sustainability Content

Procurement in Practice: Sustainability — Getting from the pledge to action at Bayer

sustainability at Bayer

Bayer Chief Procurement Officer Thomas Udesen joins us for this month's Procurement in Practice interview, which gives procurement professionals insights into how major players in the market handle issues that affect all procurement practitioners. Today, Thomas makes the case for why companies should see sustainability as good business, not just a buzzword to throw around. It also has a lot to do with digital transformation, he says.

“It takes a lot of work initially to harmonize all your processes globally to obtain real-time access to all transactions, which a lot of procurement teams struggle with, especially those in SMEs with fewer resources," Thomas says. "But it is precisely those firms that can make a real difference, since they represent 80% of the world economy and form the backbone of business. So it’s crucial they understand the long-term advantage and that the hard work upfront — which includes fixing taxonomies, data maintenance, process alignment and leveraging digitalization — pays off when you have a real handle on sustainability."

What exactly is a ‘sustainable turkey’?

sustainable turkey

Thanks to our friend and former colleague Peter Smith for addressing this seasonal burning issue. 

Knowing my interest in “procurement with purpose” and the sustainability agenda generally, a friend recently asked me the question "What exactly is a sustainable turkey?" with Thanksgiving and Christmas in mind. Their angle was that a turkey can’t be “sustainable” really, as we eat it and it’s gone!

Let’s start by thinking about animal welfare issues and the conditions in which the birds are bred and reared. That can range from genuine free-range approaches, with turkeys roaming around fields and experiencing considerable freedom, to much more intensive “battery farm” methods, which meat-eaters might not want to know too much about. But an “organic”-labelled turkey should mean the bird had access to the outdoors and have adequate scratching space, nesting areas and so on.

Then we need to look at what the birds have eaten. We might want to know that they are antibiotic free, for a start. Then, in most cases, producers will be using bought-in feed for the birds, and that’s where some serious “sustainability” issues can kick in. For organic birds, the feed should be plant-based and free from any animal products. But that’s not enough to assure ourselves of the turkey’s sustainability credentials, unfortunately.

Is your turkey being produced and supplied in a sustainable way?

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