Balanced Sustainability — Reinforcing the Social Pillar
People, planet, profit. The three pillars of sustainability are a common discussion amongst business leaders in 2021. But when the words diversity or inclusion come about, sustainability generally isn’t the first synonym that comes to mind. However, in the corporate world, this is beginning to change.
While cost efficient, eco-friendly intentions are almost always desirable from a business perspective, a well-composed groundwork for sustainability to thrive upon requires significant social considerations.
Efficio has been helping clients to reinforce all areas of sustainability. Within the client’s internal teams, operational methods, and supplier relationships, there are several opportunities to jumpstart Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives and integrate an equally balanced social pillar.
Measuring Diversity & Inclusion
As procurement consultants, understanding the client’s current level of D&I commences with two questions:
- Who makes up the client’s workplace? And – more parallel with procurement objectives –
- Who makes up the client’s supplier base?
Within the workplace …
A company’s own employees can be one of the most useful tools in establishing a more socially sustainable workplace. While some employees may be uncomfortable with the idea of reporting personal information (such as race, culture, sexual orientation, military status, opinion), there are ways to achieve positive outcomes. When leadership is clear with its intention to build a more inclusive workplace, ensures anonymity, and acknowledges that a survey is not the be-all and end-all answer but instead a tool to jumpstart positive change, we have noticed a more positive response rate.
If executed with proper consideration, the survey’s outcome is an extremely valuable tool for success. Need gaps become apparent, hiring goals can be established, funds can be allocated towards events and trainings … the possibilities are limitless to reinforce the more overlooked people pillar of sustainability within one’s own four walls.
Within the supplier base …
While diversity certifications are public information, data-aggregators like Supplier.io (formerly known as CVM) provide quick, accurate diversity certification information for suppliers that are 51% or more owned by minorities, women, veterans, members of the LGBTQ community, and many more underrepresented groups.
Partnered with Efficio on several recent projects, Supplier.io provides both client-specific supplier diversity statuses and diversity statuses of non-affiliated suppliers by location, industry, type of certification, and more.
If the client’s supply base is not covered in Supplier.io’s database, a simple survey or request for information (RFI) is utilised instead. Each incumbent and, if desired, prospective supplier can send in their diversity certification information directly through our platform e-Flow.
No matter the collection method, diversity data introduces procurement teams to the information necessary to draw conclusions about the diversity level of the client’s current supply base, and perhaps-never-before-known diverse candidates to direct requests for proposals (RFPs). Once collection is complete, we can pair spend analytics with the diversity statuses of suppliers to create a diversity dashboard. This tool permits the client to see beyond the dollars exchanged—who are the people behind supplier names? Who might we need to work with more?
Future of sustainability at Efficio
Efficio is prepared to give clients the tools they need to improve D&I both inside and outside the workplace. Efficio’s eFlow dashboards can be updated quarterly, allowing access to the information clients need to make fully sustainable choices for their organisations – and paving the way to doing quality business with people from all walks of life.
Whilst reinforcing the people pillar of sustainability in the industry, we must not forget to uphold the standards and continue to progress in the other two areas of cost-efficiency and environmental friendliness.
People, planet, profit, with every move.