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Introduction and challenges

Though once the preserve of a few procurement pioneers, or marketing and risk management, sustainable approaches to sourcing are no longer optional.

Procurement activities offer a multitude of novel approaches and powerful tools for organisations that want to improve their eco-credentials.

Sourcing decisions have hard impacts on traditional financial measures, influencing the utilisation of production assets, physical distance for transport within the supply chain, and stockholdings.

For any company, the nature of the products purchased, the suppliers it selects, and the ways it works with its partners reflect its real desire to meet its sustainability commitments and constitutes the vast majority of its emissions (as per Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol).

Suppliers are also often highly visible to external stakeholders. Careful selection and management of suppliers represents one of the major opportunities to minimise risk to the company’s reputation, as well as highlighting opportunities for improving efficiency between partners in the supply chain.

Year after year, sustainable sourcing is moving up the rankings of procurement departments’ concerns. It is now a critical performance lever in the development of procurement strategies and an opportunity to bring new added value to the business.

How we can help

Argon & Co supports its clients in all aspects of sustainable sourcing:

  • Developing ‘Make or Buy’ sourcing strategy to include environmental and social impact dimensions and an evaluation of the overall life cycle cost
  • Developing new buying strategies, such as sourcing of recycled materials or rethinking ownership-based purchase
  • Limiting supply chain waste by reviewing minimum order quantities, corresponding price scales, and lead time in collaboration with suppliers
  • Working with suppliers to assess, measure, and develop their environmental performance to be aligned with the purchasing organisation’s own measures and requirements
  • Helping structure alternative sourcing channels to secure access to certain raw materials and make it more competitive
  • Collaboration with suppliers to review product design through the lens of environmental impact: consumption of raw materials and energy, packaging, ways to improve repairability and reuse, end of life recycling
  • Assessment of sustainable sourcing maturity using our scprime® methodology and definition of an action plan to improve
  • Adapting processes, organisation, governance, and tools in line with best practices and ISO 20400 norms for sustainable sourcing