Procurement Climate Council 2024: The key takeaways

10 July 2024 3 min. read
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In the second edition of the Procurement Climate Council, hosted by Sourcing Champions and main sponsor was Ivalua, speakers explored valuable insights on a range of important topics and explored practical steps to boost sustainability in procurement practices. A rundown of some of the key takeaways.

The overarching theme of the Procurement Climate Council, held at the Amsterdam office of Sourcing Champions, focused on how procurement can impact and drive an organization’s journey to net zero.

The topic has in recent years been propelled to the higher echelons of CxO agenda’s, with procurement playing a key role in enabling greener operations and decarbonizing supply chains, as well as enhancing ESG across the ecosystem.

Procurement Climate Council 2024: The key takeaways

Organisers and attendees of the Procurement Climate Council

Procurement’s role in achieving net zero

  Sabrina Hueren from Sourcing Champions presented a market study on procurement’s role in achieving net-zero emissions. The findings of this year’s edition uncovered a growing apprehensiveness of procurement teams with regards to upcoming compliance regulations.

Sustainability has already been a priority for companies for some years – at least in theory – but Hueren noted that nearly half of companies lack specific commitments for reaching net zero. There is some indication that regulations will help to push sustainability commitments from companies in the near term.

Reaching sustainability in procurement plays essential role in decarbonization ambitions. A previous study from Sourcing Champions and Valuedesk showed that up to 90% of a company’s carbon footprint is linked to its supply chain, which underscores procurement’s pivotal role in driving sustainability. The study also showed that only half of companies surveyed had included scope 3 emissions in their net zero targets.

Just transformation in procurement

The council saw a discussion on the urgency of the transition away from fossil fuels, led by Professor Joyeeta Gupta, a distinguished environmental scientist. The session focused on the importance of a just transformation, which will require changes in demand-side management and production and consumption patterns.

In order to clean up procurement properly, companies must address not only scope 1 and 2 emissions but also scope 3 emissions, which are further down the supply chain and notoriously hard to reach. This comprehensive approach ensures true net-zero emissions.

Sustainable Sourcing

In a discussion on sustainable sourcing strategies, Paypal leader Sam Kaserer touched on the need to integrate sustainability questions into request for proposal templates and the importance of educating category managers and internal stakeholders.

One important part of this strategy is appointing a sustainability leader that can drive these goals. The idea is to shift focus from cost-centric to risk mitigation and align C-level sustainability goals with purchasing decisions.

The role of technology

Innovative technologies are increasingly a part of boosting companies’ sustainable procurement strategies. A discussion with representatives from Ivalua, EcoVadis, and Sphera explored the role of innovative tools that can enhance sustainability efforts and compliance in procurement. This technology is vital in helping companies track and manage their sustainable procurement initiatives.