5 November 2010 | Lindsay Clark
Purchasers can become the “go-to” people for solving environmental
problems in their businesses because of their broad visibility of the supply
Nils Clement, Starbucks procurement director, EMEA, told SM networking between buyers can also
help share innovative ideas to tackle sustainability issues.
Since procurement does the contracting for waste management
and energy buying, for example, the function could draw on a wide range of
suppliers with in-depth knowledge of solving environmental problems.
“We are developing more as subject matter experts. I don’t
think as a retail organisation we would have all the knowledge in hand, but
there is a large supply base out there,” said Clement,
who spoke at the Procurecon 2010 conference in Brussels earlier this week.
As such, buyers could help businesses develop and act on
green strategies in their companies, he said. “Procurement drives a significant
part of that because we have visibility of the innovations that are going on in
that area and that’s more than just the latest packaging – it’s the whole
chain, including how we dispose of our waste. Procurement adds value because we
know what’s going on in that world. It’s a whole new piece that was not
considered to be under procurement’s remit.”
Starbucks runs a global sustainability initiative called Shared Planet
and Clement said procurement would take an increasing role in this project in
the future. “It’s more than what we do in our own systems, it’s how we help our
vendors to get to the point where they understand the [environmental] impact