Recap of CPO & Executive Virtual Series with Aarete

Supply Chain Diversity and Sustainability

Recently, SIG had the pleasure of hosting AArete experts Tyler Higgins, Gaurav Joshi and John Marchisin and Duane Elmore, Chief Procurement Officer at The Pennsylvania State University for the July CPO & Executive Virtual Series. It was a very engaging discussion that lasted nearly two hours with tons of excellent takeaways. Let’s get into it!

Adapting Your Supply Chain for Diversity and Sustainability

The team kicked off the day discussing what has driven the rise of corporate ESG priorities. There are seven areas that they highlighted to explain this increase:

  • Company Culture
  • Employee Engagement
  • Investor Activism
  • Policy & Regulation
  • Access to Capital
  • Financial Benefits
  • Consumer Demand 

These competing priorities oftentimes lead to many different approaches to accomplishing ESG initiatives. The Aarete team then walked through different approaches and experiences of ESG initiatives. They also shared successful diversity & sustainability programs. From Starbucks to The University of Penn, there are numerous ways to have success.

How to Transform the Buying Process 

Companies across all industries are setting ESG goals, and procurement leaders are at the forefront of executing those goals. Procurement leaders must balance these goals along with supply chain continuity during an inflationary environment. Having a ESG framework and a supplier diversity strategy is fundamental to transforming the buying process. Most organizations are challenged to find the right suppliers that can meet sustainability and supplier diversity goals. By incorporating KPIs for procurement, suppliers and adoption, you set the ESG goals up for long-term success.

  • Environmental Parameters
  • Governance Parameters
  • Social Parameters


ESG Framework

Procurement Transformation with The Pennsylvania State University

To close out the day, Duane Elmore, Chief Procurement Officer at The Pennsylvania State University, shared his challenges in Higher Ed procurement and his team's procurement transformation. Outdated technology and procurement silos made for an ineffective process that is commonly found in higher education. His team focused on changing historical mindsets, upskilling employees and modernizing best practices. 

The results were a new centralized procurement model, developed guided buying strategies and new technology implemented. Duane and the team were able to restructure the organization while establishing new policies and procedures. This full investment in change management has secured senior leadership buy-in. As Duane put it, "procurement is the best job out there; spending someone else’s money is cool."

As always, SIG looks to remain focused on what's around the corner within the procurement and sourcing industry, and events like these always prove that to be true. Make sure to stay tuned with the SIG event calendar to join the Procurement 3.0 conversation!

The CPO Executive virtual series is for buy-side executives to learn, network, and brainstorm on the challenges facing their organization and the industry at large.

Join the discussion at our next CPO & Executive Virtual Series in September as we have a fantastic agenda lined up!


Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

Desmond Williams is the digital marketing Manager for SIG. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Sociology from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. With a background in Marketing and Sales, relationships are at the core of his values.