UWE helps develop new sustainable procurement index

Issue date: 25 April 2013

UWE Bristol has teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) and PRGX UK Ltd to develop a groundbreaking supplier sustainable procurement index.

The CIPS Sustainability Index http://www.cips-sustainabilityindex.com/ is an innovative online sustainable procurement index which has just been launched in London. It is a joint initiative of PRGX UK, CIPS and UWE.

Founded on academic research, input from a panel of industry leaders and best practice guidance from CIPS, the sustainability index provides buyers with an independent rating of their supplier's sustainability credentials.

Professor Andrew Douglas, of UWE's Bristol Business School, led the research and gave the keynote speech at the Sustainable Purchasing and Supply Summit where the index was launched.

He said, “Understanding your suppliers' sustainability credentials has gained increasing importance because buyers seek to understand how poor performance in this area may create a risk for their organisation. Currently suppliers receive questionnaires from many of their current and prospective customers. This creates inefficiencies and duplication of effort as many of the questions are standard across an industry.

“The CIPS Sustainability Index (CSI) asks the common set of economic, environmental and social questions that buyers need information on, reviews those questions and provides a scoring that's independent, easy to understand and in a way that brings huge efficiencies to the whole supply chain.

“The reaction has been outstanding with several large buying organisations already registered within a few days of its launch.”

To ensure the index is fit for purpose in a world where supply chains are becoming longer and more integrated than ever, the CSI has been designed in conjunction with over 20 key and diverse industry mentors, across central government, major commercial organisations and the education sector.

The index will help streamline buyers' internal processes and replace lengthy questionnaires with tailored and relevant questions. It extends its scope beyond purely environmental sustainability, including economic and social dimensions, and offering a detailed, rounded view of suppliers. With current focus on accountability and traceability of goods, it is even more important to ensure that suppliers are fully aligned to sustainability objectives.

David Noble, CEO of CIPS said “We are delighted to add PRGX to our partnership base. We believe that their expertise and experience in the procurement arena will be of great benefit to our members and procurement industry alike. This is an excellent product to add to our portfolio supporting good procurement and supply practice in all sectors.”

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