The buying-power of big businesses is a powerful tool to change how everybody does business.
In coming months a collaboration from The Sustainable Business Network will launch a new procurement tool. It is set to add value to sustainable business nationwide.
When big businesses become more considerate about the way they buy, everyone has to be more considerate about the way they supply. It’s a market-transforming way to recognise the value of sustainable business practice. It’s also a way to reward the companies that are doing the right thing with the business they deserve.
This must be done in a way that creates a level playing field for all, through partnership between suppliers and buyers. This kind of partnership is what SBN does best.
SBN first started directly tackling this challenge last year in partnership with Fuji Xerox and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. We put together a Working Group including Air New Zealand, Fulton Hogan, Auckland Council, Fuji Xerox, Opus, Chorus, Vector, Westpac and IAG, as well as representatives of universities around NZ.
This group has now designed an innovative new assessment tool. It enables suppliers to meet and exceed expectations on their sustainability performance. It provided a framework for continuous improvement. It gives big buyers enhanced access to sustainability and transparency in their supply chains.
The next step will be the creation of an online platform. Suppliers using it will be able to demonstrate their sustainability performance. It will give them the credentials they need with all the purchasing businesses participating.
A Leadership Group of SBN members including some of the largest and buyers in the country has now been established to make this plan a reality. Participants include Air NZ, Fuji Xerox, IAG, EECA and Auckland Council. This should give the resulting procurement tools the clout to be widely adopted and used. Their participation will be vital to ensure the tools’ impact and continuous development.
The tool is currently available on the SBN website as a questionnaire. In coming months companies in the Leadership Group will be rolling out the assessment tool in their supply chains. They will feedback their experiences of trialling it back into the development process.
Once ready SBN will launch an online self-assessable version available to all our members.
Sam McGlennon, SBN’s community project leader, said: “It’s an exciting project. What we are doing will streamline and embed sustainability into supply chains NZ-wide. It’s vital for all businesses – procurers and suppliers – to appreciate that this conversation is moving forward, and practices are already starting to follow. The contribution of sustainability within procurement relationships is only becoming more critical for New Zealand businesses.”
To find out more or to engage further with the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org