Publications & Thought Leadership

October 2011

Sustainable Purchasing Metrics and Targets

Posted in Implementation and Integration

In order to progress in their sustainable purchasing strategies, organizations develop sustainable purchasing metrics and targets. Sustainable purchasing metrics and targets set the strategic course for continuous improvement in sustainable procurement and enable managers and leaders to monitor progress and close performance gaps. Yet, organizations often struggle with this task.

This is an at-a-glance resource to help organizations conceive of the sustainable purchasing metrics and targets relevant to their business, supply chains and implementation phase.

Eleven companies were reviewed for their approach to sustainable purchasing metrics and targets, based on their corporate social responsibility and sustainability reports.

The sustainable purchasing metrics and targets address social practices such as diversity, local, living wage and human rights, and they cover environmental practices such as recycled content and forest stewardship. Supplier engagement practice metrics cover supplier codes, questionnaires, audits, sustainability action plans and training.

Nine sustainable purchasing targets are profiled, most of which are quantified and measurable. Some are qualitative targets (such as scope opportunities to embed sustainability criteria into the category management plans for priority areas of spend); while others are outcome targets (for example, 37 suppliers to have sustainability improvement plans). Some of the targets focus on compliance while others focus on the continuous improvement of suppliers. One of the targets addresses the volume of sustainability spend.

Procurement and sustainability managers are encouraged to review this sustainable purchasing metrics and targets practice scan for ideas to inform their own performance measurement approach.

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