Green Procurement

Sustainability in procurement on the move

Marcell_Vollmer.jpgBy Dr Marcell Vollmer, Daniel Weise, Wolfgang Schnellbächer, Michael Jonas and Ann-Kathrin Merz (all professionals at Boston Consulting Group)

Growing momentum on bringing sustainability into supply chains
Companies are shining a spotlight on the environmental dimension of sustainability. This is evident especially in the automotive industry. With a small share of a car's parts responsible for most of the environmental harm, automakers have homed in on these categories and their suppliers to drive impact. With some suppliers, such as battery producers, renewable energy commitments are expected to yield an improved carbon footprint. For more difficult to decarbonise materials, such as aluminium and steel, automakers are leveraging design to use more recycled materials and make the cars themselves recyclable. However, there is more to it. The importance of actions like these to address Scope 3 emissions upstream will only rise with the growth of electric cars. Also, over-arching design and architectural levers play a role. While automakers have responded to sustainability challenges with innovation, the true test lies in whether they can sustain this momentum to meet their ambitious targets. Comprehensive ways to measure emissions and to track the progress of abatement initiatives are first and important steps.

The Sustainable Procurement Pledge

#SSP_100.jpgImagine a world, where all people thrive on our planet. A world, where the immediate threat of climate disaster has been avoided and where global businesses have evolved their business models to support a responsible and low-carbon economy.

"Whilst it seems a bit far-fetched looking at today's realities, this world vision is possible and the millions of procurement professionals distributed across the planet are mission-critical in making this come true", says the movement behind the Sustainable Procurement Pledge, or #SPP, on social media.

Agility and sustainable sourcing are SCM's new focus areas

NdabeniBagosi_100.jpgBy Ndabeni Bagosi, Head: Cost and Agility Programme, Total South Africa

Leading and forward-thinking organisations rely on the agility of their supply chains for sustainability. Traditionally, the focus of supply chain has been on compliance and cost cutting. However, increasing competition, changing customer needs and a changing economic environment are challenging organisations to think beyond cost.

Increasingly, chief procurement officers (CPOs) are required to provide solutions on how they can contribute to organisations' agility, safety, cost reduction and environmental compliance (sustainable procurement).

New decade, new thinking, greener agenda

Malcolm_100.jpgBy Malcolm Harrison

Organisations should use the coming year as a chance to diversify - by engaging with digitisation, data and the environment.

Sustainable procurement in Australia

JeniChristensen_100.jpgBy Jeni Christensen (MCIPS)
Procurement Manager in Melbourne, Australia, for Villa Maria Catholic Homes, a not-for-profit organisation linked to the Catholic Church

While Australia is often thought of as an early adopter and innovator, sustainable and ethical procurement is an area in which this country is lagging behind. There is a focus on product stewardship and end-of-life strategies, but targeting procurement practices seems to have slipped through the cracks.

Dollars and cents: what are we really saving?

DiegoDeLaGarza_100.jpgBy Diego De la Garza

It might have started with dollars and cents, but what should procurement really be saving now? It is time to shift the dial.

After saving costs, now is the time to save the world!

Bertrand_Malteverne.jpgBy Bertrand Maltaverne

We, as procurement professionals and as citizens, have a responsibility to take action to tackle the challenge of working sustainably.

01 August 2019: this could be when we reach Earth Overshoot Day this year. For the rest of the year, we will be living on credit. When it comes to natural resources, that is.

"Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity's demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year" (

4 key steps to writing sustainable procurement policies

Sustainable_200.jpgDeveloping sustainable procurement policies is an important and worthy goal for any organisation or business. It is not just about buying the eco-friendliest products out there - sustainable procurement means taking the social and economic influences of purchased goods and services into account, along with their environmental footprint.

Through sustainable procurement, your organisation can build resilience and become future-proofed through increased efficiency and effectiveness. Policies will benefit your bottom line and help you to manage supply chain risks, so it is a win for your business as well as for the planet and the people on it.

So, where do you start? And, more importantly, how can policymakers know what sustainable or 'green' procurement even means?

What is sustainable procurement?

EmmaBerthold_100.jpgWhat, exactly, is 'sustainable procurement'? What should purchasers be looking out for and what should product manufacturers do to ensure that their products measure up?

Good Environmental Choice Australia's (GECA's) Emma Berthold weighs in on what sustainable procurement really is and what purchasers should be looking out for.

Supply chain management can transform the solar sector

OforiBoateng_100.jpgOn the back of heavy electricity load shedding across South Africa in February and March 2019, the potential of solar energy has been widely discussed.

The fact is that Africa receives more hours of bright sunshine than any other continent on Earth.

The Department of Energy reports that South Africa averages more than 2 500 hours of sunshine per year − average solar-radiation levels range between 4.5kWh and 6.5kWh per square metre in a single day.

Interestingly, Ghana receives similar levels of sunshine per year as well as similar levels of solar radiation. Consequently, the country is pushing renewable energy and thus it is a rapidly growing market.

Ghana's ambition is to generate 10% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, which would equate to approximately 500MW, enough to power about 100 000 households.

"It is a big task and supply chain management has a role to play in all of this" says Dr Ofori Boateng, CEO, Strategic Power Solutions (SPS).

Love procurement - because it can impact society and the environment

Join us at Smart Procurement World 2019, where one of our conference themes will be "Walk the talk: High-impact procurement"

RobertFreeman_100.jpgProcurement work is much more than just securing the right products, in the right quantity and quality at the right place... Let's think wider, more holistically, writes Robert Freeman, a procurement and supply chain expert at Future Procurement, a procurement coaching and consultancy organisation.

Factoring political dimensions into municipal procurement

StephenBauld_100.jpgWhen talking about procurement projects for a municipality it is safe to say you must factor in the political dimension.

Although the importance of council supervision in the municipal procurement process is clear, difficulties arise when the political side of council thinking begins to cloud the discharge of its fiduciary responsibility. Stephen Bauld explores the political dimension that procurement must appreciate, in this month's SmartProcurement.

G20 Summit: supply chains disrupted for clear blue skies


SupplyChainSummit.jpgIn preparation for the upcoming G20 summit in China this September, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau (SEPB) issued an order for an estimated 1 000 factories within a 300-km radius of Shanghai to cut down production.

This measure was enacted to reduce pollution before world leaders arrive for the event. So how will this affect global supply chains?

This year, China hosts its first-ever G20 summit in Hangzhou, a city situated 240 kilometres south-west of Shanghai, where significant industrial, construction and residential emissions affect the air quality of its neighbouring cities.

In 5 Days 2000 Procurement Professionals will meet to network, learn and do business!


LoyioGola.jpgWith only a few days to go, 3000 attendees have confirmed – Smart Procurement World, Africa’s largest supply chain indaba, kicks off on Tuesday, 9 September.

More than 110 speakers will share their procurement and supply chain insights with delegates in 6 different conference streams.

Hear from supply chain heads from Absa, Coca-Cola, Anglo American Platinum, Sasol and Transnet. Technology enablers from SAP and Oracle will inform the technology panel discussion.

Reducing supply chain costs through the circular economy


CircularEconomy.jpgToday, the linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economy that relies heavily on cheap resources for growth, is under threat from increasing commodity prices and growing consumer demand. The ‘circular economy’ offers a viable alternative, with cost savings estimated at over $1-trillion per annum by 2025. The supply chain has a key role to play in driving the transition to a circular economy, Tech-Pro tells SmartProcurement

Why 'green building' is vital to your supply chain


Green-Building-Initiatives.pngAs the world embraces ‘green’ initiatives, products and services, South Africa is implementing renewable energy, green building practises and environmental regulation to lessen the impact on our environment and precious resources. This opens doors for suppliers to turn their operations “green” and provide services that comply with current standards and that enhance corporate responsibility, says Shawn Theunissen, head of CSR at Growthpoint Properties and Property Point (Growthpoint Properties’ enterprise development programme) in this month’s SmartProcurement.

Enough innovation in South African Supply Chains?


Innovate.jpgToday, a high-performance supply chain is a strategic asset, the complexity of which is increased by numerous factors, making constant innovation a necessity, Tech-Pro Personnel tells SmartProcurement.

Electronic waste - making green from going green


e_waste.jpgBy ignoring reverse logistics – the returns and proper disposal of obsolete products – organisations are not only indirectly damaging the environment, but their corporate reputations. Furthermore, most South African companies fail to take advantage of the potential that exists to make millions of Rands from recycling electronic waste (defined as anything that runs on electricity).

“However, companies will only take recycling seriously once they realise they can make ‘green’ from ‘going green’," says Joe Walden, director of the US-based Supply Chain Research Centre.



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One of South Africa's leading, mining companies is