Interview with SupplyShift's Carin Ivarsson & Anders Quitzau from Sustainia

Technology is a must for responsible procurement

Copenhagen, March 2022

Sustainable procurement starts with a sustainable supply chain. It is therefore necessary to be aware of the harms or benefits your suppliers are causing for people and the planet. ,,More than 70 percent of the average of companies’ greenhouse gasses are coming from their supply chains’’, says partner in Sustainia, Anders Quitzau. By unveiling every layer of the chain you will get a better understanding of risk issues and how to make progress on sustainability issues. Though collecting all this information might be a struggle. ,,Sending out emails, spreadsheets or manually made forms is a heavy and tedious task’’, explains Anders. But nowadays it is possible to automate data collection and present the data in an easily accessible and actionable format with technology.

One of those platforms to automate your supplier assessment is SupplyShift’s cloud-based platform. It offers an effective way to analyze the supply chain and the supplier networks, implement internal procurement policies and manage improvement activities. The mission is clear: this platform is built with the intention to deliver a service that betters the whole society in the long term. And SupplyShift is already getting its feet wet in the Nordics, collaborating in the pharma and the retail sector. It is still in its early days here in Nordics, but: ,,There is a strong interest and opportunity to replicate what SupplyShift has accomplished in other regions’’, ensures Carin Ivarsson, partner business development lead of SupplyShift.

Anders Quitzau & Carin Ivarsson

A fact that both Sustainia and SupplyShift highly value is that with the help of technology you get the transparency in ESG performance you were not able to get before. ,,Lots of new purposeful solutions have been created with help from technology’’, says Carin. For example on workers’ voices: ,,Now you can go straight to the worker and get an unbiased input. Technology is an enabler for bringing new ways of doing good in channels that did not exist before.’’ She also refers to the current situation in Ukraine: ,,People are able to help from miles away by sending money through booking an Airbnb or by buying digital art’’.

Don’t blindly trust the eco-label

In the past it was mostly the consumer who pressured companies to report on ESG. ,,Nowadays the pressure comes from many more areas’’, Carin explains. ,,From the consumer, but also from investors, stakeholders and employees – not to mention regulation.’’ Today it is even more important to improve the transparency of the supply chain that leads to your procurement. But supply chains are complex and consist of multiple layers, you need to go all the way down to find out how sustainable they really are and to learn what to improve.

”It is not always easy to see if a supplier and its products are sustainable”

There are over 450 labels covering just environmental sustainability. And many of those are business-driven, so you may question the validity. ,,It is not always easy to see if a supplier and its products are sustainable when you do not collect and prove the information yourself’’, elaborates Anders. When using SupplyShift’s platform you can literally have a look at every layer of the supply chain. Now all the information is collected in one place and can be shared – by the supplier – with whomever they choose to share it with. This minimizes the ‘survey fatigue’, which is one of the main challenges in getting your suppliers to submit the information that you are asking for.

Improve the supply chain

Retail, fashion, food & beverage, pharma, high tech & electronics, beauty & personal care, service; just a sum up of industries who may benefit from the partnership between SupplyShift and Sustainia. Together we help buyers on their journey to a sustainable procurement. But both buyers and suppliers use the platform to optimize their businesses. ,,Sustainia has a deep knowledge of ESG-strategy’’, explains Anders. ,,We can help define concrete actions to support suppliers in a certain action area, for example on how to set up a governance structure, define a Supplier Code of Conduct, and improve diversity.’’  A core element of working with SupplyShift is that it helps to do your tasks in a more efficient way. It will increase the consistency, completeness, validity, and accuracy of your supplier and product data. 

”We help define concrete actions to support suppliers in a certain action area”

The collaboration truly benefits also the smaller supplier, who gets actionable insights into their own performance as a supplier, through benchmarking to their peer group, and detailed automated assessment scores. This creates the opportunity for the supplier to improve their sustainability and become one of the preferred suppliers. 

And that is exactly what this is all about – creating capabilities through actionable insights: ,,As long as a buyer or a supplier has learned where to start improving we are happy. Because then we know a long term change is in the making’’, concludes Carin.

Learn how this partnership can help you. And stay tuned for the upcoming webinar on how SupplyShift is used for calculating your scope 3 emissions.

Continue the conversation

Anders Quitzau

Associate Partner