The Importance of Sustainable Procurement Practice

The Importance of Sustainable Procurement Practice

Sustainability is an important part of modern society. It’s all about making the most of the resources we have, and using those resources in responsible ways. That means procurement has a big role to play.

Malaysia’s Vision 2020 aims to form the foundations for a more sustainable society, helping build a high income country that also enjoys a high quality of life. There’s no point focussing on increasing GDP targets if the Rakyat isn’t able to enjoy the country we live in.

As a nation we’re on track to deliver on our sustainability promises, to reduce out environmental impact while continuing on that growth towards developed nation status. But sustainability isn’t simply about carbon emissions, it’s about every element of our work, life and industry. And it’s increasingly important for a successful business.

Sustainability is good business practice

Sustainable procurement practices in Malaysian business vary significantly according to the latest research.  Lack of awareness is cited as one of the major challenges, both in terms of processes and of outcomes. Yet in a world where organisational reputation is of growing importance, and instant communication means information around such practice is readily available, the increasing need for sustainable practice is clear.

Increasingly key decisions are being informed by sustainable practice and reputation. A global study by analysts Nielsen showed that three quarters of Millennial-age consumers rate sustainability as a shopping priority. That means that showing demonstrable sustainability in your business practice and supply chain can have a big impact on your bottom line. That’s a huge opportunity for efficient procurement to leverage a significant business advantage.

At the other end of the spectrum, sustainable practice is growing in importance as part of public tenders. Green government procurement amounted to around RM482 million in 2016, showing the increasing focus that the government is placing on sustainable procurement, and the consequent importance of business oversight in tracking and evidencing your own procurement processes.  

Embedding sustainable practice into your business isn’t simply a case of good marketing. There is a significant and proven business case as to the benefits. Reduction of paper use alone offers a simple opportunity for savings in any business. US Bank Standard Chartered demonstrated over US$10 million in savings by introducing more sustainable paper use throughout its organisation.

Like most areas of business, the key to understanding opportunity comes from oversight. That means a transparent system that offers the information you need to understand your own business behaviour. That’s where e-procurement can play a vital role in informed strategic decisions.

The role of e-procurement in sustainable oversight

Procurehere offers a simplified e-procurement tool that can enable you to understand the purchasing processes and procurement pathways that empower you to build a more sustainable business.  That offers you the oversight to make the right strategic decisions on how to improve sustainable practice in your organisation.

What e-procurement also offers is the opportunity to significantly cut down unnecessary paper waste. With our Cloud-based Version 7.0, you can operate anywhere, anytime, without the need for substantial paperwork. This is collaborative process that lends itself to a more sustainable operation.

Crucially, e-procurement also provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your sustainable practice. Buyers can create questionnaires for suppliers that help clarify green credentials and sustainable practice, enabling evaluation committees to make informed sustainability decisions. In turn, suppliers are able to easily upload documents such as accreditations or sustainable certificates, demonstrating their own credentials that then feed back into the opportunity for buyers to understand their key suppliers.

Every organisation has the opportunity to build a more sustainable business. What e-procurement offers is the ability to understand and evidence those purchasing pathways that empower you to make the right informed decisions, and show that you’ve done so. When it comes down to the bottom line, better sustainable practice isn’t just good for society, it’s a clear path towards a more successful business.  

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