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ISM Principles of Sustainability and Social Responsibility

ISM Sustainability News:

  • The Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM), Deloitte Consulting, the Corporate Responsibility Officer Association (CROA), and the American Society for Quality (ASQ) jointly conducted a research project into management practices that create success in sustainable value chain efforts. We strove to conduct research that was unique for two reasons: Its focus on success and its extension beyond the supply chain to the value chain (both are further explained below). Given that a large and growing number of organizations are interested in making their value chains more sustainable, we strove to provide actionable information that would help them succeed. The survey is available at the following link:

  • Regina Edwards, Director Global Procurement, Capital One talks about the mission, objectives and current activities of the Institute for Supply Management™'s Diversity Committee. Click here to view the video.

ISM's Sustainability and Social Responsibility Mission

It is part of the mission of ISM to foster and drive sustainability and social responsibility excellence across the supply chain through the development and communication of principles and the sharing of tools, information and best practices.

The definitions of sustainability and social responsibility follow.

Sustainability is the ability to meet current needs without hindering the ability to meet the needs of future generations in terms of economic, environmental and social challenges.

Social Responsibility is a framework of measurable corporate policies and procedures and resulting behavior designed to benefit the workplace and, by extension, the individual, the organization and the community in the following areas: Community, diversity and inclusiveness-supply base, diversity and inclusiveness-workforce, environment, ethics, financial responsibility, human rights, health and safety, and sustainability.

ISM Sustainability and Social Responsibility Objectives

  1. Reinforce that supply professionals fulfill a front-line role to lead, drive and influence sustainability and social responsibility initiatives within the organization and through the supply chain.
  2. Commit resources to support sustainability and social responsibility practices and education.
  3. Increase supply management professionals' awareness of sustainability and social responsibility.
  4. Champion the business case for sustainability and social responsibility.
  5. Advocate that sustainability and social responsibility initiatives are about more than short-term financial decisions.
  6. Educate the supply chain community and others on sustainability and social responsibility subjects.
  7. Encourage supply professionals to embed relevant sustainability and social responsibility language in internal strategic sourcing policies and procedures and throughout supplier documents to foster commitment throughout the strategic sourcing process and into the supply base.
  8. Reinforce the value of personal commitment and contributions including how they positively impact sustainability and social responsibility initiatives and outcomes.
  9. Collaborate and share strategies, policies, procedures, best practices and other relevant material related to sustainability and social responsibility both internally and with suppliers.
  10. Promote the adoption of these principles throughout the supply chain.
  11. Raise the strategic value of supply management through the promotion of sustainability and social responsibility initiatives and results.

The Organization's Sustainability and Social Responsibility Roles and Responsibilities

Best-in-class organizations in sustainability and social responsibility incorporate specific and measurable practices across the supply chain. They will:

  1. Support sustainability and social responsibility principles and initiatives.
  2. Commit resources to support of sustainability and social responsibility principles, practices and education.
  3. Build and integrate programs throughout the organization and cascade them throughout the supply chain.
  4. Engage and involve executive management to ensure sustainability and social responsibility initiatives are integral to the culture and decision-making of the organization.
  5. Ensure the sharing of strategies, policies, procedures, best practices and other relevant material to assist organizations working to improve sustainability and social responsibility behavior internally and with suppliers.
  6. Encourage building and integrating a program throughout the organization and the supply chain.
  7. Make enlightened business decisions that often move beyond the "letter of the law."

Click here to download the ISM Principles of Sustainability and Social Responsibility With A Guide to Adoption and Implementation (PDF - 2000KB).