- According to recent research, an increase in sustainability in procurement decisions has become the norm for more and more businesses, Ecosystem Marketplace reported last week. The research also showed that companies' commitment to actively reduce deforestation increased by nearly 150% since 2015.
- The top three results for promoting a sustainable procurement program include: improved brand reputation at 76%; stronger, and longer-lasting supplier relationships at 55%, and improved rankings in green indices at 48%.
- Other report results revealed that 57% of respondents now consider environmental risk important, though only 18% believe it to be "significantly" more important. Business ethics and labor issues are receiving 33% more significant consideration than they had previously.
While 55% of sustainability procurement managers believe that 7 years is the norm for payoff of sustainability practices, improvements remain steady, with a 29% increase in available internal resources since 2013, and a 26% rise in the ease of tracing supplier sustainability. In other words, though the financial reward may come slowly, the improvements made along the way lead to other benefits, such as growing transparency, which benefits not only the planet but also for relationships with customers, suppliers, and in company reputation.
Sustainability efforts are a new and growing necessity. Sustainable procurement formally began fewer than 15 years ago, and while rewards can and are measured qualitatively, estimated performance outcomes have not yet achieved standard financial measures or benchmarks.
For the time being, achieving sustainability goals can be reached by following a specific path, but it will likely be a long-term goal. Also, sticking to the determined path is an absolute: instituting a five year plan, knowing that payoff may not occur until that time, will ultimately result in big rewards in revenue and brand perception.