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We live in challenging times as individuals, businesses and institutions try to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Sooner rather than later, businesses will resume which will come with both a risk as well as an opportunity. Will the return to “business as usual” or rather “unusual” happen at the expense of compliance with environmental, labor & human rights, ethical and sustainable procurement performance of companies worldwide? Over the past decade, chemical companies and their procurement departments have made significant efforts to make their supply chains more sustainable, to ensure for example that the workers in theirs and supplying companies have access to safe working conditions, working hours are respected, that proper waste disposal policies are in place. Why do we not use the current situation to step and scale up our global sustainability efforts and ensure that people and planet become even stronger pillars of our business strategies?

In this context we refer to The Sustainable Procurement Pledge (#SPP), a co-founded, personal initiative of Thomas Udesen (Bayer) and Bertrand Conquéret (Henkel). The Sustainable Procurement Pledge is borne out of a deep commitment to thrive for a world where all people prosper, the immediate threat of climate change has been avoided and businesses models support a low carbon economy.

Unlike many institutionalized initiatives, The Sustainable Procurement Pledge is a bottom-up and community-building initiative addressing those procurement individuals who deeply care about the future of the planet and the next generations. At the core of #SPP is the belief that procurement activities around the globe are an agent of change. As a result, #SPP calls upon the global procurement community to declare their personal commitment to making a difference and start changing the world now.

Aiming to increase awareness of sustainability and its importance in procurement, The Sustainable Procurement Pledge contains five statements, all derived from the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Procurement Pledge initiative invites others to further develop, commit, act and share #SPP in their personal network.

Launched back in October 2019, The Sustainable Procurement Pledge invites everyone to become an ambassador for sustainable procurement, to work together to change the world, starting with themselves, to share knowledge and listen to others, leaving the right legacy of protecting a sustainable planet for us and future generations. The Sustainable Procurement Pledge initiative currently counts nearly 1000 ambassadors who virtually meet in the Sustainable Procurement Ambassador LinkedIn group. Operating as an open community space, the #SPP Ambassadors collect and share ideas of good practices, foster dialogue about responsible procurement and aim to involve as many people in the procurement sector as possible to join forces and make a real impact on the ground.

Currently, all #SPP Ambassadors are asked to participate in a community survey with the goal to determine future directions and shared content. Still, anybody who wants to join the group or influence the outcome of the survey can do so:

On April 30 from 4 to 6 pm all survey participants are welcome to join a virtual workshop session with both co-founders and supporters to collaboratively decide on the joint future!

Find more info about the Sustainable Procurement Pledge (#SPP), and on how to become a Sustainable Procurement Ambassador.

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