Time for sustainable purchasing

Even though European retailers acknowledge the importance of sustainability, the ultimate recognition still has to happen: sustainability becoming a regular part of purchasing discussions.

 

After all, what is wrong with giving sustainable suppliers a better deal or with rewarding producers who help the retailer to reach his sustainability goals? Nothing at all! Still, almost every purchasing discussion only revolves around the “p” of price.

 

Wal-Mart sets sustainable example 

In 2009, Wal-Mart was the first to present the sustainability scorecard, allowing the American retail giant to measure the sustainability score of every product it sells. British Sainsbury's followed that example this month with the installation of the Carbon Academy: a training program for employees and suppliers to limit the CO2-emission caused by Sainsbury's's activities as much as possible.

 

Sainbury's follows with Carbon Academy

“We want to make sure all our colleagues and suppliers are becoming advocates in the battle against CO2-emission”, says Neil Sanchev, director of real estate at Sainbury's. “We hope to make new environmental technologies as common and usual as possible.

 

“Our diary development group is a good example how we at Sainsbury's reward sustainable suppliers. This group lets Sainsbury's reward farmers who improve animal welfare, reduce the pollution load and work more efficiently with a higher price for milk”, says Ooi. “We hope this approach will find its way into every purchasing process.

 Extra condition in purchase discussions

Nice words and targets indeed, but isn't the fastest and most effective way to accelerate the realisation of sustainability targets simply its permanent inclusion in purchasing discussions?

 

“A very interesting question”, says Sainsbury's spokesman Darragh Ooi. “I will suggest it right away.” Only a few hours later comes the disappointing formal answer: “The conditions of our contracts with suppliers is sensitive information and we can not discuss it in public”.


Sustainable purchasing is still not mainstream with retailers, but there is hope: thanks to the growing attention of sustainability monitors like Wal-Mart's, ever more people realise that both retailers and suppliers really can make a difference.

 

By Pascal Kuipers, Alsano Communicatie

 

Even though European retailers acknowledge the importance of sustainability, the ultimate recognition still has to happen: sustainability becoming a regular part of purchasing discussions.

 

After all, what is wrong with giving sustainable suppliers a better deal or with rewarding producers who help the retailer to reach his sustainability goals? Nothing at all! Still, almost every purchasing discussion only revolves around the “p” of price.

 

Wal-Mart sets sustainable example 

In 2009, Wal-Mart was the first to present the sustainability scorecard, allowing the American retail giant to measure the sustainability score of every product it sells. British Sainsbury's followed that example this month with the installation of the Carbon Academy: a training program for employees and suppliers to limit the CO2-emission caused by Sainsbury's's activities as much as possible.

 

Sainbury's follows with Carbon Academy

“We want to make sure all our colleagues and suppliers are becoming advocates in the battle against CO2-emission”, says Neil Sanchev, director of real estate at Sainbury's. “We hope to make new environmental technologies as common and usual as possible.

 

“Our diary development group is a good example how we at Sainsbury's reward sustainable suppliers. This group lets Sainsbury's reward farmers who improve animal welfare, reduce the pollution load and work more efficiently with a higher price for milk”, says Ooi. “We hope this approach will find its way into every purchasing process.

 Extra condition in purchase discussions

Nice words and targets indeed, but isn't the fastest and most effective way to accelerate the realisation of sustainability targets simply its permanent inclusion in purchasing discussions?

 

“A very interesting question”, says Sainsbury's spokesman Darragh Ooi. “I will suggest it right away.” Only a few hours later comes the disappointing formal answer: “The conditions of our contracts with suppliers is sensitive information and we can not discuss it in public”.


Sustainable purchasing is still not mainstream with retailers, but there is hope: thanks to the growing attention of sustainability monitors like Wal-Mart's, ever more people realise that both retailers and suppliers really can make a difference.

 

By Pascal Kuipers, Alsano Communicatie

 

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Plenty of interest for onerous Abercrombie & Fitch

26/05/2017

Fashion company Abercrombie & Fitch suffered a huge loss once more in the first quarter of 2017. Despite that, the board said there is plenty of interest for a possible acquisition.

Samwer brothers sell half of Zalando shares

26/05/2017

German brothers Samwer have sold almost half of the shares their investment firm, Global Founders, still holds in Zalando. The brothers’ share in the German online fashion retailers is now less than 5 %.

Minor first quarter turnover increase for Foot Locker

23/05/2017

Shoe chain Foot Locker’s first quarter turnover grew 0.7 % to 2 billion dollars (1.8 billion euro), but its net profit did drop from 191 to 180 million dollars (160 million euro).

Uniqlo makes fast fashion even faster

23/05/2017

Japanese Fast Retailing, fashion chain Uniqlo’s parent company, has managed to drastically speed up its production cycle. From now on, it will only take thirteen days to bring a design to the stores.

Patrice Louvet is Ralph Lauren's new CEO

19/05/2017

Fashion label Ralph Lauren has appointed Patrice Louvet as its new CEO. He will succeed Stefan Larsson, who decided to leave the company following a difference of opinion with founder and chairman Ralph Lauren.

Scotch & Soda continues French conquest

18/05/2017

Dutch fashion brand Scotch & Soda will soon open boutiques in Dijon and Paris, to add to its nine boutiques in France.

Back to top