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CIPS Global Conference: The road to responsible procurement

Industry Insights

CIPS Global Conference: The road to responsible procurement

According to the CIPS Global Conference, ‘the procurement and supply chain profession have experienced extreme exposure on a global scale. This is largely due to organisations relying heavily on procurement as a result of the pandemic.

As we look forward it’s essential that we rebuild and reshape the profession through strengthening leadership, driving responsible procurement and championing innovation.’

CIPS Global Conference Takeaways

Modern Slavery and Labour Practice

The UK government is set to establish a new workers’ watchdog in order to tackle modern slavery and enforce minimum wage alongside the labour abuse authority. Paul Scully MP, Business Minister, said “this new workers’ watchdog will help us crack down on any abuses of workers’ rights and take action against companies that turn a blind eye to abuses in their supply chains, while providing a one-stop shop for employees and businesses wanting to understand their rights and obligations.”

The responsibility for tackling modern slavery head on and taking charge of your own supply chain should be more carrot than stick. Companies that focus on responsible labour practice as good business practice rather than a tick box exercise deserve to win contracts over those bad actors that cut corners to reduce costs.

Sustainable Supply Chains and Net Zero

Many large organisations are setting Net Zero targets ahead of the government’s 2050 mandate to help reduce global warming, but buying companies are warning not to mandate net zero within the supply chain. Instead the focus should be on supporting suppliers to reach these sustainable supply chain goals, instead of excluding them because they haven’t yet developed the skills to meet ambitious net zero targets.

Clare Jones, Group Procurement Director at Achilles buying organisation Mace Group commented on their sustainable practices at the event, “We’ve been going through the supply chain to establish how many have net zero carbon strategies. Ones that don’t have net zero carbon, we’re offering assistance and working with them to look at ways to get to net zero”.

The road to responsible procurement

Katie Tamblin, Chief Product Officer, Achilles, presented at CIPS Global Conference on ‘The road to responsible procurement’, looking at these key themes of responsible supply chains, labour practice audits, ethical supply chains and carbon reduction including:

  • Acting ethically: how to ensure your suppliers share your principles
  • Pursuing sustainability beyond environmental issues: addressing critical (and often lesser discussed) elements of sustainability performance
  • Avoiding risk: responsibility extends well beyond ethics and environment

Read more on responsible sourcing here.

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