6 April 2010 | Helen Gilbert
Accenture boosted its total procurement spend with more diverse vendors last year to develop a network of suppliers including minority- and women-owned firms.
Purchasing with diverse suppliers rose in the 2008-09 tax year from 14.6 per cent to 15.8 per cent, according to Accenture's 2008-09 Corporate Citizenship Report.
The management consulting firm established its supplier diversity programme – aimed at developing and expanding relationships with minority-owned, women-owned, small and growing businesses – in 2002.
The report also outlined how Accenture had expanded its diverse supplier development programme, introduced in 2006. This initiative seeks to apply the skills and expertise of the company’s suppliers and people to deliver economic sustainability and encourage success among the organisations involved. The programme now includes 16 minority- and women-owned enterprises, as well as businesses owned by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Accenture also introduced a Supplier Standards of Conduct guide in December 2009. The standards incorporate the principles of Accenture’s core values, its code of business ethics and the United Nations Global Compact, which now form part of the firm’s sourcing and contracting process.
Elsewhere, Imperial Tobacco published its 2009 Corporate Responsibility Review. The company said its focus had been on looking at its procurement activities to further improve supplier practices. It also wanted to include cigar tobacco suppliers to cigar manufacturer Altadis USA (which is part of Imperial) in its main supplier engagement and assessment programmes.