Why not offer more insight into sustainability efforts?

6 June 2011
Lindsay Clark, international news editor, Supply ManagementIt’s become something of a trend when writing about sustainable procurement initiatives recently. A company will make grand claims about how sustainable and ethical they are in their supply chain. But when SM wants to tell readers the relevant detail on how the grand plan will work, the same company is unable to (or chooses not to) give an interview - despite repeated requests over several months. I have run up against this problem several times since the beginning of the year. It always makes me curious. Why go to the trouble of a fanfare launch, and then not offer details? The information one gets in press releases is often scant. If the objective is to demonstrate to shareholders and the public that ethics, environment and social responsibility take their place in the purchasing agenda, then the more detail you can demonstrate, the more credible the story is. Not all companies are like this of course. I really enjoyed a chat with David Cowell, vice-president, procurement and supply chain at Coca-Cola Enterprises, who offered a wide-ranging insight into how the firm is innovating with suppliers to reduce carbon emissions. It seems such a small thing, which in the eyes of the media - and often the public too - can make a big difference.
Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Falmer, Brighton
£33,797 rising to £40,322 per annum
University of Sussex
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