Ethical sourcing… A meaningful reality or opportunity?

This week, I attended an online webinar on “social procurement” and related strategic sourcing.

This reminded me of a discussion with one of my former CEOs, not so long ago. I was interested in this topic and how we could do more in procurement, focused on the two points below:

1- Comply with deontology keeping in mind, we should deliver the expected results foreseen by the company;

2- And also, how to reduce our environmental impact, generated by sourcing done on the other side of the planet as well as rubbish resulting from reductive technology as a result of our parts’ production…

Let’s go quick over the first point. Here I talk about ethical procurement f.e. selecting suppliers complying with internal labor law at least avoiding child work or modern slavery… At least on this point, as I was in charge of global strategic sourcing, we did our best to protect  human beings before the economic logic.

Now let’s go to the environmental impact. Those who know me a bit can guess how important respecting our environment is key to me. Looking back on my whole professional career, I could have done better… In these days I am more congruent and my behaviors are more aligned with my core values: only necessary trips, buying locally, etc…

Now back to this discussion with the CEO. 3 years ago, as the pandemic was starting in Europe, this discussion ended as a dead-end. I left the office almost convinced the company was about to file for bankruptcy 😊 (a year later, the same company was communicating on the best achieved numbers of its whole history).

Nowadays, there is however a momentum that our world/civilization is jeopardized if we do not move quick enough.

This webinar highlighted quite a few major procurement organizations are now pushing towards more responsible procurement. They do have specific programs to support ethical sourcing whenever possible.

Strategic procurement is co-creating value by making the right decisions when it comes to category management and related supplier sourcing. Is it only an opportunity effect because some big pension funds are asking questions during the road shows for investors? Or is it the consequence of a real vision from the leaders on this topic? I let you chose the answer that is right for you. I just want to highlight we are moving in the right direction. So let’s encourage strategic sourcing being more impactful and responsible, as well as the coming generation of new buyers for the future. Sometimes small steps are becoming giant moves…

Let’s move together towards a more responsible sourcing. Namasté.

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