Procurement can drive CSR and innovation at no extra cost, according to the head buyer at Australia Post.
Sandra Nagels, head of procurement, business services and people at Australia Post, said: “Procurement can drive corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation in the business. CSR shouldn’t cost you more, it might require a little more time and effort but it won’t cost you.”
Speaking at the CIPS Australasia Conference in Sydney, Nagels said: “We know that CSR is something that our customers want. The millennial market has the biggest buying power of any generation and they are more likely than any other age group to be concerned about serious environmental issues.”
Australia Post employs more than 36,000 people across an integrated delivery, logistics, retail and e-commerce network. With a diverse workforce of 136 nationalities they also have 5,295 mail contractors, which are independently run small businesses.
Afterwards when asked what guided Australia Post’s CSR strategy, Nagels said they championed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to inform and guide their strategy.
This led them to building a sustainability framework that covered four key pillars: people, customers, community and environment.
Nagels said that a key CSR project at Australia Post, recyclable uniforms with predestined outlets, started as a supply side corporate social responsibility initiative that subsequently delivered material business benefits.
Outside of the sustainability framework, Australia Post included projects under their core capabilities, assets and partnerships within their CSR strategy. Nagels said that with all commercial work you do, you should ask if it has an environmental impact, does it have CSR?
When asked what the future held for CSR and procurement at Australia Post she said it was all about the people.
“You need a team with passion and the right capabilities,” she said. “This will help in the future when we keep asking how we can keep doing things better, how can we have more transparency in supply chains and be more diverse and inclusive.”
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