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Supply Chain News: CPO at Bayer encourages Procurement Managers to Fight Hard for Sustainability


If Your Company does not Get It, May be Time to move on, Thomas Udesen Says

May 25, 2022
SCDigest Editorial Staff

It seems like many companies are pushing sustainability into procurement practices, but for many it’s still a slow go.

Supply Chain Digest Says...


If you believe in the cause and still cannot move your company to a sustainable procurement pledge, then perhaps you need to find an employer that does get it, Udese says.

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“We hear from many professionals that their bosses will not let them engage with sustainable procurement, either because they don’t know where to start or because they don’t know how to go about making their supply chains more sustainable so avoid dealing with the issue,” says Thomas Udesen. He is chief procurement officer at Bayer and co-founder of the Sustainable Procurement Pledge (SPP) .

Writing on the UK’s web site, an arm of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CHIPS), the Institute of Supply Management of Europe, Udesen says that SPP was established to enable, empower and equip procurement to make it easier to embed sustainability at the core of the profession.

Udesen states that “a lot of young professionals are now entering the profession and saying that sustainability is important to them, that they want to be part of a team that is responsible for transforming supply chains,” adding that “As such, we need to look at procurement through a new lens.”

It’s time for procurement to take on that challenge and drive change, Udesen says. He adds that it’s all about what we might call the “4 P’s” - profession, profit, people and the planet.

“It’s all connected. It’s also a journey, and no one has cracked this yet by any stretch of the imagination,” Udesen says.

“Ultimately, you need your suppliers to be really good at sustainable procurement,” he adds.

With the growing prominence of procurement, the question business leaders need to be asking themselves, their teams and their organizations is this, Udesen says: how does procurement shape the future?

He says that “Procurement leaders need to realize the potential of sustainability, and to grasp the opportunities it offers.”

How to start? SPP has put together some simple guide lines, as follows:

1. Find Allies: Identify allies you can work with, whether they’re internal colleagues or peers – and there may be more than you think Udesen says. He also says to keep looking to find different routes when barriers are encountered.

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2. Be prepared to Learn: Procurement managers should be willing to learn and adapt to what they find. “We don’t know everything, and it’s important to accept that,” Udesen notes, saying that’s especially true on issues such as scope 3 emissions.

Stay Committed: If you believe in the cause and still cannot move your company to a sustainable procurement pledge, then perhaps you need to find an employer that does get it, Udese says.

“In the end, the market will decide who wins or loses, and there are clearly procurement leaders out there who will support and encourage you,” Udesen concludes.


What do you think of Udesen's thoughts? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.







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