Friday, May 24, 2024

60% of senior procurement professionals have embraced sustainability


In a recent survey conducted by Sedex, a sustainability software provider, it was found that a commendable 60% of senior procurement leaders at North American companies are integrating sustainability into their procurement operations. This survey, which included over 250 procurement leaders who are not Sedex customers, conducted at the end of 2023, reveals a positive shift towards sustainable business practices. Moreover, 63% of the respondents acknowledged the direct impact of meeting sustainability targets on their performance evaluations or compensation, underscoring the growing recognition of sustainable practices in business operations. 

Maurizio Capuzzo, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sedex, emphasized the importance of this trend, stating, “These findings highlight the commitment of a significant portion of businesses to their social and environmental performance. It’s encouraging to see that many executives are aligning ESG commitments with operational goals, embedding sustainable practices firmly within their organizations.” 

This shift towards sustainability comes at a time when supply chains are under pressure to reduce costs, with both consumers and governments increasingly valuing sustainability. Despite the challenging environment, where cost reduction has become a top priority for procurement professionals, as identified in the 2024 Procurement Key Issues report by The Hackett Group, a substantial number of companies are not sidelining sustainability. In fact, the Sedex survey found that half of the companies are considering sustainability in their business decisions, contrary to the trend where sustainability might be deemed an afterthought. 

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This engagement with sustainable practices is more crucial than ever, as public declarations by companies on their ESG commitments become increasingly common. According to research, 90% of companies in the Russell 1000 produce annual ESG reports, highlighting the growing emphasis on transparency and accountability in corporate sustainability efforts. 

The Sedex survey also sheds light on the benefits of sustainable practices, with 34% of respondents recognizing the advantages of such measures in achieving long-term procurement goals, including supply continuity and competitive pricing. This acknowledgment points to a growing awareness of the importance of sustainability, not just as a moral or ethical consideration but as a strategic business imperative. 

“In embracing sustainability initiatives, companies can unlock significant benefits,” Capuzzo added. “These include efficiencies in supply chain management, more effective ESG risk management, and an enhanced reputation that supports long-term, sustainable success.” 

The survey’s results underscore the progress being made in bridging the gap between company commitments and the day-to-day realities of business operations. With a majority of procurement leaders acknowledging the importance of sustainability, there is a clear path forward for companies to continue integrating sustainable practices into their core operations, benefiting both the business and the wider community. 

Dr. Edward Mungai
Dr. Edward Mungai
The writer, Dr. Edward Mungai, is a global sustainability expert. He is the Lead Consultant and Partner at Impact Africa Consulting Ltd (IACL), a leading sustainability and strategy advisory in Africa. He is also the Chief Editor at Africa Sustainability Matters. He can be contacted via

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