Sustainable sourcing

Top 10 SIG Speaks Blogs of 2021

2021 blogs

To wrap up 2021, we highlight the top 10 SIG Speaks blogs of the year. From sustainable sourcing to McDonald's happy meals, this year we have brought a range of content to fuel your procurement toolkit for the future of the industry!


Women's History Month Spotlight

SIG celebrates diversity and inclusion by highlighting the professional contributions of SIG members for Women's History Month. Here is a round-up of our favorite women authors over the last year to feature!

Lovin’ It: How McDonald’s Happy Meals Saved the SIG Summit

SIG CEO & President Dawn Tiura tells the story of how McDonald’s happy meals turned frowns upside down and saved the SIG Summit.

Sustainable Sourcing 101

This guide provides a basic overview on sustainable sourcing, including links to resources.

New Priorities for Procurement Leaders

CEO of Scanmarket, Betina Nygaard, discusses the new priorities that procurement leaders must adapt to in the post-pandemic workforce.

The Future of Procurement and the Shifting Supply Chains

As we reflect on 2020, the future has to be about possibilities to reshape our supply chains, with lessons from the past unifying ideas to accelerate the recovery and reset needed – for defining the future of work, a thriving planet and equality for all. 

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

Sustainable Sourcing 101

An image of a sustainable forest with the sun coming through the trees.

The concept of sustainable sourcing, also known as green purchasing or social sourcing, is nothing new. Sustainable sourcing is impacting nearly every area of corporate business and the consumer’s mindset. Everything from sourcing materials, talent attraction and consumer purchasing habits is changing because of sustainable sourcing growth. However, the term gets thrown around in the procurement industry quite often and is often misunderstood or misused. So, here’s a guide with all the basics you need to know about sustainable sourcing.  

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE SOURCING

First and foremost, we have to define the term. Sustainable sourcing is the integration of social, ethical and environmental performance factors into the process of selecting suppliers. It includes purchasing sustainably preferable products and services (products made from recycled or remanufactured materials), as well as green purchasing guidelines that might pertain to certain products or commodities.  

Heather Schleicher, Chief Marketing Officer

Top 10 SIG Speaks Blogs of 2020

To wrap up 2020, we highlight the top 10 blogs of the year.

To wrap up 2020, we highlight the top 10  SIG Speaks blogs of the year. From sustainable sourcing to mastering the art of negotiation, this year has been filled with thought leadership to help weather the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Guide to Understanding Category Management

By drilling down on spend categories, procurement can become established as a trusted advisor to the business. Check out our guide for a category management template to build your business case.

20 Questions About Life Post-COVID-19

SIG CEO & President Dawn Tiura discusses the future that lies ahead post-COVID-19.

Sustainable Sourcing 101

This guide provides a basic overview on sustainable sourcing, including links to resources.

7 Sourcing Business Models to Improve Sourcing Effectiveness

This article outlines seven sourcing business models that organizations should consider to improve their sourcing effectiveness and get the best results from supplier relationships.

Measurable Success: 7 New KPIs to Optimize Your Procurement Pipeline

This article outlines seven sourcing business models that organizations should consider to improve their sourcing effectiveness and get the best results from supplier relationships.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

The Post-COVID Supply Chain: Driving Value with Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable Procurement

COVID-19 has created a ripple effect of disruption through supply chains across the world, causing many companies to assess their weak spots and reevaluate their operations to ensure future resiliency and continuity.

Rebounding from the current crisis with more solid resilience is itself creating immense value. Forward-thinking companies are looking a step further, perhaps with the climate crisis clearly in view. They are leveraging sustainability and purpose – with an upside creating long-term value across a wide range of business levers, from competitive differentiation, grow sales revenue, supplier innovation to support future circular business models, talent recruitment and retention.

Procurement’s Key Role in Turning Purpose into Profit

With momentum growing toward stakeholder capitalism, businesses have made a greater commitment to sustainable purpose through reducing emissions of greenhouse gas, limiting plastic use, providing decent working conditions and more. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought risk mitigation and resiliency top-of-mind – and we’re seeing clear proof points that sustainable procurement is the answer.

David McClintock, Marketing Director, EcoVadis

Sustainability in Sourcing Part II: Sourcing's Role

An image of a glass globe in the forest.

In previous blogs, SIG has covered the basic concept of sustainability, including an overview of its various dimensions. In this post, I will touch on the role that sourcing professionals can have in meeting corporate sustainability goals.

Why should sourcing have a role?

Sourcing is uniquely positioned to contribute to meeting a corporation's sustainability goals because sourcing typically has expertise in:

  • Creating alignment to corporate goals
  • Building frameworks to measure success
  • Researching market conditions and supplier capabilities
  • Conducting strategic negotiations 
  • Designing innovative methods for value creation
  • Ranking the priorities of stakeholders with supplier offerings   
  • Identifying risk and mitigating responsibly

The reduction in costs after implementing a sustainability program can exceed the costs of implementation – in other words, you’re spending money up front but in the long run, you save more than you spend. For example, if an organization were to target the spend category of corporate services and facilities management (FM), capital may be invested in working with a supplier to install a new system that reduces energy consumption at the company's North American headquarters, but in the long run, the reduction in energy costs saves the company money – which of course, can then be reinvested.

In this example, procurement and sourcing are uniquely positioned to make this happen. Most likely Sourcing negotiated the original FM contract, understands the innovative capabilities of suppliers, has heard many recent pitches on new products, and is adept at performing the analysis that proves an investment can have a significant return in hard costs, and even soft costs.

Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics

Change Through Business Value Creation and the Global UN Sustainable Development Goals

“It’s not enough to have lived, we should be determined to live for something” – Leo F. Buscaglia

The pursuit of greater meaning sits at the pinnacle of human nature. It reflects within all that we do, in our lives, and in our professions. As procurement or sourcing professionals, we strive every day to make a difference in the business, to solve problems while creating business value. The words “sustainability”, “sustainable”, and “impact” are commonplace these days in the procurement and sourcing world as the industry pushes towards a new future in sustainable business – but what can we really do to drive true change?

We believe Procurement has the expertise to drive sustainability while delivering the highest standard of work and championing continuous improvement in business by integrating our processes with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Amidst all the various measures in the world today, the UN SDGs provides a solid benchmark for sustainable procurement and sourcing for the following reasons:

Jane Zhang, Co-Founder of ETCH Sourcing

SIG Speaks to Jane Zhang, Co-Founder of ETCH Sourcing

sustainable procurement

Jane Zhang is the Co-Founder of ETCH Sourcing, a Canada based consultancy specializing in providing strategy and execution services in the sourcing, procurement and category management space. She loves people, solving problems, and has years of expertise working throughout the entire sourcing spectrum, from building and executing multi-million-dollar tactical strategies, to being entrusted with some of the most complex and strategic contractual negotiations on business-critical projects. Graduating from the Haskayne School of Business twice over with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and an MBA in Finance with a focus on Global Energy Management and Sustainability, she has returned to build and teach business contract negotiations with her Co-Founder as a part of giving back and elevating her alma mater.  

Jane is passionate about education is a member for multiple boards, most notable is her role as Board Director and Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit designed to connect children aged 8-13 with industry learning and development through play.  

Jane’s latest passion is to champion the role of sustainability in procurement and is celebrating the launch of ETCH’s sustainable procurement offering, which integrates the UN SDGs as a sustainability function into the procurement process from an end-to-end perspective. 

Heather Schleicher, Senior Marketing Director