13 May 2014 | Paul Snell
The best way for procurement professionals in the Middle East to drive sustainability is to develop the capacity of the supply base in the region.
This was the view of Ahmed Domyati, senior expertise and improvement specialist at petrochemical firm EQUATE, speaking on a panel discussion at the CIPS Middle East Conference in Dubai yesterday.
Domyati said the best way to raise the profile of procurement was to demonstrate to the company how much value it can generate for both the organisation and wider society.
"There is no better way to tackle sustainability than to find opportunities to encourage local investors to start manufacturing and building. This will not only drive the security of the supply chain, it will drive the well-being of society and business opportunities," he said.
He added developing a manufacturing base in the region was necessary as many buyers import the majority of their supplies. But it is not something that can be achieved alone.
"The work needs to be done on a collaborative level, to start discussing how to put the regulations in place, how to provide incentives for local investors to start putting their money and building up the manufacturing. Enough of being importers, it's time to start being exporters."
When asked by a member of the audience where was the best place to start with sustainable purchasing, panellist Ahmed Al Rayyes, senior director, commercial procurement at du, advised drawing up a policy and building up a database of sustainable suppliers.
Domyati, whose team last year won a CIPS Middle East Award for Best Contribution to Corporate Responsibility, said working with suppliers, and incentivising them, was crucial.
"Show them what is in it for them," he urged. "What is the value they can drive in being a responsible, sustainable supplier to you? The main responsibility for procurement professionals is educating them to create a longer term relationship and more sustainable supply chain."