eWorld Procurement and Supply 29 September 2019

eWorld Procurement and Supply 29 September 2019

JMCL Consulting was honoured to be invited to run a workshop at the eWorld Procurement and Supply event in London last week.

The conference, which took place at the DeVere Grand Connaught Rooms, is a bi-annual event for procurement innovation.  It brought together over 250 senior procurement, supply chain and finance executives to discuss the latest developments, market trends and hot-topics.

Our Workshop “Blast Away the Greenwash – Get Enlightened” asked delegates to look at the challenge of requiring bids that included environmental measures without compromising on commercial values. 

Carbon emission equivalents are universally accepted as the measure for the impact of goods & services on the environment. Using case studies and exercises we’d developed for the delegates we demonstrated that it’s not difficult and showed them how to do it. 

The Carbon Challenge

We set a simple exercise which served to demonstrate the carbon emissions of pizza production with some surprising results. We’re not giving away the answers (see below if you want to take the challenge) but one interesting revelation is that supermarket bought pizzas emit 145 times more carbon emissions than home-made ones. 

A further exercise had delegates measuring the carbon emissions of their favourite pizza and trying to design the most carbon efficient one. It was all good fun and tongue-in-cheek but demonstrated how easy it is to measure carbon emissions and why, when assessing bids, there’s no reason why environmental impact can’t be assessed alongside the commercial values of cost and quality.  

On a further note we showed the link between business growth, customer retention and buying sustainably so that Procurement becomes a driver of the top-line revenue of the business. 

The Social Challenge

Whilst environmental (physical) impact is easy to measure, how do you measure the impact of goods and services we buy on people, both society and the people directly involved in production?   Steps are being taken to measure Social Value, we showed the latest developments and anticipate that in the next few years the measurements will become as recognised as carbon emissions are now for the environment.  In the near future it’s not going to be difficult to measure the social impact of a bid on top of the environmental.

The Measurement Challenge

Having numbers available to assess impact is one thing.  Being able to monitor and hold suppliers to account for their performance is another entirely.   Measurement typically involves an overhead (of effort or software); this may compromise commercial viability.    We discussed this, the weakness of the current questionnaire-based approach and the further problem of allowing suppliers to self-certify their own sustainability performance.  Finally we looked at emerging technology and the possibilities that this might create by looking at Blockchain and real-time contracts with instant reward and penalty clauses.

Take the Pizza Challenge

Fancy having a go yourself?   Drop me a line (click to email) and you can take the Pizza Production carbon challenge yourself.