ITM suggests those selecting a supplier look at how these main pillars are addressed within the company. How does the company care for and support its employees? Does it have health and safety measures in place, offer good working conditions and training? Is it involved in philanthropic initiatives, is this limited to donations or does it encourage employee’s engagement in these? What environmental initiates does it promote? Does it measure its carbon footprint, make continuous improvements in the efficiencies of operations, minimise production of waste, and support renewable energy? Lastly, is the organisation profitable? If the organisation is not financially stable then it is not sustainable.
There are many companies who offer sustainability accreditation's in order to set standards in this area. These help to create transparency and evaluate providers so that a buyer does not need to.
Major providers of sustainability reporting guidance include:
• GRI (GRI's Sustainability Reporting Standards)
• The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises)
• The United Nations Global Compact (the Communication on Progress)
• The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO 26000, International Standard for social responsibility)
• EcoVadis (Sustainability ratings & Scorecards)
If there is no accreditation, most major companies produce a sustainability report about the economic, environmental and social impacts caused by its everyday activities. A sustainability report also presents the organisation's values and governance model and demonstrates the link between its strategy and its commitment to a sustainable global economy.
Suggested strategies for the ITM buyer?
TM recommends you look for a recognised accreditation or request a company’s sustainability report and make sure it addresses the three main pillars.
Sustainability is most often defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. It has three main pillars: economic, environmental, and social. These three pillars are informally referred to as people, planet and profits. All three, in no particular order, are balanced so that one doesn’t destroy another.