Making the link between sustainable procurement and better business

Business in the Community Ireland has teamed up with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR) County Council and Econcertive to implement a new sustainability project that will support the greening of the supply chains of two DLR-based companies: Bank of Ireland and Amgen Technology Ireland.

Co-funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Enterprise scheme, this innovative alliance takes action at both ends of the supply chain to make the link between sustainable supply chains and better business. Working with the large companies, it aims to enhance the procurement policies and practices of both Bank of Ireland and Amgen by placing a greater emphasis on sustainability. Then, working from the bottom up, the project will review and report on the responsible and sustainable business practices of 12 small to medium-sized suppliers of the two businesses (under BITCI’s new initiative – Responsible Business for SMEs) and support them to improve resource efficiency through the three year €coMerit certification process.

As the world becomes more aware of the social and environmental costs of ‘business as usual’, companies that can demonstrate their sustainability credentials are winning competitive advantage in the marketplace. Irish Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are already well positioned to make the most of this shift in corporate culture, as they tend to take a responsible approach to doing business and will often have close community links. However, many SMEs don’t know how to translate these unique selling points into communications that make sense to their customers.

This project will help them do just that by conducting a comprehensive review of their sustainable and responsible business practices and communicating them in a sustainability report that can be shared with customers, investors, communities, authorities and employees. Through the €coMerit certification, SMEs will assess their water, waste and energy costs, finding cost-efficient ways to reduce them while also facilitating a greener approach to business. At the same time, this project will add momentum to the current shift in corporate culture towards sustainable procurement practices by monitoring suppliers’ sustainability, reviewing the existing supply chains of the two corporate participants in terms of sustainability and setting targets to improve this year on year.