Environmental and social responsibility are essential elements to consider for all products a company procures. Issues related to human and labor rights and environmental health exist in many supply chains. Avendra realizes this and is taking steps towards understanding and mitigating such risks in the supply chains we manage for our customers. With a network of more than 800 suppliers, Avendra is involved in contracting for many products and services for our customers. With so many different value chains involved, we wanted our work in this space to be directed appropriately so we could focus on those commodities that are material to our business and where we can have the greatest impact.
What has Avendra done?
In 2016, Avendra collaborated with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a global environmental NGO with expertise in sustainability issues, to begin investigating supply risks for Avendra’s sourcing. WWF has been using the Supply Risk Analysis approach since 2009 to assess environmental and social issues and direct companies towards appropriate strategies. In collaboration with Avendra, WWF analyzed spend and procurement data to determine which specific commodities to include in the analysis. This involved investigating which raw materials were present in different products in Avendra’s supply chain, primarily focusing on agricultural raw materials.
The analysis considered likely country of origin for raw materials, as well as eight environmental and social risk indicators: impact on biodiversity, land conversion, greenhouse gas emissions, social risk, child labor, forced labor, water risk, and relevance to Avendra (reflecting importance for Avendra’s business and ability to drive change).
We used the above analysis, as well as feedback from our internal experts and customers, to put together our new corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. The new strategy is broken into three pillars, with each pillar having a different goal for us to address. A primary focus of our strategy is the top five commodity groups that we identified as requiring targeted attention and effort. Under this strategy, we will focus on these five categories to drive sustainability within each. The commodity groups allow for work in various commodities; for example, under agricultural crops, Avendra is working on both produce and palm oil in 2017. The approach for each category and commodity will be different, but we are committed to driving sustainability in all of them within the next five years.
How will Avendra customers benefit?
As Avendra increases its understanding of the risks and impacts in its sourcing, customers can leverage the work done by Avendra to understand their own sourcing risks.
Customers can be assured that Avendra is focusing on the commodities of highest impact within our supply chain. Customers can also leverage the work done by Avendra to understand the priority areas within their supply chain when considering their unique sustainability initiatives and goals. The projects Avendra undertakes to drive sustainability and responsibility in the different commodities can also be leveraged by customers – such as the sustainable food service disposables report and the sustainable seafood report, which are already available.
Learn more about what Avendra is doing in regards to corporate social responsibility and sustainability here.