The Ethical Horizon: Sustainable Procurement for a Better Future

Written by

Faiq Ali Khan

DBA, UCAM at Westford Uni Online Vice Chairman of CIPS Dubai Branch,

Consulting Director at Chartered Buying

Sustainable procurement encompasses the integration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles into your company’s ethos and decision-making processes, all while ensuring compliance with shareholder requirements and conditions.

As per the United Nations, sustainable procurement is defined as considering social and environmental factors alongside financial considerations when making procurement decisions. It involves aligning specifications, requirements, and criteria with the goals of preserving society and the environment. This extends to issues such as combatting child slavery, addressing wage discrimination, and avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and substances detrimental to both society and the environment.

A sustainable procurement policy ensures that the company’s core sustainability values are embedded throughout the lifecycle of its products and services. This approach, when executed effectively, leads to operational excellence, benefiting companies in the long term.

The policies and strategies of sustainable procurement are primarily designed to future-proof companies, particularly in times of supply scarcity. They empower businesses to handle emerging market demands, cost pressures, and achieve cost reductions through energy efficiency and waste reduction.

By implementing sustainable procurement policies, companies can also safeguard their brand reputation and value. These policies necessitate the development and implementation of robust risk management programs, allowing for the early identification and rectification of supply chain weaknesses that could lead to scandals and negative publicity.

Key Benefits of Sustainable Procurement:

Cost Reduction: Sustainable procurement policies often result in lower total cost of ownership through reduced energy consumption, lower energy costs, and minimized social and environmental compliance expenses.

Risk Reduction: Sustainable procurement practices mitigate the risk of supplier misconduct, such as child exploitation and harmful environmental practices, which could negatively impact a company’s brand value.

Revenue Growth: Sustainable procurement policies stimulate the creation of eco-friendly products and services, additional income from eco-friendly initiatives, price premiums, and environmentally beneficial pricing, ultimately driving increased demand and revenue growth for the company.

The Future of Sustainable Procurement:

Sustainable procurement is dedicated to promoting fair and ethical business practices throughout the supplier-consumer-supply chain spectrum, all while considering a positive social and economic environment. Its enduring principles are meant to be upheld indefinitely, serving as a valuable foundation for a company’s long-term goals. Sustainable procurement policies revolve around ethical values that pave the way for future objectives, including:

  1. Safeguarding human rights.
  2. Eradicating child labor.
  3. Eliminating forced labor.
  4. Rejecting the use of harmful chemicals.
  5. Complying with international, state, and local laws.
  6. Championing equality and diversity.
  7. Ensuring fair wages.
  8. Fostering ethical disciplinary practices.
  9. Prioritizing employee well-being and development.
  10. Rejecting bribery and corruption in business dealings.
  11. Ensuring health and safety standards are met.

These principles not only guide the present but also lay a robust foundation for a sustainable and prosperous future, aligning with a company’s long-term aspirations.

Faiq Ali Khan

DBA, UCAM at Westford Uni Online Vice Chairman of CIPS Dubai Branch,
Consulting Director at Chartered Buying

A seasoned procurement professional with nearly two decades of diverse management experience spanning industries like Healthcare, Banking, IT, Real Estate, and more. He excels in team leadership, strategy execution, digitization, and sustainable living advocacy. Faiq’s achievements include procurement centralization, value creation, strategic discounts, and promoting responsible buying practices. He brings his wealth of knowledge to diverse audiences, emphasizing value engineering and sustainable living through effective purchasing.