Apply for SPLC’s Supplier Development Working Group

SPLC invites member professionals involved in purchasing to apply to join the Supplier Development Working Group. Please review the working group’s charter, below, and then:
Submit an Application


Supplier Development Working Group Charter


The Supplier Development Working Group is charged with helping SPLC identify and implement strategies, partnerships, and programs that will enable buyers from a wide variety of sectors to better support the development of their suppliers’ sustainability capabilities. The Working Group will have a special focus on small, medium, and diverse suppliers, but SPLC expects that the approaches developed will also be instructive for buyers with larger suppliers.


SPLC members recruited SPLC to host this working group because they saw a need for a consistent approach to developing suppliers’ sustainability capabilities. As a multi-sector, multi-regional, and multi-stakeholder organization that seeks to accelerate the spread of sustainable purchasing best practices across the economy, these members felt that SPLC could play a valuable coordinating role. These SPLC members further felt that SPLC’s holistic definition of sustainability and Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v2.0 would be valuable for helping buyers consistently identify and mature their suppliers’ sustainability capabilities in the most relevant areas.

Thanks to seed funding contributed by PG&E’s Supply Chain Responsibility program, this Working Group will be open to organizations that are not SPLC members for as long as such funding permits SPLC to support the Group’s work.

SPLC’s Role

SPLC acts as convener and manager of the working group. Subject to availability of funding and approval of the SPLC Board of Directors, SPLC expects to implement recommendations of the working group as part of SPLC’s overall portfolio of program activities. The Working Group operates under the direction of SPLC staff and the SPLC Board of Directors.

Working Group Tasks

  • Identify and map current sustainability-related supplier development practices:
    • being led in-house by buyers.
    • being led by third parties, such as councils, associations, governments, etc.
  • Identify existing tools for streamlining sustainability-related supplier development.
  • Identify opportunities to expand, connect, or enhance current efforts.
  • Identify gaps where new strategies, partnerships, or programming (such as shared ready-to-use curricula) may be of value.
  • Recommend to SPLC’s Board which strategic activities SPLC could undertake to accelerate the development of suppliers’ sustainability capabilities across the economy.
  • Help identify funding sources to support proposed activities.

Mode of Work

  • Conference calls.
  • Collaboration via email or online forum between calls.
  • No in-person meetings.
  • Chatham House Rule

Minimum Time Commitment

  • Monthly 1 hour conference calls for a period of 6 months. Start in early July.
  • 2 hours of offline work per month for a period of 6 months. Tasks may include responding to preparatory questionnaires, reviewing documents, doing outreach, attending a working call with a subgroup, or conducting research.

Working Group Eligibility Requirements

  • SPLC members and non-members may participate.
  • Must be a professional involved in purchasing as defined by SPLC’s Purchaser Role.[1]
  • Willingness to share openly – under Chatham House Rule – about previous and current sustainability-related supplier development efforts, including lessons learned.
  • Participants must maintain an attendance record of 2/3 of meetings.

Working Group Application Process

  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The first meeting of the working group is targeted for early July.
  • Working group members will be selected with an eye towards achieving:
    • a diverse representation of sectors and organization types.
    • a group with appropriate skills and sufficient volunteer capacity to accomplish the envisioned tasks.

[1] Note, this includes supplier development council staff who represent the interests of their corporate buyer members.

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