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Sustainable Transformation — Embracing Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable transformation is needed to adapt and survive the new wave of challenges in the procurement process. However, how do you do it?

In this article, we will discuss what sustainable transformation is. We will tackle the need to have a sustainable transformation and its benefits. Additionally, we will share some tips on how you can deliver sustainable procurement change. 

After reading this article, you will have a deeper understanding of sustainable transformation and why it is important nowadays. Additionally, you will be able to deliver change in your procurement efficiently by using our tips. 

Sustainable Transformation: What is it?

In procurement, sustainable transformation is a business’s ability to create a positive environmental and social impact by reshaping its old processes. This is due to the fact that becoming a sustainable business requires extreme changes from what you have in the past. 

Sustainable transformation necessitates a deep understanding of new technologies, strong engagement with suppliers, and a series of investments needed to improve the procurement process. Thus, organizations need to strive for speed and scale when aiming for sustainability. 

If you are willing to start this year’s transformation toward sustainability, you must embrace three key principles:

1. Leadership

As a procurement manager, you must lead with a bold vision toward sustainability that aligns your business model with your sustainable goals. 

2. Sustainable execution

You must drive action by implementing your sustainable procurement strategy deep within your procurement processes. 

3. Aligning stakeholders

You must align the internal and external stakeholders by committing also with your sustainability standards and goals.


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The Need For Sustainable Transformation

We cannot deny the fact that how businesses operate severely affects the environment. Thus, many are adopting sustainability to reduce their negative impacts nowadays.  With sustainable transformation, companies commit to integrating environmental, social, and economic aspects in their procurement process.  Additionally, governments around the world are introducing regulations and policies to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact. To limit the risk of non-compliance, businesses must now integrate sustainability within their business operations. If not, then they are putting themselves at a high risk of being penalized, and worse, imprisonment.  Companies that are seen as being socially and environmentally responsible attract more customers and retain loyal employees. A strong commitment to sustainability can help build a positive brand reputation and increase brand value. Furthermore, sustainable procurement practices can help companies reduce costs through increased efficiency and reduced waste. Thus, achieving sustainability while increasing profitability. 

Benefits of Sustainable Transformation

1. Retain employees

A business that has respect for the environment and people generates pride and a sense of responsibility in the organization. Thus, employees will feel that they are improving the world where they live while also being compensated well. 

2. Improve customer relationships

Many customers are pushing for sustainability nowadays. Many consumers have stopped purchasing from businesses that have been linked to issues regarding their negative impacts on the environment and violation of human rights. 

Thus, many companies are pressured on aiming for sustainability as consumers are now conscious of their responsibility to the environment. 

3. Reduce costs and risks

By transforming your procurement process towards sustainability, you can reduce costs and risks by efficiently using your resources. Additionally, you can reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the cost of your energy usage by investing in renewable energy resources and energy-efficient equipment.

Integrating Sustainable Procurement Change

Once you have created a sustainable procurement strategy, you must now answer the most important question: how to integrate sustainable procurement change in procurement?
For you to transform your procurement, you must first know that the integration of sustainable procurement means changing and believing that you can make a difference. 

You can tackle change with either a big bang or in small steps! Change starts with awareness and increasing knowledge of yourself and your environment. 

You have to make conscious choices. What risk do we run as an organization? How important is sustainability to me and my customers? What is my network or competition doing? What should I do to maintain my market position? Who makes the final decision? What can sustainability cost?

Now you have made these choices, accept the consequences. Promote your policy and strategy and live by it to be an example. Communicate the sustainability policy and strategy internally but also externally, so that your suppliers also know what you stand for as an organization. After all, you don’t change alone, but together!

For change management and implementation, you need leaders in the organization who have a warm heart for sustainability. Many different theories have been developed that can support you in change management, increasing support, and implementing cultural change.

An example of the theory that supports change in management is Kotter’s theory. Kotter’s theory is the most well-known. It is also the most commonly used to implement a change in a controlled way in an organization. A characteristic of Kotter’s theory is that organizations recognize a great need or urgency for change. 

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Frequentlyasked questions

+ What is Sustainable Transformation?

It is the ability of businesses to create positive environmental and social impacts by reshaping their old processes.

+ Why is it important?

It is important to allow businesses to reduce their negative environmental and social impacts.

+ How to deliver sustainable change?

The first and most important step in delivering sustainable change is to be aware of what changes you need to implement to achieve sustainability. Once you know this, then everything else will follow.

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