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CEO as the Chief Environmental Officer Key For Sustainable Procurement

December 29, 2021

A new study by management and technology consultancy BearingPoint on sustainable procurement shows CEOs have the opportunity to take ownership of sustainable transformation as Chief Environmental Officers, setting the vision and strategy and supporting the necessary organizational changes and providing the budgets to make it happen.

Among the 700 company leaders and procurement and sustainability experts surveyed in the global study, 98% agreed that sustainable procurement is essential. More than 40% of respondents added that they seek inspiration and direction from top management - it is more than half in Asia and the US.

Sustainable purchasing transformation is the next CEO challenge

“Sustainable purchasing transformation is the next CEO challenge, with leaders inspiring their teams to act sustainably. Leaders need to take ownership to support organizational change and allocate budget to make their strategy happen,” said Ralf Dillmann, Partner Sourcing and Procurement at BearingPoint.

More than half of the study respondents cited competitive advantage as a key reason for adopting sustainable procurement practices. Companies with a baseline measurement of their carbon emissions are better prepared and structured for successful initiatives to source more sustainably and ultimately decarbonize their supply chain. Companies without baselines are three times more likely to experience barriers and frustration in achieving sustainability targets.

According to the study, CEOs as Chief Environmental Officers should focus on overcoming barriers such as insufficient training, difficulties in translating impacts into financial benefits, and the lack of reporting on supply chain sustainability.

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