This study, published together with the ORSE organisation, analyses the external communication of 125 Asian, American and European companies from the Global 500. First of its kind, this study reveals the major trends regarding Sustainable Procurement reporting. By analysing for the first time the external communication of 125 of the world’s largest companies, this study aims to identify the major trends in terms of Sustainable Procurement policies. Sustainable Procurement reporting has now become standard practice: 95% of companies mention Sustainable Procurement in their Sustainable Development or CSR reports. It represents an important aspect of Sustainable Development policies:
64% of companies present their Sustainable Procurement approach as a priority objective of their CSR policy.
• 51% of companies have set themselves quantitative Sustainable Procurement targets. • 74% of companies state that they assess the CSR performance of their suppliers, through questionnaires or audits (respectively 59% and 55% of companies surveyed).
• 55% of companies claim to support their suppliers in improvement programmes, therefore adopting a proactive and positive attitude towards their business partners.
• 59% of companies publish information about their Sustainable Procurement performance indicators, although the nature of the data published varies from one company to another.
• There is still much room for improvement, particularly in terms of the lack of standardisation for elements such as the calculation of the ‘number of suppliers’, which makes it difficult to compare Sustainable Procurement practices.
• Companies still do not communicate enough about their internal organisation (governance, motivation/training of buyers). Less than 1% of the companies communicate about their buyers’ individual CSR targets. Even if reporting is only indicative of the true practices of companies, it should be noted that, in 2010, communication about Sustainable Procurement has become extremely structured and quantified.
In view of this increasing level of transparency, it is becoming harder for companies to content themselves with merely symbolic actions in terms of Sustainable Procurement. The ‘best practices’ identified in this study could encourage companies to continue to ‘raise the standard’ in the years ahead.