Procurement With A Purpose – Launching Our New Paper

We are delighted to announce the publication of our new White Paper, produced in conjunction with SAP Ariba and titled “Procurement with a Purpose -  Making a Positive Impact on Organisations, Human Rights and Communities”.

Our papers are written independently, so while we are very grateful to our sponsors (who in effect pay for our work), they don’t get to influence the content, and we’re confident you won’t get the sense you’re being sold to when you read this.

We do hope you will read it, because this is becoming a very important topic for procurement professionals, for a number of reasons. First of all, the whole range of issues around corporate social responsibility should matter to every one of us as citizens of the world. Whether it is modern slavery, the pollution of the oceans with plastics, global warming, or corruption, you would have to be a very strange person not to care about these issues to some extent.

Secondly, the organisations we work for are becoming more and more aware that they need to take an interest and show that they are part of the solution, not part of the problem. That is true whether we’re talking about a global multi-national, the corner shop (our brilliant local fresh fish shop has just gone fully recyclable with all their packaging material) or a public sector body.

So procurement people and functions simply have to get on board too with these issues – and in fact, it is often organisations’ supply chains that are the biggest source of risk and opportunity in terms of addressing these problems. So procurement must get aligned with the organisational goals and actions  and understand how we can work with suppliers to address the issues that matter to the organisation and the world.

Finally, being professionally selfish, this is a great opportunity for procurement. Because of the importance of these issues, we have a real opportunity to seize the initiative and show that we can deliver benefits to our own organisations and to the wider world (and we’re not talking about sacrificing “value” here, we should emphasise). Indeed, this is about “value” - just in a different sense to price or service levels. Indeed, we’ve got a couple of examples in the Paper where procurement functions have enhanced their own reputations and developed a greater presence and credibility at Board level by embracing these issues.

Anyway, we will feature some excerpts from the paper over the next few weeks here, but you can download it now, free on registration, via this link.

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