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Human nature dictates that we must sit on a precipice of near-total destruction until change happens; let’s do nothing for the remaining 364.

Change is expensive, disruptive, and unwelcome by those who fear having to think and act differently.  Long-term strategies don’t win prizes, they don’t serve a purpose in a world so needy for instant gratification.  Neither do they keep you in office; the tenure of “important people” tends to be in the region of 3-5 years fuelled by a few instant changes to show the board potential before things are dictated to by Capex and Opex cuts. 

I’ve always been impressed by the Japanese culture of lifetime strategies. Yes, there are short and medium-term plans but they are underpinned by a 50 to 100-year strategy as a minimum which shows careful thought and planning about the future. 

I was slightly disturbed by the number of emails received this morning offering products and services at a 30% discount as an Earth Day promotion. Earth Day isn’t an opportunity to profiteer from potential misery. Earth Day is meant to be a thought-provoking remembrance of the past and awareness of the future.  However “awareness” rarely promotes action, “awareness” is passive and static “FYI the planet is dying” and BCC the world. 

Every decision and action we make has a potential impact on the future of civilization. Ask yourself and question carefully, whether a product or the supplier has a root and branch approach to ESG or whether it’s purely a revenue generative exercise for PR.  If there is dishonesty in the messaging there is dishonesty in the morals.  Procurement should not simply be about price, dates, and delivery, it's about the “how” things are executed and what are the implications on the supply chain footprint.

So, what do we do? Saying there is no silver bullet is a pointless armchair statement. “Electric cars are worse for the planet than ICE cars.”, so let’s give up and still offer 30% off a product to celebrate Earth Day. 

Adding 10%-15% to the cost of goods and services in order to provide a sustainable solution should be welcomed in a B2B world. Full global ESG regulation is still in its infancy with leaders' main thoughts being around “how does this impact my ability to get re-elected?”.

Every one of us sits within the supply chain process. So what can we do?

  1. Challenge and choose a supplier on their internal ESG actions to demonstrate their moral capability.
  2. Sell the ROI internally of paying more for products and services which support sustainability.
  3. Drive your ESG goals bottom-up and not top-down from the requirements of the Regulatory or AGM Report.
  4. Understand the high-impact changes that can be made within your organization and those influencing it.

Let’s make changes so we don’t need to passively celebrate Earth Day once a year. 

If you would like to hear more about how your organization can change please contact Richard Pepper.

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ESG