Joining the Dots With Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability

When implementing a sustainable procurement policy, stakeholder resistance is one of the largest obstacles. A study from Hacket Group found that almost 42% of respondents cited organisational resistance as their biggest barrier to procurement transformation. 

team in business meeting

If your organisation is looking to transition towards sustainable procurement, you'll need to gain buy-in from your key stakeholders. But how do you improve engagement and get everyone on the same page? Keep reading to find out.


Step 1 - Prepare Your Business Plan

First, you'll need to put a sustainability action plan in place. This plan will highlight why your organisation needs to move towards a sustainable procurement policy and how you plan to get there.

To do this, spend some time researching sustainable procurement and its impact on other organisations. It's also essential to assess your organisation's current sustainability and pinpoint areas for improvement.

When setting sustainability goals, keep your different stakeholders in mind. How will the transition benefit everyone involved? Some examples of stakeholder benefits include:

  • For your organisation: Sustainability continues to grow in importance. By embracing sustainable procurement, you're more likely to improve your reputation across your industry.
  • For your employees: As your organisation's reputation improves, you're more likely to continue winning big contracts and working on exciting projects. This will motivate staff and enhance job satisfaction.
  • For your suppliers: Your reputation will improve and so will your suppliers'. Your suppliers should also flourish by actively getting involved in sustainable initiatives.


Step 2 - Start Engaging With Your Stakeholders

Once you've done your research, outlined your goals and identified key stakeholders, it's time to start engaging with them and proving the importance of transitioning towards sustainable procurement. 

Although some of your key stakeholders might be external, you'll likely need to improve engagement with senior members of your organisation too. People can be resistant to change. If an operation is already working, why do you need to take risks?

This is why it's crucial to do your research and build a solid action plan that proves the worth of sustainable procurement. Yes — the initial investment might be high, employees might have to try new ways of working, you might need to find new suppliers to work with. But in the long run, your organisation will feel the benefits.


Step 3 - Respond to Your Stakeholders

Moving towards a more sustainable procurement model isn't something that will happen overnight. You'll face various challenges. Some of these might include:

  • Limited time and resources: You're already working to a busy schedule and prioritising sustainability isn't always easy.
  • Higher costs: You'll need the budget to implement a sustainable procurement policy.
  • Challenges accessing technology: Automated solutions and other types of technology can support your sustainability mission. However, to succeed, employees must know how to use it properly.

This is why it's crucial to evaluate and respond to feedback from your stakeholders. Take the time to address any questions and concerns. Use this feedback to make improvements and regularly try out different sustainable initiatives.

Including stakeholder feedback within your decision-making process is crucial for improving engagement. Remember, it should always be a two-way conversation.

We understand that improving stakeholder engagement and creating a sustainable procurement policy can be a challenge — but we're here to help. Join us on November 30th at St Paul's to learn about the future of sustainability and strategies you can implement at your organisation.


It’s Time to Define Your Sustainable Procurement Strategy

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