Engaging with suppliers is a crucial first step to promoting sustainability within procurement. ICMM provides a guide that purchasing professionals should follow to learn how to effectively engage with their suppliers. Step one highlights the importance of communicating your organizations environmental and social priorities and brainstorming ways in which suppliers can assist you in reaching your relative goals. Being proactive and transparent about your organization’s sustainability strategy and initiatives will allow suppliers to clearly understand your objectives as well as the standards that they should uphold to. Use of a target dialogue or implementation of supplier workshops are all great ways to initiate conversation and motivate suppliers to create attainable goals that will encourage your sustainability plan.
J&J took a creative approach to supplier engagement by creating a Supplier Sustainability “tool-kit” . In this tool kit, J&J guides their suppliers through their sustainability program, achievements, goals, responsibilities and even includes an FAQ to answer any questions their suppliers may have. Another company that has recognized success with supplier engagement is Daimler. The company promoted dialogue and good practice sharing through the implementation of supplier workshops. During these workshops Daimler was able to communicate their expectations on human rights and decent work while also supporting their tier one suppliers in establishing adequate measures to ensure human rights. To learn more about their approach and impact click here.
Engaging with suppliers can be challenging task. As procurement professionals who make sustainability a priority, we understand the importance of connecting with our suppliers to ensure that the impact that we are making is always a positive one. How do you engage with your suppliers to promote your organizations sustainability strategy? Comment below we would love to hear your ideas!