Sustainable Procurement is a top 3 priority for European CPOs

A European survey 2007 on “Responsible Purchasing” (involving 300 CPO) has just been released, published by HEC Business School, EcoVadis and Ariba. The objective of the survey was (read my former post) to identify the ‘tools’ which will help the better an organization to make Sustainable Procurement practices a reality. The report is worth reading although missing in depth analysis.

The index of the report might be helpful to understand what’s in it. It is as follows…

  • Key findings
  • How important is Sustainable Procurement today?
  • Why are companies considering Sustainable Procurement?
  • What are the challenges?
  • How do you measure Sustainable Procurement performance?
  • What are the tools helping you?
  • Focus on Supplier Performance Management
  • What are “Best in Class” companies doing?

… and the key findings are:

  • Sustainable Procurement is reported as the 3rd most critical priority of European Procurement Executives.
  • Compared to 2005, CPO’s have a much clearer vision of Sustainable Procurement and associated implementation challenges, benefits and possible solutions.
  • Implementation remains a challenge: 91% of CPO’s are reporting failing achieving their Sustainable Procurement objectives for 2007.
  • The roadblocks to implementation are mostly technical: lack of tools and lack of clear performance indicators are the key issues, far above organizational issues such as “lack of internal expertise” or “lack of top management support”.
  • KPI’s are not appropriate: current indicators measure the process (“inputs”) rather than performance (“outputs”). Companies urgently need results-oriented indicators that track supplier Sustainable Development performance and Sustainable Procurement effectiveness. Aside from the risk monitoring issue, another challenge is to be able to measure the value creation that Sustainable Procurement initiatives deliver to the organizations.
  • A clear performance gap is appearing between “CSR leaders” and other companies: Sustainable Procurement can be valuable and can bring a competitive advantage.

You can access the full report at Ecovadis website.

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