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NatWest has become the latest big name to adopt social procurement and create additional social and environmental value from existing supply chain spending.
Social procurement - specifically buying from social and environmental suppliers such as social enterprises - has become a procurement holy grail as large companies look to strengthen their ESG (environmental, social and governance) credentials while combating rising costs and supply chain risks. NatWest joins global brands like Unilever, Kier, Audi and SAP in driving initiatives to increase engagement of social and environmental suppliers across its business.
What is social procurement?
When businesses buy from social and environmental suppliers - suppliers who’s commercial offering is in service of a central mission to create positive social or environmental impact - they use their existing spending to create outcomes that benefit people and the planet.
A great example is Miss Macaroon, a supplier who has previously worked with NatWest. Miss Macaroon supply customizable, luxury macarons for corporate functions and gifts. Sales are integral to funding its specialist training programmes for long-term unemployed young people including those who have mental health issues, learning difficulties or are ex-offenders.
Good for business
The benefits of social procurement extend beyond just creating some good in the world, says Supply Change CEO Beth Pilgrim. “Businesses are increasingly motivated by the extra value that can be extracted from social procurement. Not only does it show strong initiative in addressing ESG considerations, which is attractive for customers, the workforce and investors, but procurement teams often find that social and environmental suppliers are competitive on price, quality and reliability” says Supply Change co-founder and CEO, Beth Pilgrim.
In the last decade, some of the world’s biggest corporate brands have made pledges to spend more with social and environmental suppliers. Some are now going further by embedding the necessary tools and practices within their organisations to ensure social procurement can be carried out in regular procurement processes.
Specialist social procurement tools
NatWest will have access to Supply Change’s Platform where they can find and connect with verified social and environmental suppliers. Supply Change will also provide spend analysis to identify opportunities in NatWest’s supply chain to switch to social and environmental suppliers.
Supply Change’s services have been designed to create the most impact from their social procurement activity as efficiently as possible, says Supply Change COO Aoise Keogan-Nooshabadi. “There’s been a wave of ambition to create a positive impact, but companies now need the right resources. Through Supply Change, buyers can access the tools and knowledge to make social procurement an effective part of their procurement processes.”
Choose your social procurement journey
Interested in getting more income and support for your social enterprise, B Corp or co-operative? Register interest in becoming a Supply Change Trusted Supplier