Identify Gaps

Description

Review your internal processes and culture to identify areas misaligned with your sustainability priorities and opportunities to bring greater alignment.

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Taking time to reflect on your procurement practices enables you to address friction points that block sustainability progress and can help you keep up with evolving sustainability expectations.

Evaluate how your organisational practices impact sustainability efforts in your value chain

Complement your sustainability efforts by seeking external perspectives. Evaluate the values and narratives your procurement team communicates through its actions and decisions. Reflect on how your buying practices might place undue pressure on suppliers and how you can work collaboratively to alleviate this. Engage directly with your suppliers and other value chain partners, conducting listening exercises with past, current, and prospective suppliers and seeking anonymous supplier feedback. This engagement can provide insights into supplier pain points and sustainability performance challenges, potentially offering solutions suggested by those facing these challenges.

EXAMPLE: Mars seeks external stakeholder perspectives⁵

Mars engages with its suppliers through its Sustainable in a Generation Plan Supplier Workshops. These "Suppliers' Days" aim to build awareness and engagement on sustainability topics and provide suppliers with responsible sourcing training. Mars also conducts surveys to gather feedback on the company's procurement policies and practices and the impact of these policies on suppliers.

EXAMPLE: Annual supplier events at Walmart⁶

Walmart's annual Global Sustainability Milestone Summit invites associates, suppliers, and NGOs for sustainability progress discussions and best practice sharing. Suppliers give feedback on Walmart's sustainability goals, initiatives, and procurement via surveys and meetings, which are used to enhance sustainability practices. The summit covers topics like sustainability reporting and supplier sustainability scorecards.

Resources
How-To Guide: Buying Responsibly cover

How-To Guide: Buying Responsibly

This practical guide by WWF outlines five steps you can take to advance sustainable procurement. Sections relevant to this practice include Step 2: Map out procurement processes and sustainability goals and Step 3: Identify and discuss gaps.

Tool 2: Communicating Decent Work to Suppliers cover

Tool 2: Communicating Decent Work to Suppliers

The UNGC's Decent Work Toolkit for Sustainable Procurement consists of three modules with key learnings, training exercises, and practical case studies to enable procurement staff and their suppliers to take action to improve labour conditions for supply chain workers. This tool includes "Gathering Feedback on Buying Practices", providing concise information on encouraging and enabling supplier feedback to better understand the impacts of your purchasing practices.

Tool 3: Embedding Decent Work into Corporate Processes and Systems cover

Tool 3: Embedding Decent Work into Corporate Processes and Systems

The UNGC's Decent Work Toolkit for Sustainable Procurement consists of three modules with key learnings, training exercises, and practical case studies to enable procurement staff and their suppliers to take action to improve labour conditions for supply chain workers. Tool 3 covers Embedding Decent Work into Corporate Processes and Systems.

Identify Gaps: This includes the section "Resolving Dilemmas Around Decent Work." It offers practical guidance on addressing what may seem like competing objectives between cost saving and sustainability.

Clarify Responsibility: This tool includes a "Buyer KPIs" section that provides a list of example KPIs that you can adopt or use as a source of inspiration to help embed sustainable procurement into your processes and systems.

Develop Talent: Tool 3 also includes a training exercise package on decent work in supply chains. You can use these practical exercises to engage your colleagues on the topic.

Labour Share and Value Distribution cover

Labour Share and Value Distribution

This brief from Re:Structure Lab can help you to better understand how the redistribution of value is essential to eliminating forced labour and other types of economic exploitation from the global economy. The brief explains how profits from production are increasingly captured by powerful brands, retailers, and investors, as well as the key underlying factors that are driving inequitably value distribution. It also highlights solutions, such as direct redistribution of value through wage benchmarking; worker-driven social responsibility programs; support for labour organising; the strengthening of anti-trust measures; and more.

The ACT Purchasing Practices Self-Assessment: A Tool for Engagement cover

The ACT Purchasing Practices Self-Assessment: A Tool for Engagement

This questionnaire includes 55 questions about your purchasing practices. They are designed to help you facilitate good working conditions and the payment of living wages. Although the online tool is not publicly available, you can find the complete list of questions in ACT’s 2019 General Report from pages 17 to 54. You can also draw on the ACT Purchasing Practices Commitments. These include making wages an itemised cost, fair payment terms, improving planning and forecasting, and providing training on responsible sourcing and exit strategies.

Five Principles of Responsible Purchasing cover

Five Principles of Responsible Purchasing

The Better Buying Institute's Five Principles of Responsible Purchasing provides a quick overview of the actionable steps you can take to ensure your practices do not negatively impact suppliers. It focuses on areas with the biggest potential to undermine supplier sustainability performance.