May 2012

Sustainable Purchasing Strategy: Critical Success Factors

Posted in Implementation and Integration

This is a short two-pager on the critical success factors in implementing a sustainable purchasing strategy. Increasingly organizations seek to integrate sustainability into their business practices and strategies. One top opportunity is to embed social and environmental factors into procurement and buying functions and to create a sustainable purchasing strategy. As this is a new procurement approach, it is important to understand the critical success factors in implementing a sustainable purchasing strategy that will generate results.

Procurement and sustainability managers who are starting out in the development and implementation of their sustainable purchasing strategy will benefit from this checklist of sixteen practices critical to organizational success.

The Sustainable Purchasing Strategy Critical Success Factors include:

  1. Adopt a Commitment
  2. Agree on a Sustainability Policy
  3. Walk the Talk
  4. Understand the Business Benefits
  5. Set Goals and Targets
  6. Update Job Descriptions and Incentives
  7. Align with Regulations and Standards
  8. Develop Embedment Tools
  9. Dedicate Resources
  10. Secure Sustainability Expertise
  11. Coordinate departments
  12. Improve Internal Capacity
  13. Engage Suppliers
  14. Track and Monitor
  15. Ensure Supplier Compliance
  16. Improve and Celebrate

This checklist elaborates on each of these critical conditions of success to set your sustainable purchasing strategy on a good course. For those just starting out, the most critical of all are leadership buy-in, definitional clarity and a common understanding of the business case, drivers or rationale. Getting these right will be critical to organizational success.

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