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How procurement can spearhead the transition to Net Zero

Three takeaways on how procurement can spearhead the transition to Net Zero from the Synergy Showcase Event with Julian Weitz.

Procurement is one of the essential puzzle pieces for the transition to Net Zero.

Most procurement teams are in the process of setting up their sustainability strategy. But a lack of experts, the non-availability of data, the business context, and the difficulties of working with suppliers to measure and reduce emissions make it a challenge. 

Makersite’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Julian Weitz, talked about challenges and their possible solutions at the Synergy Showcase Event and interviewed Geert Behets, Sustainable Procurement and Risk Lead for UCB, Dario Kulic, Global Director Procurement for Elanco, and Magdalena Shakallis, Head of Procurement for British American Tobacco, on their experiences in the field. 



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Top three takeaways

Takeaway 1: One of the biggest challenges in procurement right now is the knowledge gap in supplier collaboration

Big corporations have by now invested in sustainability enough to have stakeholder buy-in and resources. What poses the challenge for procurement now is the knowledge gap around tools, challenges, and how to collaborate with suppliers and with other functions internally. Education within procurement is needed for the next steps. 

Takeaway 2: Procurement has to work together with product design on sustainability

Only if procurement understands why they’re buying what they’re buying can they make reasonable change requests. If supply chain managers understand what parts they buy for a product, they can think of sustainable adaptations. Paired with good supplier knowledge, they approach product engineers with ideas on how to save emissions by changing out materials, etc. 

Takeaway 3: Change management is crucial

As an expert on sustainability, you easily think everyone understands sustainability and its urgency. But it is essential to remind yourself that people often don’t. Explaining what sustainability is about, why it’s needed, what data is needed, and what to do with it takes time. Still, without incorporating this step into the beginning of the sustainability process, there will be repercussions. 

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