Sustainable procurement manager: job description

Responsible purchaser
April 6th, 2021
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With the rapid development of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policies, the role of sustainable procurement manager has become well established in the corporate purchasing environment.

It is a job of the future that contributes to the fulfilment of environmental and societal commitments such as the "Made in France" initiative, employment or integration, while maintaining the role of improving economic performance inherent in procurement.

Find out more about every aspect of the sustainable procurement manager role:

What are the objectives of the sustainable procurement manager?

The sustainable procurement manager plays a major role in developing a procurement policy that respects environmental-protection, social-progress and economic-development issues.

Negotiation of procurement contracts, coordination of the supply chain and delivery flows, and more. The sustainable procurement manager consolidates the company's CSR policy by contributing to six basic needs:

  • Contributing to economic efficiency: defining costs, negotiating sustainable purchase
  • Leading the CSR procurement policy: establishing a structured approach and strategy in favour of environmental and social causes;  identifying, measuring and monitoring action-plan indicators under the sustainable procurement policy    
  • Playing a consultative role in responsible and sustainable procurement: carrying out competitive, environmental, regulatory and normative monitoring (ISO 26000, ISO 24000...); conducting supplier surveys to develop the company's sourcing, quality and traceability approaches; supporting the operational divisions in decision-making, in accordance with pre-determined CSR commitments
  • Improving the quality of an offer: developing the attractiveness of a product or service through procurement (price, environmental and social benefits)
  • Optimising costs: strengthening the overall value chain through socially and environmentally conscious purchases
  • Acting as an internal ambassador: raising the teams' awareness of the importance of the company's CSR policies and its challenges, encouraging positive steps in-house and with suppliers, promoting socially and ecologically responsible public procurement (e.g. the SPASER strategy)

What skills does a sustainable procurement manager need?

As is often the case in the world of business, the sustainable procurement manager must be able to reconcile technical skills with people skills.

There are several technical skills that make up their expertise:

  • Good knowledge of the company and its product requirements
  • Familiarity with the supplier market
  • Excellent knowledge of procurement and commercial negotiation techniques
  • An understanding of international logistical constraints
  • Fluent spoken English

There are several personal qualities required for the role:

  • Interest in environmental and social progress issues in order to appreciate the development of the business
  • Availability and the ability to listen and understand the needs of their customers
  • Endurance and perseverance to find the most effective solutions for the company

How much does a sustainable procurement manager earn?

The average annual salary of a sustainable procurement manager varies according to experience. It starts from €35,000 and can reach up to €60,000.

What training is needed?

Given their involvement in a company's CSR policies, the sustainable procurement manager must have undergone training that allows them to combine economic performance with respect for a company's social and environmental criteria.

Two types of training are currently considered suitable:

  • A foundation degree in sustainable procurement or logistics
  • A business diploma incorporating social and environmental dimensions

In the long term, the role of a sustainable procurement manager could expand. Thanks to the increase in company initiatives on sustainable development, new career opportunities should start to emerge, both in terms of job development or the creation of new roles. These could include social entrepreneur, CSR manager, green marketing and eco-design project manager, energy efficiency project manager and more.