Procurement With Purpose

June 21, 2019

Held annually on Summer Solstice, the International Day of Purpose encourages us all to reflect, realign, and recommit to making personal and business decisions through a purpose-driven lens.

On this day, as we think about purpose from a business perspective, what is the connection between procurement and purpose? Where do they intersect? And what can we do differently in our decisions to support purpose-driven ideas that generate positive social impact, transparent supply chains, and buying/selling products that are responsibly sourced? Let’s look a little closer at these questions to gain a broader perspective on procurement and its intersection with purpose. 

Procurement with purpose is becoming increasingly important to many companies. Companies are looking to use their third-party spend in ways that incorporate socially-responsible objectives and that reflect company values. Now more than ever, consumers are demanding that brands and retailers pay attention to and contribute to a socially-impactful footprint.  


Ethical production and sourcing is one way of utilizing procurement in a more purposefully conscious business. We have worked with many big brands and retailers that are extending their ethical sourcing footprints in a number of socially-responsible ways that reinforce their values and also extend to the customers. Corporations have incredible purchasing power and, in turn, an opportunity to make a real impact by simply tweaking their procurement process and harnessing their purchasing power for good.

Today, companies have to work harder than ever to stand out. Showing that they are reinforcing good in the world is part of that differentiation and it is becoming increasingly important for companies to communicate their values clearly, both to their customers and their employees. But that’s not all. Organizations that are intentional about transparent business practices and socially-responsible sourcing are 82% more likely to attract new customers. It's a feel good practice, but it also results in a better bottom line.


Another extension of putting budgets to work for good is with custom product. Custom goods are a $21 billion dollar market in the US alone. That’s a huge industry that can leverage purchasing power and be a force for good.  Traditionally, swag and custom products were fairly meaningless, with companies throwing their logo on a pen or a t-shirt with little thought about the actual product the logo was going on. The custom industry is evolving, however. Today, companies can procure swag that is ethical and meaningful. Whether it’s sourcing green products for a company with an environmental mission or helping a company that wants to support women funnel their money to women-based businesses, there are choices that allow for these options to be responsibly sourced and further aligned with business values.


Procuring on purpose can have exponential returns for generating positive change, but also enables a better bottom line. Brands, retailers, and corporations all have the opportunity to harness procurement purchasing power for good.

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