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Reshape Recap: CPOs Unplugged, DEI, Sustainability, and the Top Line

Learn how Amazon Business is enabling strides in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts across multiple industries

 At the Amazon Business Reshape event, Amazon Business Vice President and Head of Strategic and Public Sectors, Aster Angagaw, joined panelists from Marriott International, DonorsChoose and Francesca's for CPOs Unplugged: DEI, Sustainability, and the Top Line.

The conversation highlighted procurement leaders making strides in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts. “These companies are proactive rather than reactive, which we can all agree is a major goal given today's ever-changing markets,” Angagaw said. “ESG excellence help businesses to stay ahead of change in government regulation and social movements.”

According to a recent study by Amazon Business, sustainability was a top priority for two-thirds of business buyers, while responsible buying relates to three out of the four most important procurement priorities.

Responsible buying is now a chief responsibility of procurement. Beyond purchasing responsibilities, procurement teams and organizations are finding ways to advance social responsibility, support diverse communities, and cultivate more sustainable supply chains. Highlighting a recent Mckinsey report, Angagaw noted, “Top ESG performers are more efficient and produce less waste, which drives down operational cost by five to ten percent.” 

Amazon Business can help organizations track and monitor progress on responsible purchasing goals and guide buyers throughout the organization toward more sustainable products and sellers who hold specific certifications, where buyers can easily identify and buy preferred products that contribute to organizational purchasing goals.

This organization-wide approach was pivotal for Stéphane Masson, Senior Vice President of Global Procurement at Marriott International. “When you want to implement an ESG program globally, you have to try to find a universal way to deploy,” he said.

Geoff Hill, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Procurement and Supply Chain at DonorsChoose — the world's largest crowdfunding platform focused on public schools — shared how Amazon Business is allowing local businesses to support their surrounding communities.

Hill explained how a school teacher might identify a need for their classroom —a set of books, a microscope, or something more expensive, such as a 3D printer. “They come to our sites, they shop through one of our vendors,” Hill said. “Amazon [Business] is of course, one of our vendors.”

Steve Harwell, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Operations, Supply Chain & Logistics at Francesca's — a national chain of boutiques — explained that the challenge of buying is not always limited to purchasing pens and paper, but managing receipts and administrative tasks. His team needed to find a solution that made procurement cost effective and operationally easy, while accounting for a number of related complexities and still meeting sustainability goals. “Diversity is really core to our business,” Harwell said. “We also want to align with our ESG objectives and goals and make sure that we're focusing on sustainable and diverse vendors.”

"One thing that I'm really happy about with Amazon Business is that it's really streamlined some of the administrative burden for us, as well as streamlined the ordering process."

— Steve Harwell, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Operations, , Supply Chain & Logistics (Francesca's)

Amazon Business embraces the Amazon-wide commitment to sustainability and seeks to enable businesses around the world to reduce their environmental impact and meet sustainability goals.

Amazon Business Responsible Purchasing Solution provides a comprehensive selection of certified sellers and products, smart decisioning guidance, and proactive reporting to operationalize and scale responsible purchasing programs. Additionally, Amazon Business supports organization-wide responsible purchasing with Guided Buying (a Business Prime feature), where buyers use out-of-the-box Buying Policies to direct teams to products and sellers that can help satisfy organizational purchasing goals. Lastly, Amazon Business offers a comprehensive selection where buyers can discover alternative ESG products from certified diverse and local businesses, and more sustainable products across business-relevant categories.

Watch the session on-demand or contact us for more information about supporting sustainability with Amazon Business.

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