Procurement departments in many top US firms still lack sustainability strategies and processes, according to a survey.

Some 58 per cent of firms in the survey, conducted by consultancy AT Kearney and the Institute for Supply Management, have a sustainability strategy at the corporate level.

Yet only 38 per cent have adopted a formal strategy for the supply management department. Half of the companies in the survey provide written guidelines to help staff address sustainability questions and 41 per cent provide training on sustainability management. It also shows that half of companies will choose not to continue working with suppliers that do not meet sustainability criteria. Additional information for the survey reveals that five years ago it was rare for companies to deselect suppliers because the partner failed to be "green and ethical".

The survey predicts the number of procurement departments with robust supplier management for sustainability will increase significantly over the next year. It also estimates that the number of companies rewarding suppliers' sustainability practices will increase by 50 per cent and almost two-thirds of firms will either engage in improving sustainability practice with their suppliers or introduce a robust sustainability measurement system for major suppliers. The True and Profitable Sustainability Management survey questioned 25 North American Fortune 100 companies.


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