What is the Sustainable Procurement Pledge and how did come about?
The Sustainable Procurement Pledge (#SPP) was born out of passion and is driven by a shared sense of responsibility. #SPP addresses people, not organizations. We are ultimately the ones who constitute organizations and who are making daily decisions in our workplaces. The biggest lever to have a positive impact is therefore with us! #SPP primarily addresses those who are connected to the Procurement function, procurement professionals, academics and students, but does not exclude anyone outside this area of activity. Those who feel concerned by the #SPP messages can start and join right away!
The idea was ignited by the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019. Adults and children, from all walks of life, made a clear statement and we were reminded about our prime responsibility: to leave our home, our ONE planet, in the same condition as it was entrusted us.
There are many great and profound sustainability initiatives already. They typically involve companies, governments, institutions and top leaders. However, we rarely see initiatives that address individuals. And yet, we all have the power to make impactful everyday decisions and gradually change the world. We fundamentally believe that many small changes ultimately lead to a big change?
What are some of the ways that procurement can ensure their supply chains are increasingly more sustainable?
We trust that everyone best knows which small or big actions he or she can change to make an impact on responsible procurement. Obviously, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution or a recipe on how to solve the world’s most pressing topic. We strongly believe in our #SPP Ambassadors and the power and creativity of the crowd to develop and share plenty of ideas and good practices to ensure that everybody will find inspiration for his or her individual next step.
Concrete steps that #SPP Ambassadors, however, can take are:
- Start with yourself and develop a sustainability mindset
- Raise awareness for sustainability and its importance within your networks
- Initiate and foster dialogue about responsible procurement
- Challenge the norm and be a role model with your own procurement practices
- Team up with others, strengthen your network and leverage existing knowledge
- Recruit sustainability-minded people
What are the benefits to organizations that engage in sustainable procurement practices?
While traditional procurement decisions mainly rely on product quality, timely delivery and price, adding sustainability aspects will help organizations to better meet growing stakeholder expectations, from governments, legislation, customers, employees, NGOs, trade associations and many others. Investing into sustainability, therefore, means investing in the future of a sustainable, responsible and inclusive business continuation.
What advice do you have for sourcing and procurement teams when it comes to working with internal stakeholders to advance sustainable procurement practices over business as usual?
We can leverage the wealth of knowledge that exists on change management. Our recommendation is to activate a top-down as well as a bottom-up approach at the same time. Leadership commitment is essential to get started, build awareness, create a vision and to position the topic as mission-critical! The bottom-up approach, however, is crucial to ensure engagement, which is needed to make a sustainable impact on the ground. Everyone needs to feel addressed as an essential part and everyone should be empowered to make an impact.
How can sourcing and procurement professionals get involved in the Sustainable Procurement Pledge?
Everybody can participate in the #SPP! We have created our home space for the Sustainable Procurement Pledge on LinkedIn. In the “Sustainable Procurement Ambassador” LinkedIn Group, more than 700 Ambassadors are already engaged and share and collect ideas of good practices and #lifehacks of more responsible procurement aspects. Here, we initiate and foster a dialogue about responsible procurement and want to involve as many people in the procurement sector as possible to join forces and make a real impact on the ground. If you are struggling to stay connected, the #SPP will help you navigate through the contents!
To learn more about The Sustainable Procurement Pledge, read this Future of Sourcing article on procurement's role in creating responsible supply chains.
Stacy Mendoza is a Digital Marketing Manager with Sourcing Industry Group (SIG). The foundation of her career is bolstered by her tenure as an editor for a market and public opinion research firm in Washington, D.C., where she worked on projects for political campaigns, nonprofits, and major corporations and brands. Since 2014, she has assumed progressive levels of responsibility in leading marketing and public relations campaigns and specializes in content creation, social media marketing, data analytics, media relations and crisis communications. Stacy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, a certificate in grant writing from The Graduate School in Washington, D.C., and is Inbound Certified through Hubspot Academy. Follow her on Twitter and tweet at @SIG_Stacy.