In the midst of a pandemic, business models are wide open for transformation.
From my perspective, COIVD-19 is just a precursor to the larger threat looming from unmitigated climate change. In conjunction with racial inequality, old-hat “business as usual” models are potentially heading off a cliff.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are what many consider the gold standard for social impact goals. They provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and planet, along with an urgent call to action. How do we help achieve these goals?
For businesses across the globe, sustainability used to be a “nice to have,” but now the view has shifted. It’s a “must have — or else.”
Environmental and social governance (ESG) and sustainability have quickly transitioned from “nice-to-haves” to essential components of creating long-term, measurable business value.
A Focus on the Value and Virtue of Supply Chains
After a historically disruptive year, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are waking up to the fact that the measure of a supply chain is much greater than its landed costs. Meanwhile, consumers are more vocal than ever about the virtue of the companies from which they purchase. They want products, solutions, and supply chains to reflect their own ideals and aspirations related to sustainability, inclusion and fairness.
The concept behind a circular economy is simple: minimize waste by reusing, sharing and repairing goods that are already in use. That allows items to remain in the economic system, preventing the need for as many new products to be introduced.
This results in a closed loop. New resources aren’t being used, so energy is conserved.
IT products come with many social and environmental challenges. Conflict minerals, supply chain working conditions, hazardous substances, e-waste as well as the “take, make, use dispose” model of the linear economy demonstrate that the challenges and risks connected to our digital devices run wide and deep. Purchasers and users of technology are at the forefront of asking for better product options.
This year has proven complex for organizations and their supply chains as they adapt to an ever-changing landscape filled with new risks and volatilities.
Forward-thinking leaders are turning to sustainability as the solution for building long-term resiliency and ROI. The recently released EcoVadis Business Sustainability Risk & Performance Index shows there is additional work to be done in the journey toward more sustainable business.
Procurement Sentiment and Observations
During this pandemic, many organizational CEOs and Board members have become aware of and startled by the inefficiencies and bureaucracies in their Procurement organizations. C-suite executives discovered their organizations were in predicaments with deep and broad implications none of us had previously fathomed. Most of us never imagined we’d need to find new suppliers, support, or transition from current ones to diversify for business continuity at the drop of a hat.
Recent headlines are dominated by the news that the University of Oxford research team is seeing promising results from early trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Now we must turn our attention to the vital technology that ensures that doses of any viable vaccine reach locations in a state without the need for retesting.
With greater attention on sustainability and the direct need to meet climate goals, purchasers are looking for ways to change. One place to start is with the 170 million notebook computers produced and sold around the world every year. Rethinking an organization’s purchase and use of IT products like those notebooks can dramatically cut an organization’s carbon footprint – and save money - without affecting performance.
When considering sustainability in the supply chain, the first concepts that typically come to mind are solutions like green warehouse space or fuel-efficient trucks.
Sustainability in the supply chain extends much further than that. In retail, for instance, the clothing and fashion industry have the opportunity to progress through building a more sustainable approach.
The current clothing retail climate is somewhat dominated by fast fashion, a practice of mass-producing clothing items cheaply, so they can be sold in the most cost-effective way possible.
One of the most significant procurement trends we’ve seen so far in 2020 is delivering value beyond savings. So what exactly does this mean in the context of the function’s traditional goals?
Savings, as we all know, have long formed the foundation of procurement’s ROI to the organization. It’s been our primary charter over the years and is quite literally how the function has “paid its bills.”
Several recent developments suggest that sustainable procurement is about to become a more significant priority for business and procurement leaders. In August of last year, for example, the Business Roundtable – a non-profit association whose members are the CEOs of major U.S.