Carsten Primdal from Sydney is, amongst other things, an expert on sustainability programme management. He ardently believes that procurement specialists can make all the difference to both businesses and society at large if they equip themselves with knowledge of sustainable procurement and supply chain.

There is mounting pressure for companies to ramp up their sustainability efforts, and the supply chain is a hotspot for environmental and social impact. Developing skills and capabilities in environmental, social and governance (ESG) can boost procurement and supply chain sustainability.

The supply chain presents the greatest potential for creating leaps in sustainability performance. According to a report by McKinsey, over eighty to ninety percent of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts are derived from consumer companies’ supply chains. 

Existing and upcoming regulatory requirements mean senior business leaders have to rethink their approach to procurement and supply chain management. These rules add a new layer to value chain risk and compliance, requiring companies to integrate sustainability into their strategy and practices. 

The greatest obstacle to executing on ESG? The sustainability knowledge gap. A recent survey by Avetta found that a “lack of in-house understanding of the importance of ESG issues within the supply chain” was the greatest challenge to incorporating ESG practices into the supply chain, followed by a “lack of suppliers’ understanding of ESG issues.” 

Becoming proficient in ESG can unlock efficiency, financial and reputational gains for the company. Additionally, ESG leaders can pass along their knowledge to suppliers to help them improve upon their own practices, reducing Scope 3 emissions and improving their social impact throughout the value chain. 

With ESG education, procurement and supply chain professionals can more accurately identify and measure the most material sustainability issues for the company. ESG knowledge is also a powerful tool for mitigating disruption, financial and legal risks in procurement practices and developing supply chain resilience. 

The value of ESG education cannot be understated. Professionals with these tools and skills will outperform their peers and capture greater value in the supply chain. 

ESG-educated leaders are what businesses and the world need to advance the transition to a sustainable society. Learn how to add value in your supply chain with ESG: https://bit.ly/3lEx5SR.

By Carsten Primdal, Sustainability,  ESG and Modern Slavery Advisor, Australia