Executive Briefings

Corporate Social Responsibility at the Grass-Roots Level

Most procurement functions are covering the basics of incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) processes, but this effort is more tactical than strategic. According to a recent Procurement Leaders study, 82 percent of procurement functions have managed to include CSR in their supplier selection and evaluation criteria.

The study found that CSR activities are well embedded overall, but predominantly so at a grass-roots level.

Aside from making CSR a consideration when evaluating (new) suppliers, it is also reflected in many functions' risk management, contracts, and supplier performance management. Half of the time, it is considered when category strategies are developed.

However, only minorities of businesses have made the leap to integrate CSR into more strategic practices of the function; it barely features in product development or in the overall procurement strategy.

"The implication of this is that procurement effectively covers its bases, but it won't necessarily revolutionize CSR, let alone use it to the effect where it could actually add value to the wider business," the study notes.

"Ideally, CSR or sustainability initiatives should be incorporated at the category planning level. This gives you the opportunity to review any CSR issues, risks but also opportunities at each stage of the procurement process, and by category or product."

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The study found that CSR activities are well embedded overall, but predominantly so at a grass-roots level.

Aside from making CSR a consideration when evaluating (new) suppliers, it is also reflected in many functions' risk management, contracts, and supplier performance management. Half of the time, it is considered when category strategies are developed.

However, only minorities of businesses have made the leap to integrate CSR into more strategic practices of the function; it barely features in product development or in the overall procurement strategy.

"The implication of this is that procurement effectively covers its bases, but it won't necessarily revolutionize CSR, let alone use it to the effect where it could actually add value to the wider business," the study notes.

"Ideally, CSR or sustainability initiatives should be incorporated at the category planning level. This gives you the opportunity to review any CSR issues, risks but also opportunities at each stage of the procurement process, and by category or product."

Read Full Article