What is Inclusive Procurement?

Inclusive procurement, is a positive business process which supports the use of minority-owned, and historically underutilised groups such as Women; LGBTQ+; people with disabilities, led and owned businesses as suppliers.

The term ‘inclusive procurement’ was coined by British non-profit organisation MSDUK, who defined the term so that it could discuss how underrepresentation of smaller businesses not only has negative impact on commercial development, as it stifles outreach programmes which could lead to specialist knowledge (which is invaluable), but also has a knock on effect on flexibility, which is necessary if we want further advancements on products and services to grow.

Simply put, the greater diversity in a supplier base means an organisation is much more likely to be a truthful reflection of the customers it serves and the community it is situated in. Businesses that don’t take an inclusive approach to procurement could end up with a supply chain that cannot handle problem solving, presenting: inefficiencies, high costs, reactionary responses, lacking finesse and entrepreneurial spirit.
When talking about inclusive procurement this includes assessing and evaluating our spend with our approved suppliers (not just new suppliers), Diversity and Inclusion training, achieving an externally verified standard such as BSI’s {British Standards Institution] ISO 27001, data reporting and policy compliance.

There are a plethora of approaches companies can undertake to ensure they are an inclusive supply chain, the following is just a sample of them
• Supplier Tiering
• Clear Vision & Strategy
• Sharing Good Practice
• Training with employees and clients
• Buy in from Senior Management
• Behavioral Assessment of Supplier

At risual our goal is to make an impact that matters. Achieving this requires that we display and embed a business conscience that shows we genuinely care about social issues that not just affect our employees, but everyone in the community. Issues can range from anything such as the environment, local community projects (such as food banks and homeless shelters), and people. Our supplier decisions are important both to minimising negative outcomes and supporting positive ones. Our ability to cut carbon emissions and waste, support quality education and learning, reduce inequalities across gender, disabilities, sexualities, and race, begins with the decisions we make about which suppliers we engage with.

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