Top 10 Sustainable Procurement Consulting Companies
As supply chain impacts account for more than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions, along with cost cutting, and building more resilient and innovative supply chains, CPOs are now increasingly being tasked with sustainability initiatives and the need to ensure ethical, and sustainable procurement.
But, in fact, sustainable procurement—when addressed effectively—can reduce costs, cut waste, and bolster a company’s reputation for environmental responsibility. Yet to do so, executives must identify current sustainability gaps and target areas to improve. Since a comprehensive review process is often difficult to allocate time and resources toward, and no real framework currently exists, many companies prefer to work with international procurement experts.
For 2021 to be the year your company takes on sustainable procurement, we’ve culled the top sustainable procurement consulting firms.
10: Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently pledged to reach net-zero climate impact by 2030, a major step in their commitment to ESG. With 22,000 employees, $8.6bn in annual revenue, and 450+ international social impact projects, the company has completed more than 930 procurement projects across the world in the past five years.
For clients who also wish to take ambitious ESG action, BCG helps integrate sustainability into key KPIs and operating models. At one European automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), they reduced scope 3 emissions as per the Paris Agreement and helped set intermediate and long-term CO2 objectives. What’s more, BCG holds itself to equally high environmental standards. The company has pledged to put $400mn toward climate action in the next decade and reduce business travel emissions by 30% by 2025.
09: Bain & Company
Bain & Company prides itself on helping companies develop sourcing strategies for a sustainable future. Operating across 61 offices in 38 countries, the firm has completed 1000+ procurement projects, reducing purchasing costs by 8-12%. Its leadership recently signed off on the Business Ambition for 1.5o C commitment letter, part of the Science-Based Targets Initiative. And by 2030, they intend to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
Of Bain & Co’s partners and managers, 330+ possess considerable sustainability expertise—which might be why they approach sustainability from such a realistic perspective. ‘Only 4% of companies achieve their sustainability goals’, Bain & Co reports. But they promise that their clients can organise for success. ‘The normal rules of business’, they add, ‘don’t stop when it comes to sustainability and corporate responsibility. Pragmatic solutions still matter’.
08: McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company is setting science-backed targets. Since 2018, the company has offset 100% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They believe that sophisticated procurement practices can help companies minimise their environmental impact and control costs. In almost 100 global offices, Green Teams drive environmental initiatives. Currently, the company works with over 50 of the world’s largest airlines and hotel groups to help reduce their carbon footprint.
Deloitte is already looking to the future. ‘With COVID-19 vaccines being deployed,’ the company noted, ‘there’s the potential for there to be winners and losers in procurement based on which enterprises move quickly to bring together agility, efficiency, resilience, and strategy’. The firm operates in 102 cities around the world and consults nearly 90% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies. By 2025, they aim to ensure that suppliers are outperforming ethical standards of compliance.
06: Reeve Consulting
Reeve Consulting advises companies at any stage of sustainable procurement. ‘Although [we are] only at the beginning of our green procurement journey’, said Susan Atkinson, Climate Change Secretariat of the Government of New Brunswick, ‘Reeve Consulting provided us with well-thought-out deliverables that go above and beyond what was requested’. Reeve played a key role in ESG reporting programs for the 2010 and 2014 Paralympic and Olympic Games, the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.
The world’s largest strategic procurement consulting firm, Efficio operates from 10 offices in Europe, North America, and the Middle East to initiate sustainable procurement practices. In 2017, CIPS shortlisted the company for its Supply Management Awards; in 2019, Spend Matters featured the company in their ‘50 Providers to Know’ rundown. Efficio’s latest update is eFlow, a procurement technology platform that automates data insights and builds strong supplier relationships. Since launching, the company has analysed $21bn in spend data and successfully completed 982 projects.
04: Barkers Commercial Consultancy
In 2021, Barkers Commercial Consultancy won the SME Leadership Award at the National Social Value Awards. With 6,450 assessments and 890+ projects delivered to clients, the company focuses on improving supplier performance and offering companies greater control over cost, quality, and timescale. The company has created US$2,000,000 in social value but doesn’t sacrifice cost savings. After partnering with Barkers Commercial Services, one client achieved £20m in savings in 12 months.
Sphera, in addition to providing ESG performance and risk management software, data, and consulting services, supports 46 languages, employs 100+ sustainability experts, and has handled 66,000+ compliance actions. They focus on EHS&S (Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability). ‘Because of Sphera’s Corporate Sustainability Software’, said Jonny Natelberg, Executive VP of Lekkerland AG & Co, ‘we were able to generate an action plan targeting 20% emissions reduction savings in five years’.
BSR works with 250+ companies, government agencies, and civil partners to develop ambitious business strategies. Their Procurement Leadership Group helps clients incorporate sustainability criteria into their procurement practices, targeting SDG Goals 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). In addition, their Sustainable Futures Lab helps companies identify emerging issues early to develop more resilient and sustainable supply chains. Its clients include Hewlett-Packard, IKEA, NIKE, and Unilever.
01: Procura Consulting
Specialists in procurement cost reduction, Procura Consulting offers a Sustainable Procurement Impact Assessment to identify spend categories with the greatest opportunity and risk. In addition, they tailor recommendations to a company’s sustainability objectives. According to Managing Partner Richard McIntosh, “investment funds with environmental, social, and governance criteria (ESG) have outperformed the broader market during the pandemic. Procurement excellence [in coming years] will not just be the driver for profitability but also for environmental and sustainability management.”
Check out their Case Study: Craft Brewer tackles supply chain sustainability with a Sustainable Impact Assessment
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