The Sustainability 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.

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

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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.

Developing a Digital Operating Model: GEP Releases 2018 Procurement Outlook Report

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GEP recently published its 2018 Procurement Outlook Report, which provides insight on important business and technology trends for procurement and supply chain professionals. Now in its sixth edition, the report tackles changing political and economic policies, emerging technologies and trends in eight major spend categories. And 2018, according to the authors of the report, will be the year for procurement to develop a new digital operating model.

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.

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Driving Sustainability and Compliance (Part 3): Managing Multi-Tier Risk and Opportunity

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This post is the last in a three-part series. Click here to read part 1 and part 2.

The process of launching IntegrityNext gave our team an amazing opportunity to connect with supply chain sustainability and compliance managers worldwide. We heard about challenges and targets as well as priorities for today and concerns about tomorrow. Regardless of industry or company size, professionals have immediately engaged, driven by their desire to improve the working and living conditions of supplier organizations and the communities they are based in. One of the questions that we heard most often was about multi-tier supplier sustainability and compliance: what does this mean and why is it important?

New Research: Supply Chain Risks Lurking Behind the Electric Vehicle Boom

Fourteen countries (including the U.S., believe it or not) have joined the Electric Vehicle Initiative, aiming for battery-powered cars, trucks and buses to reach 30% market share by 2030. According to IEA calculations, we would need 600 million electric vehicles globally by 2040 in order to reach the global warming target set by the Paris Agreement. A new report from risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, however, shows that the electric vehicle supply chain is far from devoid of social and even environmental risks. It largely comes down to the raw materials needed for electric vehicles, such as aluminum, cobalt, mica and rubber.