Results from Procura’s Sustainable Procurement Pulse Survey 2021

A significant proportion of most organisations’ revenue is re-spent through its supply chain. On average, supply chain emissions are 5.5 times greater than the emissions from their direct operations.

As such, the procurement function is a key enabler for organisations who want to raise their environmental and ethical profile and executive leaders must utilise their procurement functions and engage their supply base if they want to become more sustainable.

Those who are doing this well are reaping the rewards of being viewed as sustainability leaders in their market, however, there are many barriers to achieving Sustainable Procurement.

Procura have undertaken a Sustainable Procurement Pulse Survey which tested the state of play of Procurement Leaders across a range of geographies and sectors. The results were insightful.

Sustainability is in vogue … no surprise there

Sustainability is clearly in vogue and there is a clear link between sustainable procurement, brand and overall value creation. Interestingly, whereas previously cost reduction had been the prime focus of more than 90% of procurement leaders, it is now only 47% with 32% now saying the driving sustainability is their number one focus.

But very little action … and a lot of obstacles

However, whilst the high focus on ESG may not come as a surprise, the most significant results show a lack of action and, of concern, 97% of organisations said they are facing obstacles to Sustainable Procurement. These include difficulty of measuring impacts, lack of knowledge and, very simply, not knowing where to focus their efforts.

Everyone is agreed, it is time for action.

There are some key areas of insight that can be drawn from the Pulse Survey and a number of practical recommendations.

Download a full copy of the Insights and Recommendations here.



In summary, we make 12 Recommendations for making Sustainable Procurement real:


There is still a lack of knowledge – Clear, actionable and pragmatic advice is needed

#1: Get support from internal stakeholders and external partners

#2:  Develop your knowledge, policies and processes using the ISO 20400 framework

#3: Use external expertise to provide clarity of direction


measuring icon INSIGHT 2:

Measurement is difficult – but What gets measured, gets managed

#4: Put KPI’s related to sustainability into supplier contracts

#5: Use Digital Solutions to support Sustainable Procurement

#6: Don’t rely on supplier sustainability ratings alone

#7:  Don’t reinvent the wheel, use existing standards to hold suppliers to account



Lack of focus on where to start – Target for maximum impact

#8: Focus attention on the most material sustainability issues

#9: Focus on the highest impact spend areas



Time for action – Stop talking, start doing

#10: Don’t get stuck in paralysis by analysis

#11: Select the most impactful target project, and do it!

#12:  Once you have delivered the first one.. shout about it (and get on with the next!)


Download a full copy of the Insights and Recommendations:


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