Procurement: A Critical Piece of the Sustainability Puzzle

21 February 2023

Procurement plays a critical role across an organisation’s entire sustainability agenda by ensuring that the assets and services that an organisation purchase aligns with its sustainability goals and objectives.

Today, the main objective of the procurement team is to ensure that the organisation they work for gets the best service and price to meet their procurement requirements. However, now is the time when environmental and social criteria, such as carbon emissions, waste management practices, and labour standards are as important as quality and cost. This is especially important when working with IT assets. IT procurement teams have the power to negotiate contracts with sustainability clauses and to work with IT suppliers to improve their sustainability performance.

Procurement professionals have a responsibility to take into account the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment, society, and the economy. Decisions that you make today could impact the carbon liability of your organisation in the future. For instance, the carbon impact of a laptop could be up to three years, but alternative IT equipment could be used for up to twenty years. We need to start making decisions now that align with the organisation’s needs and minimise future negative environmental and social impacts.

One of the key areas of focus for IT procurement in terms of sustainability is reducing the organisation’s carbon footprint at the point of entry. This includes evaluating IT suppliers’ carbon emissions, assessing the environmental impact of IT products and services, and identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption throughout the IT supply chain. By making sustainable IT procurement choices, IT procurement can help the organisation meet its carbon reduction targets and support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Procurement professionals must collaborate with IT suppliers to improve their sustainability performance and must understand the impact of their purchasing decisions on the organisation’s carbon footprint. By changing their purchasing behaviours and making better sustainability choices they can improve the supplier’s and manufacturers’ products to be more environmentally friendly.

It’s important that IT procurement teams understand the impact of their contribution to an organisation’s carbon agenda because their purchasing decisions can have a significant impact on the organisation’s overall carbon footprint. If IT procurement is not considering the environmental and social impacts of the IT goods and services they are procuring, the organisation may not be able to meet its sustainability goals and objectives in the future.

Monitoring and reporting on the decision-making process of the procurement team ensure that you’re aligning with the organisation’s overall sustainability goals with evidence to support the decisions that have been made. Organisations with a strong sustainability agenda and performance will gain a better reputation and a competitive advantage in the marketplace, attracting customers and employees with similar values.

Procurement professionals have the ability to make a real difference in terms of sustainability and should be aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment, society, and economy. By taking a strategic approach to sustainable IT procurement, organisations can achieve their sustainability goals and objectives, while improving their reputation, and supporting the transition to a more sustainable economy.

To find out how the KA2 Sustainability Experts have been working with Procurement teams across Europe to drive green technology initiatives please get in touch with a member of our team.