ISM Encourages Involvement with Communities Across the Supply Chain

FOR RELEASE: December 15, 2004

CONTACT: Jean McHale
  ISM Public Relations
  800/888-6276 ext. 3143
Survey of supply professionals shows varying degrees of socially responsible business practices that add value to communities

TEMPE, Ariz., December 15, 2004 — As part of its mission to lead supply management, Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) encourages supply professionals to leverage their key organizational roles to lead socially responsible behaviors that benefit the workplace and, by extension, the individual, the organization and the community.

During 2004, ISM announced Principles of Social Responsibility, the first of their kind for the supply management profession. The principles are a framework of definitions and behaviors, tailored to supply management, in the areas of Community, Diversity, Environment, Ethics, Financial Responsibility, Human Rights and Safety. The principle, Community, encourages behaviors that provide support and add value to the community.

In order to establish a baseline for current socially responsible behavior, ISM's Committee on Social Responsibility conducted the first-ever survey of supply professionals. The summary report, Social Responsibility and the Supply Management Profession: A Baseline Study, revealed a considerable number of supply professionals are involved in supporting socially responsible behavior. However, considerable room exists for improvement, based on the percent of respondents that indicated little or no involvement across the seven principles.

A total of 1,163 organizations responded to an e-mail survey sent to 11,119 addresses, for a response rate of 12.5 percent. Out of 1,047 total responses to a statement related to the principle, Community, 273 respondents, or 26 percent, indicated that "to no extent or almost no extent" do their organizations have volunteers supporting local charities. At the other end of the spectrum, 338 respondent, or 32 percent, said that their organizations have volunteers supporting local charities to a good, great, or very great extent. Supply professionals surveyed represent organizations in industries across manufacturing, service and government/education sectors.

ISM encourages supply professionals in all companies, in all geographic locations, to review the Principles document and use the accompanying audit document to consider what specific programs and activities are in place in their organization that add value to the community on a local, regional, national, or global level. ISM's Principles of Social Responsibility Web page at includes links to downloadable versions of the Principles of Social Responsibility and the Baseline Study, as well as links to Web sites relating to each of the principles and a list of companies supporting the initiative.

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