Bureau Veritas advises Retailers to lead on Sustainable Procurement as demand grows

Sustainability expert Bureau Veritas is advising retailers to ensure their supply chain is leading the way on sustainability, as record numbers of consumers turn away from firms with a negative environmental and social impact.

It comes as retail giant Zara announced last month that all of its clothing will be sustainable by 20251. According to a recent study2, more consumers than ever before are looking for ways to shop that will help the planet. This includes buying from firms with demonstrable green credentials, particularly in their purchasing and procurement practices, says Bureau Veritas, which regularly works with firms to improve their sustainability performance.

Filippo Cerini, Senior Sustainability Consultant at Bureau Veritas, said: “Almost half of consumers under 24 have admitted to avoiding a product or service in the past year due to its harmful impact on the environment3.

“And it’s not just consumers, investors and stakeholders alike are also driving a strong green agenda as sustainable business practices have been shown to offer significant tax breaks and boost share price. As such, the reality is that businesses can no longer operate an opaque supply chain when it comes to purchasing and procurement.

“Rather, to thrive in this age of ‘ethical commerce’ – the UK ethical goods market is now worth £83bn– companies need to implement and demonstrate a sustainable approach to their supply chain which aims to conserve natural resources, reduce carbon emissions and eradicate immoral activity.”

Unsurprisingly, given the ongoing spotlight on plastic waste and fast fashion, the food and clothing sectors have, in recent years, seen mounting scrutiny of their supply chains, with the market for sustainable clothes up almost 20% since 20174. Therefore, says Bureau Veritas, the importance of sustainable schemes such as ISO 20400, the Ethical Trading Initiative and Supplier Ethical Data Exchange cannot be overlooked.

Filippo adds: “Although this sustainable approach can, of course, mean extra investment and resource, it can also pay dividends in the long run – helping businesses to increase profitability, elevate their brand image and gain a competitive advantage. However, in today’s competitive world, it will be those companies who go the extra mile to lead the way in sustainable procurement which will truly reap the benefits.”

Bureau Veritas has experience and technical expertise in helping organisations improve their sustainability performance. This includes verifying claims of zero waste to landfill, carbon neutrality, and supporting organisations plan their sustainability strategy as well as guidance to achieve accurate data collection for analysis and assurance.

For further information, call 0345 600 1828 or visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk

1 – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49022453

2, 3, 4 – https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/research-hub/uk-ethical-consumer-markets-report

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