Companies find competitive advantage in sustainable development to overcome the crisis
The objective of obtaining the certification of sustainable purchasing (ISO 20400) among Spanish companies is doubled
Companies are now setting business objectives based on minimum ESG criteria (Environment, Social and Corporate Governance), in response to growing demands from users and customers, governments and even financial institutions. Since the establishment of the 2030 Agenda, this regulation has become the main framework for establishing sustainable development actions in our country and, according to the study “Contribution of Spanish companies to the 2030 sustainable development strategy: a comprehensive consultation” , the 85% of companies say that they are already working today in one of the areas of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while in the case of SMEs and the self-employed, the percentage drops to 83% and 61%, respectively. Companies in the technology (62.5%), petroleum and energy (60%) and construction (60%) sectors include the SDGs the most in their reports.
In addition to legislative reasons, companies can find in sustainable development a business opportunity that allows them to achieve differentiation and, therefore, a competitive advantage. According to data from Fullstep, a company specializing in the end-to-end digitization of purchasing, procurement and supply chain processes, one of the branches in which more criteria and parameters regarding the sustainability of companies are implemented is related to procurement. chain. “It allows companies to create more resistant links with customers and suppliers, in addition to obtaining greater security, avoiding possible crises derived from the withdrawal of products from the market, financial sanctions or non- supplier compliance, or even exhaustion of stocks. resources, ”says Rosario Piazza, CEO of Fullstep.
Issues around the management and implementation of sustainable supply chain indicators
The SDGs aim to reduce CO2 emissions, the recyclability of resources, respect for diversity and the promotion of minorities, among others. When it comes to establishing sustainable purchasing criteria, have a system for measuring performance and compliance with these criteria, as well as a change management journey both internally and outside the company, are the main challenges for creating a sustainable supply chain.
The International Organization for Standardization released ISO 20400 in 2017 with the aim of providing guidance and recognition to organizations that are committed to sustainability in procurement, and 2020 and 2021 are the key to sustainability, and from Fullstep, they claim that “Interest in certification doubled last year. And it is that Spanish companies are more and more aware that they must start working on these policies with a roadmap that will guide them with the objective of the Agenda 2030. Each company focuses its corporate strategy on the supply chain in a different way, paying more attention to one SDG or another depending on the sector to which it belongs. In addition, in this area, 3 SDGs currently prevail: decent work and economic growth, climate action, industry, innovation and infrastructure. And on the contrary, those who focus less attention are zero hunger and underwater life, ”says Piazza.
The indicators to measure the evolution of the sustainable development policies of companies’ supply chains in their relationship with suppliers are the number of suppliers with a defined risk map, with gender equality policies, of suppliers sanctioned in recent years for non-compliance with or ethical legislation, with a waste management plan, which use energy from renewable sources, with a plan to reduce CO2 emissions.