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The Sustainable Procurement Process (SPP)

Responsible Supply Chain Process Certification  by DNV GL

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Globalization has resulted in a multiplication of intermediaries and as a consequence the safety, security, and sustainability of supply chains have become equally important as the quality of products.

Market-generated pressure has raised the sustainability of supply chains as a top priority for companies all over the world and it is rapidly emerging as one of the key factors for the success of business, regardless of size and industry sector.

Sustainable procurement maximizes the economic, social and environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of products and services, minimizing at the same time the negative impacts.

DNV GL believes that product sustainability cannot be decoupled from its production and distribution chain, and consequently has studied an innovative approach to enhance the value of supply chain sustainability programs implemented by companies. The Sustainable Procurement Process (SPP) reviews the integration of principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainable development in the procurement processes and practices; rather than considering only compliance to minimum standards, it focuses instead on the proactive promotion of sustainability objectives among suppliers and on the creation of value for all actors involved. The Sustainable Procurement Process (SPP), inspired by the international standard ISO 20400, evaluates the consistency of sustainability corporate policies with procurement strategy, processes and objectives. Further, it analyzes the performance of the supply chain with reference to the most relevant sustainability issues.

The Sustainable Procurement Process (SPP) is built around detailed analysis of specific supply chains, in order to consider the particular characteristics and inherent risks of different sectors, countries or products.

What are the advantages offered by the Sustainable Procurement Process (SPP)?

  • Gives procurement value and significance, offering a long-term perspective to sustainable purchases that are more and more strategic in order to have a positive impact on the external context of the Company.
  • Facilitates the evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility from a traditional, simple, risk management tool to a strategic lever for new opportunities.
  • Updates and broadens the understanding of the most relevant aspects of sustainability for a company, its consumers and stakeholders in general.
  • Contributes in reducing procurement and management costs for supplier qualification and monitoring programs.
  • Promotes the integration of processes between different departments that deal with sustainability and purchasing - which means finding and implementing efficient and scalable solutions.
  • Nourishes consistency, alignment and collaboration in supplier relations and more generally with stakeholders.

Evaluate gaps avoiding traps

The first step of a journey towards Sustainable Procurement is to understand where the organization stands and to carry out a gap analysis between the practices currently in place and those described in the SPP technical specification.

A gap analysis is the best way to better understand the Company’s own potential. Here are tips to conduct it effectively:

  1. Review your strategy - Before starting a detailed analysis, it is essential to compare your current strategy with the basic principles of SPP.
  2. Build the necessary skills - make sure that both the sustainability and procurement teams feel mutually and fully involved in the process, in order to use the SPP to build a real mutual understanding within the company and towards external stakeholders.
  3. Focus on scalability - Once a gap has been identified, focus on scalable solutions to bridge it. It is good to aim for rapid returns on investments that only rapidly 'scalable' solutions are able to provide.
  4. Go digital - there is a new generation of powerful digital tools available, many of which may not have been identified by the organization yet. Once gaps and needed bridges are clear, it is important to work with technology experts, able to propose innovative and new solutions to get the best out of a lively digital market.
  5. Choose an expert partner - obtain the most from DNV GL available knowledge and experience in Sustainable Procurement, already implemented by leading organizations. 

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