Key agenda items for CPOs & Procurement Leaders in 2024

Key agenda items for CPOs & Procurement Leaders in 2024

On March 21, 2024, the third annual World Sustainable Procurement Day (WSPD) led by the Sustainable Procurement Pledge (SPP) will take place, convening procurement professionals from around the globe. With the motto “#collaborate2accelerate”, this day will empower and equip individuals and teams to make improved sourcing decisions that have a positive impact on both people and the planet. What is more, it is about driving courageous leadership for the procurement profession to ensure they have a seat at the strategy table and a say on how a sustainable future will take shape.

Dear Community,

In the dynamic landscape of responsible procurement, we find ourselves amidst numerous challenges impacting both us and our businesses. The sheer magnitude of these challenges can be overwhelming, making prioritization a complex task. Your company’s sustainability strategy and Enterprise Risk Management system should ideally provide guiding principles. Ideally, there should be a singular sustainability and risk register, forged through collaborative efforts, with procurement playing a pivotal role in shaping this strategy due to the strategic importance of the supplier ecosystem.

This ambitious task necessitates Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) to position themselves at the apex of the leadership triangle, working closely with Sustainability Officers and Supply Chain leaders for internal alignment. The shift from a sole focus on cost and value to a comprehensive approach encompassing supplier development, deep interactions, and a shared mindset for the strategic supplier community is imperative.

In this context, World Sustainability Procurement Day (WSPD) becomes pivotal, focusing on People, Planet, and Profession – a delicate balance involving supplier diversity, human rights, and the impact and empowerment of suppliers. Navigating the complexities of measuring and understanding scope 3 impact in the entire value chain requires collaborative efforts. No one has all the answers, but through sharing, listening, and collaborative engagement, we can collectively improve our approach to these challenges.

Consider the backdrop of the World Economic Forum’s recent annual risk report, where CEOs identified the top three risks for the next two years:

  • Mis- and dis-information.
  • Extreme weather events.
  • Societal polarization.

This is the reality we are immersed in, and CPOs must navigate through it with agility and foresight. The challenge is dynamic, and linear extrapolations won’t suffice. Instead, we need to build “what if” scenarios, acknowledging that the landscape is ever evolving.

Leadership, transparency, and clear communication are paramount. Acknowledge that no one can navigate this path alone; it demands a collective effort. Global teams with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ambitions must align with your agenda. Openness to learning, exchanging ideas, playing in tandem, and active listening become the cornerstone of progress.

No one has all the answers, and having everything figured out is an unrealistic expectation. Embrace openness, readiness to learn, and a collaborative spirit. Together, as a community across company divides, cultural divides, and diverse backgrounds, we can forge a plan, set priorities, and make it happen. This is exactly the objective of the SPP Champions Program, as well as wider SPP network activities such as our Chapters and Global Ambassador Meetings.

In this journey, we are all in it together.

Let us not only acknowledge the challenges but also commit to action. As a united community, we have the power to drive meaningful change. I propose that we come together for WSPD and use this as a collaborative forum, where we can share best practices, innovative solutions, and collectively chart a course toward a sustainable and resilient future. By pooling our expertise, experiences, and insights, we can create a blueprint for success that goes beyond individual companies and transcends cultural and organizational boundaries. Together, let’s turn challenges into opportunities and make a lasting impact on our collective journey.”

Sincerely,

Henrik Larsen

Chair of the SPP Champions Program

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