Review your progress toward your sustainability goals and identify opportunities to improve.

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Ensure your sustainability journey is on track by reviewing your progress at the end of the procurement cycle and identifying opportunities to improve processes and systems in your next procurement cycle.

Review progress against your organisation’s sustainability goals

You should regularly assess procurement progress against your organisation's sustainability goals. This involves setting up mechanisms that will prompt category managers to evaluate how each contract's sustainability performance aligns with and contributes to your overall sustainable procurement objectives. Factors to review include adherence to sustainability target areas and KPIs, the effectiveness of practices to engage and support sustainability, and the robustness of supplier data and data management systems. When sustainability concerns are recurrent, systemic, or severe, consider undertaking a root cause analysis to understand where these issues occur in the value chain or procurement process and what could be done differently next time to avoid them.

EXAMPLE: Using data for performance review

The Public Procurement Office (PPO) of Lithuania launched a procurement scoreboard¹ for public authorities, capturing all 30 product groups and including procurement information. The PPO collects data on technical specifications, award criteria, and clauses. Machine-readable green performance data is added by suppliers and verified by procurers to enable learning and review.

Identify gaps and lessons learned

Use your post-review process to reflect on gaps in your approach and the lessons learned. This involves an inward examination of your procurement process and a thoughtful understanding of external factors such as emerging trends and changing market conditions. As you uncover insights, new hotspots, and potential areas of improvement, updating your value chain mapping and reassessing life cycles becomes an iterative process, furthering your understanding of the sustainability landscape. A critical reflection is the allocation of leadership roles - you might want to consider whether the contracts, sourcing, procurement, sustainability, or marketing teams need to be more involved to help maintain strong supplier relationships. Engage both your internal teams and suppliers in this reflection process. Understanding where and how you could adjust and improve procedures will be part of your ongoing evolution in sustainable procurement. The goal is to target areas needing significant improvement and learn from oversights during the procurement lifecycle.

EXAMPLE: Rethinking procurement to bridge resource gaps

Tesla's primary sustainability goal is accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy.² They noticed gaps in the availability of sustainably sourced raw materials for their batteries. As a result, they decided to shift their procurement process and develop mining operations for key materials like lithium instead of relying solely on third-party suppliers.

Develop action plans to address gaps

Finally, leverage the findings from your reviews to shape action plans that enhance future performance and capitalise on sustainability successes. Consider what led to successful outcomes and how these can be replicated or adapted to other sustainability issues or goals or other purchasing categories. In cases where supplier sustainability performance falls short of expectations, consider options such as contract renegotiation, including expanded or altered sustainable deliverables. You may need to restart the procurement life cycle, incorporating fresh market testing and new offers. This regular, consistent assessment, reflection, and action planning cycle will ensure that your procurement processes evolve and improve, driving your organisation toward its sustainability objectives.

EXAMPLE: Starbucks bridges sustainability gaps through innovative procurement

After identifying gaps in their goal to make their cups 100% recyclable, Starbucks initiated the "NextGen Cup Challenge."³ Realising their current cup design was a significant sustainability gap, they looked for new, fully recyclable or compostable designs. Starbucks collaborated with closed-loop partners and suppliers to roll out pilot tests, altering its procurement cycle to introduce innovation in cup design.

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Procurement, New Zealand Government

Guidance from New Zealand Government Procurement includes post-implementation and end-of-contract reviews to inform planning for the next procurement cycle.

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ISO 20400

The first international standard for sustainable procurement created by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

Explore Market: It can help inform your pre-planning process by offering guidance on integrating sustainability criteria into procurement processes, engaging with suppliers, and assessing sustainability risks.

Policies and Processes: The standard can be used to help develop and implement sustainable purchasing policies and processes.

Review: The measuring and improving performance section provides techniques to implement and continually improve sustainable procurement.