The global pandemic, COVID 19, has brought the world to a standstill. Almost everything in the world has stopped as a result of the current crisis. Businesses and economies have shut down as they have been greatly affected. However, people across the globe still need essential services/ goods and hence the need to have the supply chain working. It is this reason that has necessitated research on how to enhance/ build sustainable procurement strategies to enhance effectiveness and ensure the continuity of business operations.
What is Sustainable Procurement?
Sustainable procurement is achieved when firms broaden their framework and meet their needs on works, services, utilities, and goods. This, however, has to be in a manner, where the value for money and positive items are achieved for the society, organizations, and the economy. This also ought to have minimal damage to the environment.
Developing a Sustainable Procurement Strategy During COVID-19 Crisis
Sustainable procurement creates many opportunities for businesses all over. In this time of the COVID-19 crisis, companies could look into the social, economic, and environmental factors to ensure sustainable procurement is achieved. The following factors are key in developing sustainable procurement during this COVID-19 crisis.
Environmental Factors Impacting Sustainable Procurement
Environmental factors during this period will greatly impact on sustainable procurement. This is in line with improving resource efficiency. Through this, maximum efficiency will be achieved. Environmental factors majorly revolve around how resources are utilized. Sustainable procurement desires to promote reuse, recycling, and maximum utilization of resources.
In these challenging times, when resources are scarce all over the world due to shutdowns, organizations ought to ensure raw materials are reused or recycled to ensure maximum use. Responsible resource management and conservation of resources are thus inevitable if organizations want to achieve sustainable procurement goals.
Green procurement as an aspect of the environmental factors will also play a significant role in enhancing this sustainability. Green procurement mitigates overexploitation of resources and therefore has a great environmental impact. This greatly helps in energy saving by the use of renewable sources that further reduce costs. This greatly contributes to procurement sustainability. If businesses across the world observe these environmental factors, several challenges related to COVID-19 could be avoided, and efficiency improved.
Social Factors in Making a Sustainable Procurement Decision
Social factors are key factors in sustainable decision making in organizations across the globe. Sustainable procurement addresses matters related to social policies. Organizations now have to adopt aspects related to sustainable procurement practice. This is from the aspects of communal business responsibility. The most critical social aspect of sustainable procurement in the COVID -19 crisis relates to corporate social responsibilities.
Organizations across the globe have to take up responsibility and give back to society. This could be through the provision of necessary equipment during the crisis. Food and other basic commodities are a great necessity. Through this, the welfare of several groups is catered for. The vulnerable groups ought to be given priority. Respect for human rights, especially for workers in the organizations, is a step towards sustainable procurement. In this crisis, organizations ought to ensure the safety of their employees. The employees should not be subjected to insecure conditions that could cause harm to them.
Economic Factors in Making a Sustainable Decision
There is a strong synergy between the social and economic aspects of sustainability. Sustainable procurement strategies are also highly dependent on some economic factors. At the macro-economic level, the organizations that adopt the strategy achieve efficiency gains. During this crisis period, this would foster much innovation that is needed to sort out several challenges that have come up as a result of the pandemic.
At the microeconomic level, sustainable procurement strategies have given chances for economic redistribution through job creation and wealth generation. These two are greatly needed to post the pandemic period. For organizations to achieve sustainability during this pandemic, organizations have to uphold the ethical practices of the trade. In this, business protects consumer interests as well as the interests of the other organizations.
Another strategy to enhance the sustainability of the procurement function is the payment of the suppliers in time, especially during this financial crisis. This practice will greatly help them keep up with their activities as well as meet their supply needs to other organizations. Effective corporate governance will also play a significant role in steering the companies into success in these difficult moments. Globalization and the prevalence of extended supply chain auditing of ethical sourcing have become mandatory. This has gone a long way in boosting consumer confidence and procurement sustainability in the long run.
In the current world and crisis, it is also advisable and wise to look into sustainability in organizations on three other levels. They include; legal requirements for the organizations, waste and cost reduction in organizations as well as, risk mitigation/ protection of organizational brands and reputation.
In conclusion, it is of great importance to note the benefits that accrue firms that adopt sustainable procurement strategies. Such firms enjoy the benefits of minimum risk exposure, saving on various costs as a result of reuse and recycling of products. The organizations are further able to minimize wastages and thus bring about resource efficiency in a firm. The above-discussed features could have a significant effect on sustainable procurement, especially at these difficult times of COVID-19.