As procurement management consultants, we guide organisations that use procurement practices to deliver a more sustainable outcome for their purchases (procurement is the process of finding and acquiring items from an external source). The primary objective of sustainable procurement is for an organisation to maintain a sustainable system for procuring goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money but also keeps a high level of social, economic and environmental standards starting from the source.
In its very basic form, sustainability is split into three main areas:
This includes natural resources used, environmental management and energy efficiency, the prevention of pollution to air, water, land and to minimise waste. See food waste management
This area is quite large but covers business ethics, fair trade, workers rights and from that you get standard of living, education, equal opportunities and community. See social enterprise article on Change Please
This is an area that historically has been the main focus for organisations. Price and quality, with a view for maximising the benefits to the procuring company. But with the right guidance from us and the broadening of knowledge on how to maintain sustainable procurement in all areas of the business, organisations can attain profits as well as quality, cost savings, economic growth and have the added benefit of contributing to the research and development of sustainability. See avoiding procurement waste
The term ‘sustainability’ has been widely used but in the case of businesses and their procurement practices it is possible to reappraise their work practices using green technologies, renewable energy and adjusting the individual lifestyles of staff while they’re in the employment of that organisation to conserve the natural resources. Not only that but to change their way of thinking to appreciate where resources like food, water and energy come from.
With the ever-increasing population, climate change and overconsumption there has never been a more crucial time than now for the re-evaluation within organisations of their entire procurement systems to achieve sustainability within each area which will enable the earth to continue supporting human life. This sounds quite dramatic, and it is - but it is essential.
Sustainable procurement involves many considerations and is not just about buying ‘green’ products. An organisation therefore must also examine these three areas:
- planning ahead to manage demand
- effective ongoing contract management
- dealing with supply chain risks and impacts
We are committed to delivering sustainable procurement and if you would like help or advice on any area of sustainable procurement, please do contact our team of procurement consultants at the Ramsay Todd Consultancy.