3 things to watch in the sustainable sphere
Maintaining sustainable practices may be a longstanding goal for procurement management, but like many issues, it evolves with the times. New announcements within the world of business development can change the goals of businesses large and small, and require an updated sourcing strategy. Sustainability can be one of those areas that requires new revisions as complications arise.
Follow some of these ongoing trends and your business may see further disruption to traditional sustainable practices.
1. Changes to regulations
The new administration has made no secret of wanting to change business regulations, and the result could impact companies in significant ways. According to a Feb. 25 Bloomberg article, Scott Pruitt, current EPA Administrator, said that the government wants to amend previous environmental policies.
"There are some regulations that in the near term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way," he said. "In the next week you may be hearing about some of those."
"Those in industry should know how to allocate their resources to comply with the regulations passed by the EPA," he added, according to the same source. Depending on what the EPA actually enacts, businesses may have fewer regulations to contend with, as well as new avenues to consider. Pruitt specifically referred to laws pertaining to emissions and policing bodies of water within the U.S.
2. New efforts from major companies
When more and more large-scaled businesses take on the mantle of sustainability, they may help pioneer new programs. They can also draw attention to the importance of green programs and serve as touchpoints for others in the same industry.
There are always examples of this but one interesting case is the fast food giant McDonald's. Fortune reported that the company wants to source beef sustainably within the next three years and has already taken steps to that end.
As such a visible and international company, any success with this could indeed bring attention to the practice, and the article added that McDonald's wants to lead the way in terms of environmentally-friendly forestry policies, as well. Because raising and processing beef has so many different components, setting a strong green standard here could require particularly sophisticated tools.
3. More visible ROI
Many businesses need to see some sort of dollar value for sustainability before embracing it. Fortunately, there does seem to be an evident cost benefit to green pursuits, and businesses are viewing the savings as an incentive to revitalize their purchasing/supplier relationship processes.
A report from CDP recently said that suppliers have seen total emissions reduction programs lead to $12.4 billion in recovered value, although many are missing the chance to stay sustainable and continue realizing this necessary growth. Another problem is the lack of full connection and engagement with suppliers, with 47 percent of suppliers failing to reveal important climate-related information to partner companies.
Using e-sourcing solutions might also emerge as a stronger and stronger means of controlling supplier relationships. That's all part of the same effort to keep important business functions stable as new challenges emerge.
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