG strategy?

We will tackle the four Learning Objectives at the SIG Summit within this context or framework.


Gary Storr, Trust Your Supplier General Manager

Gary Storr has over 30 years of corporate experience at all levels of Information Technology and held senior executive IT roles with responsibilities that include enterprise solution delivery, corporate infrastructure operations, global application development, professional services integration, and global business strategy.