Sourcing responsibly, can it be done?


Sustainable Procurement Specialist, LEO Pharma & Co-Chair of the PSCI Human Rights & Labor Topic Team, Copenhagen, Denmark


Supply chains are increasingly complex, particularly within the pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chain. Incoming legislation around supply chain transparency, such as the German Supply Chain Act, and the growing interest in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) has led to new expectations for companies to understand their suppliers and the ESG risks of their purchasing practices. These new expectations are known as responsible procurement and seek to build ESG risks and impacts into standard procurement processes. The goal of responsible procurement is to improve the ethical, environmental, and social performance of suppliers and ultimately mitigate any negative impacts found within the supply chain. Only through a collaborative and industry-wide approach can responsible procurement create positive impact at scale and through the continued engagement of procurement professionals and support for the wider supply chain.

Our supply chains are getting more complex, and recent disruptions show how fragile they can also be. On top of that, the lack of transparency increasingly causes human rights violations and contributes to climate change. This has an effect on the legislative landscape that aims at tackling these issues. The EU Deforestation Directive, EU Human Rights and Environment Due Diligence Directive, German Supply Chain Act, and US Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, just to name a few, will in the coming years influence where we buy and how we buy, by demanding more transparency from the supply chains of global brands. With the new trends emerging, there is a need for new organizational functions to support the work ahead. This is a particularly complicated issue for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, which has large, complex, and truly global supply chains that span geographies, countries, and legislative frameworks.


Responsible procurement is a term rapidly spreading into the corporate floors, tackling the sustainability agenda ...