Teamwork and technology: the great sustainability enablers

Teamwork and technology: the great sustainability enablers

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To create meaningful, lasting impact, it requires serious teamwork effort and, most of the time, technology.

Aligning Procurement Operating Models and Business Process Design Principles are central to maximising action and impact.

Procurement teams and organisations can make sustainability efforts more actionable in 2 ways.

1. Procurement Operating Model (POM)

Archlet’s POM (figure.1) combines the golden triangle of people, process and technology with strategy and ecosystems. This helps teams focus on making a lasting impact on their processes to achieve goals and create actionable insights during the sourcing process.

Figure.1 – Procurement Operating Model (POM)

Notably, these are not singular focus points, but are interlinked and work together. Once aligned, these elements can create efficiency, although immediate results shouldn’t be expected. Instead, teams should be prepared for long term results and gain.

“Sustainable procurement can unfold its full power, especially in the context of strategic sourcing.”
Yvonne Jamal, Founder, JARO Institut e.V.
2. Business Process (Re)Design Principles (BPR)

Even if good processes are in place, they may not be as efficient as teams think. Archlet suggests these need to be broken down to see where the improvements are needed, then focusing on individual tasks and activities to increase efficiency further.

BPR (figure.2) helps encourage sustainability within the POM, as long as teams are consistent in adjusting to these changes to see lasting impact. The CPO’s role is becoming more strategic; therefore it is vital to include a focus on sustainability to drive meaningful change. Where there is support from C-suite, teams can get the right tools and support to implement organisation-wide change, including the supply chain where many inefficient and unsustainable processes lie.

“For businesses focused on improving the sustainability of their supply chain, metrics matter… [gathering] robust, empirical performance data enhances transparency in the buy- er-supplier relationship and facilitates the tracking of progress towards established performance goals.”
David McClintock, Marketing Director, EcoVadis

Archlet continues by emphasising the power of technology: using advanced tools may be a hard investment at the start, however tools using automation can help create strategic and holistic decisions, benefiting teams and companies for the long-term.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Make sustainability information available and actionable in a consistent manner during the supplier selection and management processes
  • Technology and teams work best together to bring out the best in each other
  • To achieve meaningful impact, the individual efforts need to add up to more than the sum of their parts. Ecosystems ensure that this can be accomplished.
  • An organizational and mindset shift is required to truly embed sustainable behaviors and targets within an organization to achieve measurable outcomes

Read ISO 20400 – an extremely comprehensive resource that describes the principles and potential friction points.

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