Sustainability is central to corporate competitiveness, and we’re seeing sustainable businesses elevated as more strategic in the marketplace. Right now, you may integrating a more holistic view of your company’s environmental and social impact into your procurement strategy. Industry experts reveal that advanced sustainable procurement programs help lower costs, increase sales, establish higher levels of innovation and reduce supply chain risk. Procurement leaders can walk through this process with their group purchasing organization (GPO) as an advisor to make moves toward incorporating sustainable practices in procurement, supply chain, and do it cost-effectively.
In the final blog of our three-part series, we discuss action steps that procurement can take with their GPO to achieve success in sustainability and company expectations.
Procurement's Route to Sustainability Success
What type of program does your organization have to collect data and information from suppliers? How often do you obtain that info?
To evaluate your supply chain’s impact, risk management and procurement industry insider Mark Trowbridge suggests keeping those questions in mind as you strengthen or implement initiatives to achieve sustainability goals. Trowbridge breaks it down for you in the video below.
Sustainable Steps Purchasing Leaders Can Take Right Now
1. Identify & quantify your organization's current environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) footprint.
- Determine what matters most to your company’s ESG/sustainability plan and set goals for where you’d like to be.
- Example: Has the topic of water conservation come up at your organization? OMNIA Partners supplier partner, Cintas Corporation, continually evaluates opportunities to reduce their water use from areas experiencing high water stress and maintains an ethical supply chain requiring vendors and contractors to conduct business in an ethical and moral manner. You can read their 2020 ESG report for more information on their sustainable practices.
2. Measure your organization's risk.
- Pinpoint vulnerabilities to even minor supply chain disruptions of products & services.
- Increase visibility to suppliers’ ESG/sustainability health.
- To help you pinpoint risk areas, OMNIA Partners can connect you to supplier partners, GRMS, the leader in global enterprise-wide supplier risk assessment programs of suppliers, contracts and service providers. Watch the latest OMNIA Partners and GRMS webinar on "Building a World-Class Supplier Risk & Sustainability Program at No Cost."
3. Educate key stakeholders to establish awareness & alignment.
- Bring people together to get everyone on the same page and in support of your company’s sustainable priorities & initiatives.
- Consider implementing continuous training for your procurement team.
4. Integrate new/updated sustainable practices & monitor/manage them.
- A GPO helps you strengthen supplier relationship management as it can be challenging on your own and become fragmented.
- Track performance. This is an opportunity to contribute to procurement’s technological transformation as digital speed and scale can increase transparency and resilience.
Managing Sustainability Expectations
A sustainable organization has a holistic view of how the company can sustain itself in any circumstance, which is valuable in the marketplace and arguably, critical to business continuity as we head into 2022.
As your CEO and sustainability manager count on you to ensure a sustainable supply chain and purchasing strategy, keep in mind that each organization is at a different maturity level in managing their environmental and social impact. To help you analyze what stage your organization is in and how to move forward, consider the following questions:
- Have evaluated your current operations and core business strategies?
- Is there room to improve any inefficiencies?
- Are your colleagues practicing and utilizing your organization’s sustainability and eco-friendly requirements?
Understanding where you are in the process will help you establish a solid foundation to move forward in enhancing sustainability efforts and procurement practices.
Industry expert Bob Wooten, Senior Director at Tradition Energy, provides perspective on challenges and solutions companies are focused on in the sustainability space.
OMNIA Partners can connect you to GPO supplier partner, Tradition Energy, a leading energy advisor. Tradition Energy leverages their deep knowledge and expertise in Technologies & Products, Rebates & Incentives, Project Financing & Economics and Sustainable Alternatives to deliver companies with the most holistic energy efficiency solutions.
Check out our latest webinar with Tradition Energy discussing "How Understanding Utility Delivery Charges Can Help You Reduce Energy Costs."
The Future of Sustainability & Group Purchasing
Right now, business leaders are looking ahead at what they can do to futureproof their organization. Part of that evaluation includes ensuring they have maximum operational stability during disruptive events and the ability to take advantage of marketplace opportunities that arise.
A GPO can work as procurement’s powerful partner in futureproofing your company and reaching sustainable goals. Leveraging group purchasing extends your team connecting you to lower cost solutions from industry-leading suppliers in OMNIA Partners' diverse portfolio.
Check out parts one and two of our sustainability series where we discuss current trends and hear from procurement leaders succeeding in the sustainability space.