Sustainable Supply Chain: 5 Benefits of Socially Responsible Procurement
If you’re a business owner, you know how valuable well-sourced, quality goods are. They keep both your wallet and customers happy. But what about the suppliers who deliver those goods? Are their products sustainably sourced? Are there any greater societal benefits to the goods? Does their production help or harm the environment? If you’re unsure, you might want to look into the following five benefits of socially responsible procurement.
1. Health and Safety Benefits
If a fashion company refuses to procure supplies from a sweatshop, that sweatshop would do less business. If enough brands followed suit, that sweatshop would be forced to either change its problematic practices or go out of business. In theory, this could lead to better working conditions and improved safety levels for workers, making the entire supply chain more ethical.
The goal is to ensure that all goods are sourced ethically and sustainably and that the greater social impact of those goods is taken into account. Companies have a great impact on the world at large. So it is in everyone’s best interest that they value people over profits.
2. Diversity of Suppliers
For generations, women, LGBTQ+ minorities, and people with disabilities were pushed aside in favor of competitors. Small farmers were driven out of business when a larger supplier moved into town, and local businesses struggled to compete with multinational corporations.
One of the goals of socially responsible procurement is to reach out to these minority groups and locals to offer them space in the supply chain. This will lead to greater diversity in goods and services while also supporting diversity in the community. If, for example, more Native Americans or minority groups were given a platform to sell their products, it would support the economy while helping these marginalized communities gain a market share.
3. Healthy for the Planet
A more sustainable, ethically sourced supply chain means a healthier planet and healthier lives for everyone. There are no downsides to sustainability, especially when it comes to Mother Earth.
It is our responsibility to protect the planet for ourselves and generations to come. After all, we only have one planet, which means we have one chance to get things right. While other habitable worlds might be out there, we have yet to find them. Even if we did find a viable new planet, that wouldn’t justify destroying this one.
Instead, if everyone’s goods were ethically and sustainably sourced, we could mitigate the damage we’ve done to the environment and preserve our beautiful home for future generations.
4. Better Public Relations
While it’s great to help the environment and be more sustainable, socially responsible procurement can also be a marvelously self-serving decision. Sourcing locally and sustainably will help your public relations and, in so doing, bolster your standing in the community.
Sustainability, after all, isn’t just for the environment. Many consumers purchase only ethically sourced, sustainable goods and care about the ethos of the brands they support. So, if you focus on sustainability, your company will be seen as responsible and generous, both of which are great for public relations.
5. Support Your Local Community
If you source locally, you support the businesses and people you’ll be surrounded by every day. More money stays within your area, leading to higher growth within the community. Economic development not only supports the people living around you but creates more opportunities for jobs, businesses, and well-being.
The takeaway? Socially responsible procurement is a good measure of the societal, individual, and cumulative value of any product or service. It matters to all of us where you source your goods, so be sure to shoot for sustainability.