Procurement Execs Eye Sustainability
August 3, 2021
released its 2021 Sustainable Procurement Barometer. Conducted with
Stanford Graduate School of Business, the research found that delivering
on corporate sustainability goals has shifted to the top of the
executive agenda, with 63% of executives now saying it’s very important,
compared to only 25% two years ago.
“Many feared that the pandemic would negatively impact global
sustainability progress. Our research found the opposite to be true –
sustainability commitments and investments held steady or increased for
93% organizations,” said Pierre-Francois Thaler, co-founder and co-CEO,
EcoVadis. “As procurement teams look to rebuild, many are realizing that
strong sustainable procurement practices are essential to bolstering
resilience and creating value.”
While corporate commitments and public pressure have increased globally,
delivering on goals – especially in the supply chain – remains a work in
progress. Only 48% of supplier respondents believe that the buying
organizations they work with are truly engaged in sustainability and
actively partner with them to foster sustainability practices in their
commercial relationships. More alarmingly, 46% of suppliers said
sustainability is important to their customers on paper, but is not
reflected in the way they work together.
Select findings from the 2021 Sustainable Procurement Barometer
Labor and human rights issues shape procurement strategy. In order,
procurement organizations are prioritizing labor and human rights
issues, followed by the environment, social issues, and business ethics,
in their two – three-year strategies.
Procurement is now paying attention to diversity, racism,
nondiscrimination, and equity. 61% of procurement leaders say social
issues will be “more important” or “significantly more important” over
the next two to three years.
procurement proves key to supply chain resilience. 63% of corporate
respondents, and 71% of supplier respondents, report that their
sustainable procurement initiative helped them endure the COVID-19
Sustainability performance is critical for revenue and growth. 69% of
respondents are taking sustainability performance into consideration
when selecting new suppliers and renewing contracts – up from 51% in
Mid-size companies (from $100M to $1Bn in revenue) are embracing
sustainability. 48% believe sustainability will have a net positive
financial impact on their business, while 47% expect a sustainable
approach to lead to improved operational efficiency and lower costs.
Conducted with the Value Chain Innovation Initiative at Stanford
Graduate School of Business, the 2021 Sustainable Procurement Barometer
is based on analysis from two surveys: one for buyers and one for
suppliers, conducted as online questionnaires, followed by in-depth
interviews with selected participants.
“At a time when the disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and
other disasters have led many companies to shift their focus to building
resiliency in their supply chains, this timely report provides
practitioners answers to four key questions: what exactly sustainable
procurement is, who should be involved, why it should be done and how it
can be achieved,” advised Professor Hau Lee, Faculty Codirector, Value
Chain Innovation Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business.