The vision of procurement decision-makers for sustainable procurement

February 25th, 2020
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In this video, EcoVadis[1] asks five procurement decision-makers about their vision for sustainable procurement. They discuss topics including what has driven their business to turn towards sustainable procurement, and what sustainable procurement means to them today. Two main themes are raised: compliance and value creation.

Sustainable procurement to ensure compliance

The majority of procurement decision-makers agree that above all, sustainable procurement meets the need to comply with legislation, therefore minimising their risk. Whether it concerns public markets, energy performance, social competition, the social and solidarity economy or energy transition, regulations are becoming stricter year on year.

However, in addition to complying with legislation, companies also want to take the requests and expectations of their stakeholders into account. This is acknowledged by Peter Hobday, Deputy Chief Procurement Officer at Atos: "Our shareholders and stakeholders have encouraged us to a certain extent, as well as our customers".  

Sustainable procurement as a means for creating value

Compliance is the first step in sustainable procurement, but businesses are taking steps to go even further. They want sustainable procurement to be a performance indicator or a way to stand out on the market.

Erik Richter, Sustainable Procurement Manager for the PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroën, Opel) confirms: "This is where it really gets more exciting: It is not to comply, but to put it to performance. That means being stronger than the market, being faster than what is simply required".  

Cesare Guarini, Former Head of Procurement Strategy Initiatives and Sustainability at Clariant, explains: "The objective is to make a contribution, moving from cost to value and focusing on three main areas: sustainability, innovation and growth markets". To do this, the chemical company mainly relies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and supplier collaboration.

It is interesting to note that the decision-makers interviewed in this video did not discuss rights or ethics, which are supposedly the main reasons why decision-makers are committed to sustainable procurement, according to the latest EcoVadis barometer. One thing is clear, sustainable procurement will soon become unavoidable.


[1] A global platform for providing business sustainability ratings and collaborative CSR performance improvement tools

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