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What Is Sustainable Procurement?

Section1; Background Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable procurement refers to the process of acquiring goods and services in a manner that lessens the amount of damage done to the environment, society, and the Economy by such goods and services. In recent years, sustainable procurement has gained a lot of support in response to growing concerns over climate change, social unfairness, and the depletion of natural resources. The acknowledgment of the environmental costs associated with doing business as normal serves as a driving force for sustainable purchasing. Using traditional methods of procurement often results in the acquisition of goods and services that have a huge carbon footprint, contribute to pollution, and make use of resources that are not renewable (Ogunsanya et al., 2022). Sustainable procurement actively attempts to mitigate these consequences by promoting purchasing goods and services that are friendlier to the environment, need less energy, and have a smaller carbon footprint. An additional push for sustainable buying is the need to address social issues like labor standards and human rights. These issues need to be addressed. There are several products and services that are produced via the use of exploitative labor practices. These practices violate workers’ rights and worsen the inequality that already exists in our society. One of how sustainable procurement works toward resolving these issues is by acquiring goods and services produced in a manner that respects human rights and adheres to fair labor standards.

In addition to considering factors related to the environment and society, sustainable procurement seeks to find solutions to challenges related to the Economy, such as the resiliency and efficiency of supply chains. The reduction of costs is often the major objective of traditional buying strategies, which frequently results in the short-term financial benefits being placed over the long-term sustainability of the strategy. The goal of sustainable procurement is to find a solution to this issue by promoting the long-term purchase of goods and services that are both economically feasible and ecologically sound. Purchasing behaviors that are more environmentally friendly have several positive outcomes (Joshi and Sharma, 2022). By promoting environmentally friendly actions and helping businesses reduce their carbon footprints, sustainable procurement enables businesses to better respond to the effects of climate change. Sustainable buying may help society improve by promoting respect for human rights and fair working conditions. With the promotion of effective methods of operation, sustainable procurement has the potential to contribute to the long-term financial stability of an organization.

Yet, methods of environmentally responsible purchasing are only sometimes simple to implement. The widespread unfamiliarity of procurement professionals with environmentally responsible buying procedures is a significant barrier. Due to lacking training and education in this field, procurement professionals may need more knowledge and expertise to execute sustainable procurement processes properly. This may be a problem since sustainable procurement procedures are becoming more important (Pohlmann et al., 2020). The intricacy of the supply chain makes the challenge far more challenging. It may be difficult to ensure that sustainable practices are maintained throughout the supply chain since supply networks may be vast and intricate, consisting of various suppliers and stakeholders. This may make it a demanding task.

Notwithstanding the challenges, sustainable procurement is gaining ground because organizations are starting to see the benefit of implementing sustainable buying practices. Several companies are increasingly collaborating with their suppliers to promote environmentally responsible business practices throughout the supply chain and include environmental impact considerations in their procurement processes. Strategic sourcing is an important concept since it focuses on fixing the interconnected issues that plague the Economy, society, and the environment (Ghosh, 2019). Even though there are obstacles to adopting sustainable procurement practices, organizations are becoming more aware of the necessity of incorporating concerns regarding sustainability into their procurement processes. This is the case despite barriers to adopting sustainable procurement practices.

Section 2; Case Studies of the Industries

Food Industry

One of the most significant industries in the world is the food industry since it provides billions of people with the necessities they cannot survive without. But, it is also an industry that has significant repercussions for both people and the environment. The agriculture and food industry leaves a complex social and environmental impact, from using harmful pesticides and fertilizers to exploiting laborers in related industries. As a reaction to these issues, the food industry has implemented sustainable procurement standards, which promote the acquisition of items generated using manufacturing techniques that are more ethical and ecological. These standards were created in response to the abovementioned difficulties (Rane and Thakker, 2020). Certifications are one approach that may be used to encourage sustainable practices within the buying procedures of the food business. Certifications provide independent proof that a product was produced in an environmentally responsible and ethical way. Consumers and companies alike will have an easier time locating and purchasing ecologically friendly products if they use these credentials.

An accreditation from the Rainforest Alliance is one example of a certification used in the food sector. The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture on various fronts, including coffee, tea, cocoa, and bananas. In order for farms to become accredited by the Rainforest Alliance, they must meet a variety of social, environmental, and economic benchmarks, some of which include the implementation of fair labor practices, the protection of biodiversity, and the restriction of the use of pesticides and fertilizers. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Organic mark is yet another example of a certification used in the food industry (Hamilton, 2022). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification process ensures that no artificial pesticides or fertilizers are used at any stage of the manufacturing process. Because of the procedures used in organic agriculture, the soil fertility improves, the amount of pollution in the water decreases, and the number of biodiversity increases.

In addition to getting the necessary certifications, several companies operating in the food industry have implemented environmentally responsible purchasing practices by forming supplier partnerships. One company, Nestle, aims only to purchase sustainably produced coffee, chocolate, and palm oil by the year 2020. To accomplish this goal, Nestlé has collaborated with its suppliers and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop partnerships that promote environmentally responsible business practices across the supply chain. As a result of these agreements, Nestlé has been able to lessen its influence on the environment, establish a sustainable supply chain, and promote environmentally responsible behaviors among its suppliers. Another company that has implemented sustainable practices in procurement is McDonald’s, which does so through developing partnerships with the companies that supply it (Rosell, 2021). McDonald’s has committed to sourcing exclusively sustainably farmed seafood, palm oil, and coffee by 2020. Along with its suppliers, McDonald’s has been working on cutting the amount of water used and carbon dioxide emissions across the whole supply chain. McDonald’s has also begun its sustainable land management program to assist its suppliers in carrying out the same practices.

In addition to depending on certifications and supplier agreements, several companies operating in the food industry have also implemented environmentally responsible purchasing practices inside their organizations. For example, PepsiCo’s “Performance with Purpose” effort seeks to guarantee that the company’s operations and products are kind to the environment. This approach includes minimizing rubbish production while reducing emissions and promoting sustainable farming practices (Niu and Mu, 2020). The use of food procurement practices that are more sustainable may help reduce the overall impact of the sector on the natural environment and human civilization. Certifications, supplier partnerships, and internal initiatives may be used by businesses to ensure the sustainability of their products and to promote environmentally responsible business practices across the supply chain. By implementing these techniques, food manufacturing enterprises can decrease their negative impacts on the environment, strengthen their commitment to social responsibility, and better meet consumers’ growing desire for eco-friendly items.

Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is known for its high turnover rate, quick pace of trend development, and extensive detrimental consequences on society and the environment. These factors contribute to the industry’s bad reputation. It is the responsibility of the industry to address the widespread pollution, the depletion of natural resources, the exploitation of people, and the hazardous working conditions it creates (Niu and Mu, 2020). In the fashion business, adopting environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing processes is promoted by implementing sustainable purchasing policies.

In the apparel industry, certifications are one approach to guarantee ethical sourcing practices. Certifications provide independent proof that a product was produced in an environmentally responsible and ethical way. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification ensures textiles are manufactured without potentially hazardous chemicals and with environmentally beneficial components such as organic cotton. To get the Fair Trade Certified stamp of approval, employers must provide their employees with safe working conditions and ensure they are paid fairly. Strategies for acquiring clothing that is made sustainably may also involve building partnerships with various suppliers. Companies work closely with suppliers across the supply chain to encourage environmentally responsible business practices. These activities include reducing waste to a minimum and increasing the amount of recyclable or biodegradable materials used (Niu and Mu, 2020). H&M has established a “sustainable innovation team” to facilitate collaboration between the company and its suppliers on developing ecologically friendly production methods and materials. H&M’s “Conscious Collection” features apparel made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester. These materials are used in the “Conscious Collection.” Patagonia is yet another firm that has developed a program to improve the visibility of its supply chain and identify areas in which it may be enhanced.

The fashion industry is a good example of where circular economy ideas may be used, another sustainable purchasing component. The reuse of materials should be maximized while at the same time, the amount of trash generated should be kept to a minimum in a circular economy. The “Waterless” program was developed by Levi’s to minimize the company’s overall effect on the environment caused by the production of denim. Also, the company has initiated a program known as “Secondhand,” which encourages clothing recycling by soliciting donations from customers of gently used products. The Renew program offered by Eileen Fisher is yet another fantastic example since it transforms previously worn things into brand new ones via the process of recycling. In addition, numerous companies in the fashion industry have implemented sustainable sourcing practices inside their operations (Rosell, 2021). As part of their “Sustainability Strategy,” which was just made public, Adidas has promised to use solely environmentally friendly cotton in all its goods by 2018. In addition to using recycled materials, the company has also implemented a “closed loop” system for its products by recycling footwear that other customers once owned.

In general, sustainable procurement practices in the fashion industry provide a way for companies to decrease their negative impacts on the environment and society while simultaneously addressing the growing need of consumers for environmentally friendly products (Galli et al., 2020). Certifications, supplier relationships, activities that contribute to a circular economy, and internal initiatives are ways the fashion industry may successfully encourage sustainable purchasing practices. These practices assist companies in lowering their waste output, enhancing the ecological friendliness of their supply chains, and ensuring their products’ long-term viability.

Section 3; Theoretical Framework and Development of Sustainable Procurement

In recent years, there has been a rise in companies that have realized that they need to consider the larger social, economic, and environmental ramifications of their buying choices (Sajjad et al., 2020). This has led to a rise in the popularity of sustainable procurement. This analytical research will review recent developments in environmentally responsible purchasing, focusing on the theoretical frameworks that have guided practical methods.

Theoretical Frameworks for Sustainable Procurement

The term “sustainable procurement” refers to a practice that considers the effects of purchasing choices on society, the Economy, and the environment. Several theoretical frameworks may direct decision-making processes to accomplish sustainable buying practices. In the next part, you will get an overview of some of the theoretical frameworks often used in sustainable procurement (Joshi and Sharma, 2022).

Triple Bottom Line

The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) idea is now becoming one of the most widely used environmentally responsible shopping methods. By this paradigm, it is recommended that companies consider not only the financial impacts of their buying decisions but also the social and environmental effects of such decisions. The TBL framework recognizes that while making choices, organizations should be concerned with more than simply how their actions will affect their bottom line. The TBL framework is based on three pillars: the economic, the social, and the environmental. The economic pillar analyzes how the company’s bottom line will be impacted by the many different ways it might spend its money (Pohlmann et al., 2020). Since buying decisions have the potential to affect a variety of factors, including community growth, labor standards, and human rights, it is essential to keep these considerations in mind while shopping. This pillar considers a wide range of environmental considerations, including carbon emissions, the reduction of litter, and the protection of natural resources, to name just a few.

Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Sustainable supply chain management aims to include environmental and social considerations in the normal operating processes of supply chains (SSCM). The objective is to efficiently manage the risks and opportunities associated with the supply chain without jeopardizing the enterprise’s economic, environmental, or social sustainability. The integration of sustainability into every phase of the supply chain, from the procurement of raw materials to the distribution of finished goods, is referred to as sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), an abbreviation for the sustainable supply chain management. The plan places an emphasis on working collaboratively with stakeholders including customers, suppliers, and other interested parties to achieve its goals regarding sustainability. The key benefits of supply chain risk management (SSCM) are managing supply chain risks and creating resilience. Integrating sustainability into supply chain management allows for the identification and mitigation of various risks, including those related to climate change, violations of human rights, and corrupt practices. By demonstrating that they are concerned about the environment, companies may improve not just their image but also their financial line with the assistance of SSCM (Van den Brink et al., 2019). Businesses should implement sustainable business practices across their supply chains in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract customers that place a premium on environmental responsibility.

Supply chain management (SSCM) is an approach that includes several fundamental ideas that may assist companies in moving toward a more sustainable supply chain. The principles are explained in the paragraph. When searching for vendors to purchase raw materials and finished items from, businesses should seek those that have the same commitment to sustainability as they do. Both evaluating suppliers based on ESG criteria and engaging with suppliers to enhance the efficiency with which they use their resources are feasible approaches. Companies need to consider the whole life cycles of their products, from product conception all the way to disposal. It’s possible to employ techniques like recycling and remanufacturing, in addition to designing things to endure a long time and be simple to fix if they break (Amoako et al., 2020). To achieve sustainability across the supply chain, there must be collaboration between many stakeholders, including consumers and suppliers. Working together with groups such as these is very necessary in order to solve problems related to sustainability and to accomplish organizational goals related to sustainability.

When it comes to publishing their outcomes in terms of sustainability and keeping stakeholders up to date on their progress, organizations should be completely transparent. This may be accomplished in a variety of methods, some of which include the dissemination of sustainability reports, engagement with customers and investors, and participation in sustainability initiatives. Continuous development is required because ensuring the sustainability of the supply chain is an ongoing effort that must be met with continual progress (Hilson and Maconachie, 2020). On a regular basis, organizations have to examine the sustainability efforts they are doing and search for methods to improve upon those efforts.

The difficulty of assessing sustainability performance, the expenditure associated with implementing sustainable practices, and the complexity of supply chains are all barriers that must be overcome before SSCM can achieve mainstream acceptance. Businesses with a focus on sustainability may have an easier time overcoming these challenges if they adopt a proactive approach to sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) and participate in collaborative interaction with suppliers and other stakeholders. SSCM makes it possible for organizations to strive toward a more sustainable supply chain by integrating concepts of sustainability into the processes involved in supply chain management. If an organization implements SSCM techniques, it may lessen the risks associated with its supply chain, improve its image, and demonstrate its commitment to sustainability (Ogunsanya et al., 2022). The adoption of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) is not without its challenges, despite the fact that achieving sustainability in the supply chain has great benefits and may assist businesses in achieving long-term success.

Circular Economy

The circular Economy is one potential source of inspiration for environmentally conscious shopping practices. The objective of the circular Economy is to cut down on or do away with all types of waste while simultaneously extending the useful life of all resources that are put to use. A circular economy extends the useful life of its resources via practices such as recycling, repairing, and rebuilding things (Rathore, 2022). According to the notion of the circular Economy, businesses should consider the whole lifespans of the items they produce and work to keep them in use for the greatest amount of time that is practically possible.

The three pillars that support the Circular Economy are the elimination of waste and pollution in product design, the extension of the useful life of materials and commodities, and the restoration of natural systems. In order for a product to comply to this design philosophy, it should have a long lifespan, it should be easy to repair, and it should be recyclable (Thorisdottir and Johannsdottir, 2019). The idea of utilization refers to the practice of preserving the availability of goods and resources via activities such as recycling and maintenance. The concept of regeneration revolves mostly on the concept of regenerating systems and making use of renewable resources.

Recent Developments in Sustainable Procurement

There has been a meteoric rise in awareness and adoption of environmentally responsible purchasing policies in recent years. This newfound focus has resulted in many advancements in the field, such as new regulations, increased consumer demand for environmentally friendly goods, and more stakeholder pressure (Khan et al., 2022).

Regulatory Changes

Regulations pertaining to environmentally responsible purchasing have been enacted in a number of nations. For instance, the European Union (EU) has adopted rules that make it mandatory for public agencies to take into consideration social and environmental considerations when making procurement choices. In addition, a number of nations have enacted legislation concerning conflict minerals (Grabs and Carodenuto, 2021). These policies oblige businesses to guarantee that the abuse of human rights and environmental degradation is not being supported by the supply chains of the goods they sell.

Consumer Demand

Demand from customers for environmentally friendly goods has also been an important factor in the growth of sustainable business practices in the area of sustainable procurement. Customers are becoming more conscious of the social and environmental implications of the items they buy and are prepared to pay a premium for goods that are produced using sustainable techniques. This trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future (Ahmad et al., 2020). As a consequence of this, businesses that place a priority on environmentally responsible purchasing policies are better equipped to win new clients and keep existing ones.

Stakeholder Pressure

Sustainable purchasing policies and procedures have advanced in large part due to public demand. Companies are under pressure from investors, NGOs, and other stakeholders to evaluate the social and environmental effects of their purchasing decisions. So, businesses that make ethical purchasing a top priority will have an easier time attracting and keeping investors, as well as keeping their good name in the public eye (Van den Brink et al., 2019).

Case Studies:

Many case studies shed light on environmentally responsible purchasing policies and procedures in a variety of business sectors. Patagonia, a clothing business, is a good example of this kind of case study since it has integrated environmentally responsible purchasing policies and procedures into all stages of its supply chain (Bevilacqua et al., 2020). Footprint Chronicles is a program that Patagonia has created, and its purpose is to promote openness across the whole supply chain and to identify areas for improvement. The business also collaborates with its suppliers to advance environmentally responsible business practices, such as the use of recycled materials and the reduction of waste. Another company that serves as a case study is Toyota Motor Company, which has integrated environmentally responsible purchasing policies and procedures into all stages of its supply chain (Shao and Ünal, 2019). Toyota places an obligation on its suppliers to adhere to certain environmental and social standards, and the company offers its suppliers assistance in order to help them achieve these objectives. Because of this, Toyota has been able to lessen the damage it does to the environment and provide better results for society.

Limitations of Sustainable Procurement

Although sustainable procurement strategies have many positive outcomes, certain drawbacks should be taken into account. The difficulty of gauging the social and environmental effects of purchasing choices is one barrier. Organizations may have a hard time justifying the expenses of sustainable procurement procedures due to the difficulty in quantifying the implications of procurement choices (Arrigo, 2020). Therefore, it might be difficult to apply sustainable buying procedures through the entire supply chain. Organizations’ sustainability efforts may be hampered by suppliers that lack the means and capability to adopt sustainable practices.

Section 4; Significance for the Development of International Procurement Strategy

The insights gained from the theoretical frameworks of sustainable procurement and sustainable supply chain management can have significant implications for the development of international procurement strategies in the food and fashion industries (Stamm et al., 2019).

Food Industry

Growers, processors, transporters, and retailers are all important elements in the complex supply chain that the food business maintains across the globe. Some of the environmental and social repercussions of the food system include, but are not limited to, the generation of greenhouse gases, the utilization of land, and labor conditions. In the food industry, the creation of international procurement strategies might potentially benefit from the information gained via sustainable procurement and SSCM frameworks (Rane and Thakker, 2020). One way in which this knowledge can help is through the use of sustainable sourcing methods. By forming partnerships with suppliers who share their commitment to sustainability, food companies have the opportunity to improve their public image and reduce the negative impact their operations have on society and the environment.

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for seafood that is harvested in an ecologically responsible manner, which has led to the development of certification systems such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Businesses in the food industry may demonstrate to their customers that they are dedicated to ethical sourcing procedures by participating in these certification programs, which give an avenue for doing so (Mélon, 2020). Knowledge derived from sustainable supply chain management and SSCM frameworks may be applicable to the creation of international procurement strategies in the food industry in a number of different ways, including the adoption of circular Economy approaches. Producing items and packaging that are readily recyclable or compostable is one way for companies to reduce the amount of trash they generate and the negative impact they have on the environment. For instance, food manufacturers and the companies that supply them may work together to develop biodegradable and recyclable packaging made from biopolymers and other renewable resources. This has the potential to improve the efficiency of the supply chain while also reducing the amount of garbage made out of plastic by the food industry.

Fashion Industry

The global fashion supply chain includes a broad variety of entities, including but not limited to retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and designers. The garment business has a variety of negative effects on both the environment and society, including emissions of carbon dioxide, use of water, and working conditions, to name just a few. In the fashion industry, the evolution of global procurement strategies may be informed by the lessons learnt from green development and SSCM frameworks(Osuizugbo and Adenuga, 2022). One way that these lessons may influence the evolution of global procurement strategies is via the use of sustainable sourcing techniques. By forming partnerships with suppliers who share its dedication to sustainability, the fashion industry may be able to improve its impact on the environment and society, as well as its standing in the eyes of the public. Sustainable materials like as organic cotton and recycled polyester are two examples of materials that fashion firms may be able to work with their suppliers to get(Da Costa and Da Motta, 2019). By using various social auditing techniques, providers may be checked to ensure that they are adhering to the appropriate labor and human rights norms. Knowledge derived from sustainable procurement and supply chain management frameworks may be applicable to the development of international procurement systems in the fashion industry in a number of different ways. One of these ways is via the adoption of circular Economy approaches. By using environmentally friendly materials and designs in their product packaging, companies may reduce the amount of damage they do to the natural world.

For instance, the fashion sector may work along with its suppliers to develop new types of recyclable and reusable materials, such as polyester and regenerated cellulose. Take-back programs might also be established to encourage people to give their gently worn clothing to charitable organizations. Frameworks for strategic sourcing and supply chain management provide useful data that may be used into the development of efficient international procurement strategies for food and clothes. If businesses meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly and circular economy practices, they may improve the environmental and social impacts of their operations, enhance their reputations, and attract customers who place a premium on sustainability (Manu et al., 2019). Despite the challenges that are inherent in the implementation of these practices, such as the complexity of supply networks and the cost of sustainable materials, the benefits of achieving sustainability in the supply chain are enormous, and they may assist businesses in achieving long-term success. This is the case despite the fact that achieving sustainability in the supply chain may help firms achieve success over the long term.

Fashion Industry in Development of International Procurement

The dedication of the fashion industry to environmentally responsible purchasing has the potential to affect the development of procurement strategy on a global scale in a few different ways: The garment sector may be able to realize cost savings via the use of sustainable procurement practices. These practices aim to cut waste while simultaneously improving efficiency across the supply chain(Leal Filho et al., 2019). Examples include industrial facilities that are more energy efficient, higher use of sustainable materials, and reduced amounts of unnecessary packaging. By lowering their costs, businesses have the potential to boost their earnings and improve their standing in the international market.

The use of sustainable procurement practices has the potential to improve the public’s perception of the fashion industry as a whole, in particular among the rising number of consumers who place a high level of importance on these issues. By committing to sustainable practices such as the sourcing of materials, the reduction of waste, and the welfare of workers, businesses have the opportunity to raise their public image and differentiate themselves from the competitors. In order to achieve success in the global market, one must first bring in a sizable customer base and then work to maintain the customers they already have(Martin-Ortega and Brien, 2019). Regulation-A number of countries have passed laws that make it obligatory for corporations to comply with certain ecological and social standards. By establishing sustainable procurement techniques that guarantee compliance with these standards, the fashion sector may be able to avoid difficulties with the law and with its reputation. This is particularly important for multi-national businesses because of the large variety of laws that exist in different countries. The use of ecological procurement practices by the fashion industry has the potential to lessen the impact of supply chain risks such as swings in consumer demand, fluctuations in the availability of raw materials, and the introduction of new regulations. Increasing the number of suppliers that a company works with and implementing environmentally responsible business practices are both effective ways for a company to reduce its exposure to risk and its reliance on a limited number of suppliers.

Collaboration and information sharing with the suppliers of raw materials are very necessary for environmentally responsible purchasing. It is possible to use a broad range of recycled materials, such as cotton, polyester, polyester, wool, cashmere, and plastic. Some of these materials may even be recycled many times (Ahmed et al., 2021). Brands could work together with the most recent version of the chemical limitations list in order to improve the safety of their products and work toward a future in which the fashion industry is risk-free. The eco-supplier update cycle provides assistance to procurement in the process of bringing about environmental improvements by using price incentives within such a framework of continual improvement as shown in the figure.

Continual improvement framework

The fashion industry and its suppliers might benefit from improved communication and cooperation if more sustainable buying strategies are used. By working together to improve the supply chain’s environmental friendliness, businesses may fortify their relationships with their vendors, so boosting both the effectiveness and the efficiency of their supply chains (Aysan et al., 2021). To achieve financial success in the global market, it is necessary to reduce expenses without lowering standards of quality or taking shortcuts in the innovation process. Sustainable procurement in the fashion industry produces significance for the establishment of a plan for international procurement by improving cost savings, credibility, compliance with legislation, risk reduction, and interaction with suppliers. Establishing protocols for sustainable sourcing is not without its challenges, but doing so might be beneficial to the long-term success of fashion companies on a worldwide scale.

In Brydges’ (2021) analysis of the circular Economy, the Swedish fashion industry serves as the primary research subject. The strategies and methods Swedish fashion companies have in place to reduce waste and promote a circular economy are the subject of this study. To get things rolling, the article provides an overview of the myriad of unfavorable effects that the fashion industry has on the surrounding environment. Because the traditional linear model of “take, manufacture, waste” cannot be maintained indefinitely, the author contends that it is imperative that we make the transition to a circular economy as soon as possible(Adjei‐Bamfo and Maloreh‐Nyamekye, 2019). A circular economy seeks to produce the least amount of waste possible while maximizing the use of available resources. The investigation includes both a quantitative survey of 65 companies as well as qualitative interviews with 20 Swedish fashion companies. The findings indicate that a significant number of Swedish fashion companies are using circular economy techniques, such as collecting and up cycling, product creation, and the use of environmentally friendly materials. However, the research also identifies a number of barriers to the implementation of circular economy practices. These include the high cost of putting sustainable practices into action, the difficulty of acquiring sustainable materials, and a general absence of understanding and comprehension of the concept of a circular economy.

In order to overcome these challenges and make the transition towards a more responsible and circular economy, the author concludes by making a plea for increased collaboration among the various stakeholders in the fashion industry. These stakeholders include governments, businesses, and individual consumers. The study conducted by Brydges provides a considerable insight into the tactics relating to the circular Economy that are currently being implemented by the Swedish fashion business (Hafsa et al., 2021). The study focuses on the ways whereby the circular Economy may help the fashion industry cut down on pollutants and waste, while also highlighting the challenges that need to be overcome. The findings of the research are applicable not just to the fashion business in Sweden but also to the fashion industry in other countries, despite the fact that the fashion industry as a whole is having trouble addressing environmental concerns and cutting down on waste.

Sustainability standards differ by area, nation, and sector, making uniform principles difficult to create. Uncertainty and inconsistency may hinder global sustainable procurement norms. Due to the complexity of global supply networks and the number of parties involved, sustainability issues are hard to spot and manage across the supply chain. Sustainable procurement is limited by supply network complexity and ethical considerations like forced labor and child labor(Yu et al., 2020). Many suppliers in poor countries lack the skills and equipment to meet sustainability standards, including environmental protection and labor rights. Cutting suppliers out of the supply chain may affect their company and make eco-friendly methods tougher to execute. Due to increasing costs, global sustainable procurement may be problematic for organizations. Due of expense, finding sustainable suppliers may be challenging as represented by the figure below;

Sustainable Suppliers

Section 5; Module Reflection and Key Area for Further Development

Because of this lesson, I now understand why it is so important to consider issues of sustainability as well as social responsibility while making decisions on my shopping. What I’ve come to realize is that sustainability is a critical issue for businesses to address since it may have an impact on a company’s bottom line, public image, and long-term performance (Ogunsanya et al., 2022). One of the most important things that I’ve learned from this meeting is how important it is to collaborate with suppliers and other stakeholders to integrate environmentally responsible business practices into the procurement process. My research has shown that procurement professionals play a crucial part in the process of bringing about sustainable change within their organizations. They do this by communicating the sustainability needs of their businesses to their suppliers, developing metrics to evaluate and track sustainability performance, and interacting with their suppliers.

I understand that the sustainable procurement of goods and services requires many various forms of competence, including leadership, analysis, negotiation, and project management. Procurement workers really need to have the ability to analyze data, see opportunities, and make decisions. In addition to this, they need to be able to implement changes that are sustainable inside their companies by using their leadership abilities, negotiating skills, and project management expertise. To be able to learn sustainable techniques for acquiring goods internationally, one has to have an in-depth awareness of various ideas related to sustainability as well as the skill to apply these concepts into purchasing operations. A sustainable transition in the fashion and food sectors demands in-depth experience in those disciplines, as well as the capacity to effectively communicate with and include all essential stakeholders in the process (Zaidi et al., 2019). In conclusion, achieving long-term success in procurement involves a diverse set of skills, including those in the areas of analysis, negotiation, project planning, and leadership. Metrics and reporting are crucial components in the process of monitoring and reporting on the progress made toward achieving sustainability in procurement. Procurement professionals need to have the abilities essential to be able to generate and implement sustainable procurement indicators, in addition to having expertise in the various formats for reporting on sustainability. A comprehensive knowledge of the industry norms and standards involved is necessary for sustainable procurement. Knowledge of organic and fair trade certificates is vital in the food sector, while knowledge of sustainable materials and manufacturing techniques is essential in the fashion industry.

During the whole of this module, an emphasis has been placed on how crucial technology and new product development are to achieving sustainable procurement. It has been brought to my attention that the use of cutting-edge technology like as blockchain and AI has the potential to boost supply chain visibility and accountability, both of which are essential components of environmentally responsible buying. Another thing that I’ve picked up on is the need of sustainability reporting and metrics for the purpose of monitoring the progress of sustainable procurement initiatives(Rusu, 2020). In a nutshell, the module has provided me with the knowledge and resources I need to support environmentally responsible purchasing practices in both my personal and professional life. As a procurement specialist, I am committed to promoting environmentally responsible purchasing methods inside my company. I do this by engaging in conversation with suppliers, elaborating on sustainability requirements, and using environmentally friendly metrics.

In addition, I would want to further my knowledge in this profession by taking part in pertinent conferences, establishing relationships with other procurement specialists, and enrolling in pertinent classes (Manta et al., 2022). A commitment to continuous learning, in my view, is required in order to stay current with the most recent advancements in sustainable procurement and the best practices currently in use. Because to the sustainable procurement module, I now have the confidence that I am equipped with the necessary skills and information to advocate for more environmentally responsible purchasing methods. The information that I have gained from this unit will assist me in developing both as a person and as an employee, and it will give me with the skills that I need to bring about change at my organization that will be sustainable.


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