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GEC Public Private Webinar Series: Sustainable Procurement through the Public and Private Sector Lens -- Sector Roles and Expectations

  • Published on November 6, 2018
The GEC Public Private webinar series considered sustainable procurement through the lens of the public and private sectors. In the third installment of the series panelists from the public and private sector discussed ways in which each sector engages with the marketplace, who they engage with, and how they engage. Developing a better understanding of peer perspectives in sustainable procurement can help practitioners to to apply learned lessons to procurement activities in their own organization, improve implementation efforts, and can inspire new thinking.
The GEC Public Private webinar series considered sustainable procurement through the lens of the public and private sectors. The third installment of the series featured the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Portland and the Director of Supply Chain Development, Inclusion and Sustainability for Citi. Panelists discussed questions such as: • What do your external stakeholders expect from you at a macro and micro level? • How do you engage with your supplier communities? • What is the evolving nature of your roles and relationships? Some key takeaways from the event included: • Agreement that the marketplace looks to the public sector to use its collective buying power to move the bar without causing harm but while also meeting basic procurement needs. • A perspective that the marketplace expects the private sector to be accountable, communicate, and demonstrate awareness about the environment. • Public sector panelist noted need to develop strong relations with local vendors, but also participates in a variety of external groups such as social purchasing initiatives like Sweatfree Consortium, and participation in standard setting committees. Panelist noted that doing so was a form of training and education for participating staff. • Private sector panelist noted inclusion in global initiatives such as the UN Global Compact and participation in promoting the SDGs. • Private sector panelist noted that Citi maintains strong relations with the supply chain and maintain a variety of tools to evaluate the sustainability of the vendors they engage with. • Panelists both agreed there is a difference in focus: Private sector tends to focus on supplier, while the public tends to focus on commodity. This was due in part to public sector emphasis on inclusion, and Private sector desire to associate its brand with other positive brands.

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