Community Building by SPP Germany

“Purpose matters,” board members and executives agree. Ethical questioning and the search for a deeper meaning in a value chain that is largely based on expansionary value chain that is largely fixated on expansionist optimization mania, cost reduction, status-driven hyperconsumption status-driven hyperconsumption and aggressive resource allocation are red-hot topics. To an ever greater extent, corporate purchasing in the company is also affected by these questions. But what is actually sensible? The pressure is increasing,
to develop concrete designs for a just and dignified future of a networked planet.
planet. Sustainability-oriented purchasing is a strong option here.

One example of this trend is the Sustainable Procurement Pledge” (SPP), a global sustainability initiative for buyers. It was initiated because the founder were aware of the enormous influence purchasing can have on on sustainability aspects. In the meantime, more than more than 8,000 SPP ambassadors around the world are committed sustainable procurement.

SPP ambassadors network primarily via LinkedIn and via joint global online events, which are usually developed by the initiative’s steering committee. After the global community had gained a great deal of respect within just two years, it was necessary to build up structures that that help for specializing and localizing the general SPP activities. Accordingly, at the beginning of of this year, so-called chapters were formed, each led by two Co
Chairs.

Their task is to break down the general objective of SPP to to content-related or regional aspects in order to enrich and sharpen the overall enrich and sharpen the overall profile, and ultimately to win new people for the initiative of sustainable purchasing. The goal of the chapters is thus to increase the willingness to participate, motivation and the ability to stand up for the common basic conviction.

The SPP Chapter Germany meets these expectations, not only by actively participating in joint international events, but also strives to develop its own profile. Therefore, the responsible persons for this SPP Chapter, Thomas Heine and Peter Köhne, are building structures that will allow them to quickly develop their own profile, to connect with others and thus increase awareness and achieve a greater achieve a greater impact.

In concrete terms, they cooperate with leading trade fairs and conferences of sustainable procurement, online events of climate change and associations of experts, for example that of the energy efficiency in Germany. In addition, they strive to with business associations and governmental organizations organizations by offering them the global expertise of the SPP network and their ability to communicate and qualify for sustainable purchasing in companies. In the near future, this collaboration will allow to establish events on sustainable procurement directly in the target group of SMEs and to set up working groups on this topic.

In online communication, the options were limited, to post messages on LinkedIn in the community of the SPP Ambassadors and to post messages in the respective profile of the Co Chairs.

Since the large scattering losses of this type of communication are to be avoided, Thomas Heine and Peter Köhne are now developing a country-specific approach of  on LinkedIn in collaboration with the Steering Committee. 

But how do you get in direct contact with people, who are interested in becoming involved in the SPP community? In response to this question the SPP Chapter Germany developed two approaches. First, an overview of the benefits of joining SPP free of charge was developed.
At a glance, people can see the added value of the German Chapter in addition to the general goal of sustainable procurement.

In a second step, the format of a TOP Event “Lunch & Learn” by SPP Germany was created. The aim of this communication format for the SPP Ambassadors in Germany is getting to know each other and communicating with them personally.

“Lunch & Learn” events are held in major cities in Germany. The motivation to participate is provided by a selection of speakers who offer, due to their professional position or specific expertise an added value for those responsible for procurement in companies.

“Lunch & Learn” events are free of advertising. The costs for lunch and drinks are paid by the guests of the event. Thomas Heine and Peter Köhne organize the event, the lecturers
and the facility and also moderate these events.

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