Imagine a world, where all people thrive on our planet. A world, where the immediate threat of climate disaster has been avoided and where global businesses have evolved their business models to support a responsible and low-carbon economy.
“Whilst it seems a bit far-fetched looking at today’s realities, this world vision is possible and the millions of procurement professionals distributed across the planet are mission-critical in making this come true”, says the movement behind the Sustainable Procurement Pledge, or #SPP, on social media.
#SPP offers a community and a starting point for anybody in procurement to declare their personal commitment to making a difference and to start changing their sphere of influence right now.
Changing the world from the bottom-up
The idea to found a pledge for procurement professionals was ignited by Global Climate Strike. On 20 September 2019, children and adults from all walks of life made a clear statement reminding us about our responsibility to leave our home, our one planet, in the same condition as it had been entrusted to us.
At the same time, the Fridays For Future initiative also sent out a clear message that we must start with ourselves to accelerate change and to have an immediate impact.
There are many sustainability initiatives, commitments and legislations, all involving companies, governments and institutions, but rarely have we seen professional initiatives that personally address individuals. As procurement professionals, we hold an incredible power of decision that many of our colleagues may not yet realise. Using our discretionary power of decision for good, we can drive many small changes that ultimately lead to a big change.
Recognising the power of the crowd, the idea to create the #SPP was born. Its founders wanted it to be an inclusive pledge in which anybody involved in procurement activities around the globe could engage: from intern to Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), from student to professor, from buyer to supplier.
Leapfrogging current efforts
We are procurement! Sustainability in supply chains is our joint responsibility and together we can build a sustainable future for all people and our planet.
The #SPP complements existing sustainability initiatives that are already out there. Responsible supply chains are in a space where we all need to collaborate, so combining the top-down initiatives with our bottom-up approach provides us all with the best chance to have a real impact.
The purpose of #SPP is to ensure that all procurement individuals use their power of decision for good, ensuring that the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity) will be met by 2030.
“If each of us takes responsibility for our own procurement conduct; if we tackle the small things, we can change our way of thinking, reflecting and acting; and if we all incorporate sustainability aspects into our decision matrix, then the sum of these small changes will make a huge impact on our world. Every procurement decision is a ballot”, says Thomas Udesen, #SPP Co-Founder and CPO at Bayer AG.
Empower and equip
The #SPP is about increasing awareness of sustainability and its importance to procurement. It is also about equipping procurement professionals with knowledge and tools to empower them to become active for the good of people and the planet.
The pledge contains five statements, all derived from the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Subscribing ambassadors commit themselves to stand up for people and the planet, to work together to change the world, to start with themselves, to share knowledge and listen to others, and to leave the right legacy of protecting a sustainable planet for us and future generations.
As of August 2020, more than 1,500 #SPP ambassadors have joined the pledge on LinkedIn and on the #SPP community. “The exchanges among them has revealed what all of us really need to drive change: we need knowledge, we need tools and we need empowerment to drive change from the bottom-up”, says Bertrand Conquéret, #SPP Co-Founder and CPO at Henkel.
The target is to engage one million sustainability enthusiasts in the procurement sector worldwide.