EcoVadis is a trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, intelligence and collaborative performance improvement tools for global supply chains. Backed by a technology platform and a global team of domain experts, EcoVadis’ easy-to-use and actionable sustainability scorecards provide detailed insight into environmental, social and ethical risks across 190 purchasing categories and 150 countries. More than 50,000 businesses are on the EcoVadis network, all working with a single methodology to evaluate, collaborate and improve sustainability performance in order to protect their brands, foster transparency and innovation, and accelerate growth.
A: It took me a long time to realize the critical nature of sustainable procurement. In fact, it was my new manager, the CEO of HP Canada, who said, “It’s great that we are recognized as Canada’s most sustainable technology company, but if you look at how Canadian companies and governments buy, it appears that sustainability is not important to them. There is a disconnect. See if you can fix it!” And voila I turned my attention to raising the bar on sustainable procurement in Canada.
A: HP has a long history in practicing sustainability leadership, arising from our founders who said the real reason HP exists is to make a difference. Eighty years ago, that was certainly not the norm. HP leads with disclosing our full carbon footprint (still the only tech company to do this) and this is driving our attention to supply chain GHG reductions as a result. Our many firsts in the industry continue to drive transparency, and our hard work in collectively driving standards through RBA (Responsible Business Alliance formerly EICC) is lifting the industry as a whole.
A: I’m particularly proud of my role as a sustainability influencer in Canada’s tech industry. In this role, I have the chance to participate in many speaking engagements where I can help educate Canadian sustainability and procurement leaders about the seriousness/importance of sustainable purchasing and encourage them to become part of the circular economy.
A: The main challenge I see is the lack of visibility related to sustainability in the average procurement document in Canada. Yet Canada has commitments under the Paris accord and the SDGs including significantly reducing carbon emissions and lifting indigenous populations out of poverty. Government procurement at all levels is an ideal tool to achieving these two objectives and many more. We do not have a central organization working in this space like SPLC. But I am working with several organizations to create a central place where resources and expertise can be accessed, developing tools and case studies and helping build leadership.
A: I think the move towards “access over ownership” as part of the circular economy is the most exciting and impactful trend. It facilitates a conversation about end-of-service and operational costs that are often missing from current procurement activities. It also signals to manufacturers the importance of designing longer lived products that are upgradable and repairable, as well as recovering the resources in those products once they reach end-of-service.
Published May 13, 2019
A: Sustainable purchasing is a new area of responsibility for me, and I see sustainable supply chains as an area of growing importance globally. There are many aspects of my role that I am proud of, one being that I am equipped to have an impact beyond Edelman’s environmental handprint and footprint. By incorporating sustainability criteria as a decision factor in evaluating Edelman’s current and prospective business partners, I am able to emphasize the importance of sustainability amongst small and medium size businesses and help them kickstart their own sustainability journeys.
A: As a professional services firm, Edelman is dedicated to sourcing goods and services from sustainable sources and collaborating with partners to ensure sustainable purchasing. In 2017, we established our own sustainable procurement policy, and later began using the EcoVadis platform with select business partners. And in our FY18 Citizenship report, we established a goal of 10 percent spend with diverse suppliers in priority categories across the U.S.
A: I am most proud of my role in developing the first-ever sustainability standard for the professional services industry, NSF/ANSI 391.1, which uses a points- and results-based standard by which professional services companies can measure their sustainability efforts. To achieve certification, firms must earn a minimum of 10 points each across Environmental, Social, Economic, and Supply Chain criteria, along with 10 points from other KPIs. Unlike other sustainability standards, NSF/ANSI 391.1 is the first to include Supply Chain as a primary sustainability category.
A: At Edelman, purchasing and procurement are decentralized, empowering our 65 offices around the world to manage their own P&L. As the company approaches $1B in annual revenues, we understand that there may be a need to revisit this approach, along with the systems, policies and practices that are in place. We are currently in the process of working with senior leaders across the enterprise – from finance, to IT, to compliance – to implement sustainable procurement policies and develop a more integrated approach that leverages technology solutions such as the EcoVadis platform to better manage accountability with regards to procurement.
A: Much like our Citizenship journey overall, Edelman is very much building upon our sustainable procurement efforts step-by-step. Knowing that our procurement process is decentralized and that, essentially, every Edelman employee can serve as a buyer, we are using the EcoVadis platform in a new pilot program that will analyze 150 business partners across several geographies to better inform our policies, practices and systems. Stay tuned!
A: One major trend is the growing priority that governments are placing on sustainable procurement across the supply chain. OECD reports that 12% of GDP is spent in public procurement in OECD countries. Just take a look at the EU Public Procurement Directive, U.K. Greening Government Commitments, and U.S. state sustainability requirements, such as California University System’s 15% sustainability criteria, to see proof of this. Another trend I anticipate is that small and medium size businesses will begin to evaluate their own sustainability policies and practices, knowing that larger companies such as Edelman will be incorporating sustainability as criteria for subcontracting projects to its business partners.
Published May 1, 2019