The CSR Category

Majority of CEOs Agree That Sustainability Holds Value to Businesses, Yet Few Are Measuring ROI

CEOs increasingly agree that sustainability holds value to businesses, but quantifying that value remains a challenge. A slight majority of business professionals believe that sustainability drives both revenue and savings for their businesses, but only 30% measure the ROI of their sustainability initiatives. These are some of the findings from the Ethical Corporation’s fourth annual Responsible Business Trends report. This year, more than 1,500 global business professionals took part in the survey, the majority based in Europe and North America. 

Procurement with Purpose: Where SAP Ariba Fits In

marketing procurement

Despite all of the talk we hear about the power of procurement to drive innovation, to drive sustainability and to drive social responsibility and change, this is only the case when there is enough money on the line to warrant the effort it takes for a supplier to change. And even then, there has to be no significant financial impact to the buying organization because the CRO will try to squash the effort if risk is noticeably increased, and the CFO will definitely halt the effort in its tracks if costs substantially increase. Thus, as per our last post, you're only going to make progress on any effort, be it innovation, sustainability or social responsibility, if you have not only board approval but board commitment

Procurement with Purpose: Easy to Say, Hard to Do

hidden workers

One of the big themes at last week's SAP Ariba Live was “procurement with purpose” — the idea that procurement organizations, with their collective spending power, can use their clout to do good. When you consider that the annual transaction volume through the Ariba Network exceeds the combined annual commerce of Alibaba, Amazon and eBay — and dwarfs that of many nations— it seems quite feasible that procurement can drive change, especially since money talks. But just as only the squeaky wheel gets the grease, only the loudest money is heard above the din.

Food and Beverage Industry Leads its Peers in Sustainability Performance, Ceres Finds

amazon

Growing consumer demand for transparent food supply chains and responsible sourcing has pushed the food and beverage industry to embrace sustainability to a larger extent than other sectors, according to new research from Ceres, an NGO focused on sustainability. Ceres examined how more than 600 of the largest publicly traded U.S. companies are responding to environmental risks, human rights abuses and other threats falling under the umbrella of sustainability. The organization found that food and beverage companies are generally ahead of their peers.

Sourcemap and BRAC U to Launch a Digital Map of Every Garment Factory in Bangladesh

We were intrigued to learn recently about a project to create a digital factory map of Bangladesh, a joint effort from BRAC University, Sourcemap and the C&A Foundation. Officially called the Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh, the project is set to launch this summer. A team of data collectors from BRAC University and Sourcemap are currently visiting every garment factory in Bangladesh and gathering GPS-linked data points on workers, factory facilities, certifications, types of products manufactured at the factory, and companies that source from the factory.

IntegrityNext: Vendor Introduction, Analysis and SWOT [PRO]

For many procurement organizations, monitoring suppliers for regulatory compliance and sustainability initiatives is becoming increasingly important. This is true with both larger, tier-one suppliers and smaller vendors further down in the supply chain. From supply disruptions to infractions in the court of public opinion, even the most hidden suppliers today introduce product and operational risks that can cause irreparable harm to a business.

Monitoring suppliers to reduce risk, however, is no easy task, especially across the long tail of suppliers. Many procurement organizations still require a basic platform that can manage supplier, information, performance, relationship and lifecycle needs to drive basic automation, collection, aggregation and maintenance of this data. In order to get a grip on supplier compliance to meet these objectives, procurement organizations generally need four things: supplier self-assessments that capture details on policies and procedures; certificates of verification; third-party audit information; and up-to-the-minute insight and analysis on reported events that could be early indicators of issues that need to be investigated.

At the nexus of these areas is IntegrityNext, a new solution provider in the supplier risk and compliance sector. IntegrityNext is aiming to offer an affordable and easy way for procurement organizations to access compliance assessments, up-to-date certifications and real-time market sentiment on their supply chains.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on IntegrityNext and its capabilities. It includes an overview of IntegrityNext’s offering, a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis and a selection requirements checklist for those that might consider the provider.

Apple Expands Supplier Audit, Publishes Results in Latest Annual Progress Report

hidden workers

For 12 years, Apple has published reports on its supplier audits, and the 2018 Progress Report was released earlier this month. In 2017, Apple conducted audits of 756 suppliers in 30 countries, including 197 suppliers that were audited for the first time. The expanded audit unearthed 48 “core” violations of Apple’s supplier code of conduct, double the number from the year before. However, the good news is that the overall trend is toward greater compliance.

Adoption of Sustainable Sourcing Practices Remains Limited, First Large-Scale CSR Study Finds

mining

For all the corporate sustainability reports that many companies dutifully release every year, how widespread are sustainable sourcing practices really? A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that adoption of these practices remains limited, particularly when it comes to non-consumer-facing companies and lower-tier suppliers.

Aravo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

The supplier management solution area consists of many subsegments that constitute their own individual markets. These include providers that specialize in aspects of supplier lifecylce management, the enablement of specific supplier management processes and the management of both structured — and, in certain cases, unstructured — supplier data. Few supplier management providers, however, have platforms that can tackle the majority of these areas effectively.

Aravo is one of a handful of providers that can. At the time of its founding nearly two decades ago, Aravo pioneered the supplier management technology market (specifically supplier information management), tracing its roots to Ariba-based supplier enablement and catalog support. But since then, Aravo has not rested on its legacy, despite retrenching to focus on software development and customers in recent years, especially large, complex supplier management deployments. GE, for example, manages 1.2 million suppliers and third parties using Aravo, with integrations to 24 different ERP and GRC software instances across 19 business units.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Aravo and whether its technology is a fit for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Aravo in the supplier management and quality management areas. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

The Procurement Workplace in the Weinstein Era: Q&A with Coupa Board Member Leslie Campbell

It’s often difficult to separate the technical sides of any profession or industry from its cultural, human-oriented counterparts. After all, humans are still the driving force behind and beneficiaries of procurement technology — no matter what AI and automation have in store for us — and we must continue to learn how to better work together. With that, we continue our conversation with Leslie Campbell, member of Coupa’s Board of Directors and former procurement practitioner, on what diversity, fairness and gender equality in the procurement workplace mean in the current cultural moment.

Investigative Report Details Toxic Gas Poisoning and Other Serious Labor Violations at Key Apple Supplier

China Labor Watch released a lengthy report Tuesday detailing appalling work conditions at Catcher Technology, a supplier of computers, digital cameras and other products to Apple, Dell, HP, IBM and Sony. The factory under investigation, however, is primarily an Apple supplier, producing iPhone frames and MacBook components. Among many other labor violations, China Labor Watch found toxic gas poisoning, unsanitary food, inadequate protective gear and excessive pollution during its investigation of the Catcher factory in Suqian, China, conducted from October 2017 to January 2018.

Cobalt and the Sustainability of Electric Vehicles

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

Recently I have been reading a number of case studies based on some of the world’s leading sustainable and socially responsible firms, ranging from Unilever’s work in Brazil and Danone’s work in India to Vodafone and their mobile payment systems in Kenya. One of the other favorite firms for academic research is Tesla, with its “greener than thou” philosophy. Delving a little deeper into the mechanics of batteries, however, the word “cobalt” rang a number of alarm bells.