Supplier inclusion lies at the heart of our procurement strategy. As a leading global organization with more than 600,000 people, Accenture has the purchasing power and multi-billion-dollar supply chain to cultivate a culture of responsible buying on a global scale.

Coworkers mingling

One of our key objectives as a responsible business is to build supply chains that are more sustainable and more inclusive—and that means helping suppliers to grow their representation and influence in their own markets to realize collective, shared success. Our procurement approach—which we call “Procurement Plus”—shapes how we work with suppliers and encourages a mindset of responsible buying, inside and outside Accenture.

In a new case study, we explain how Procurement Plus is supported by our Supplier Inclusion & Sustainability Program, which reaches 21 countries, to drive a more inclusive marketplace. By welcoming diverse businesses into our supply chain, we gain access to innovative, responsive and cost-competitive solutions for our clients.

Collaboration counts

We continue to explore new ways and opportunities to promote inclusive procurement practices and partner with national and local nonprofit supplier diversity membership organizations—we hold 10 board seats out of 16 organizations where we’re corporate members.

Three of our most successful flagship programs include:

  1. Diverse Supplier Development Program (DSDP) is a formal 18-month mentoring program  that matches Accenture executive mentors with diverse suppliers to help them grow their businesses. We’ve built a small- and medium-enterprise (SME) digital ecosystem platform that supports SMEs through the entire DSDP cycle. Through a new offering, DSDP Sustainability, we help diverse suppliers design and build their own responsible business models.
  2. Black Founders Development Program is a recent initiative through which the company invests in and supports black technology start-up founders and entrepreneurs. Led by Accenture Ventures, the program seeks to help black business owners and leaders advance and grow their technology businesses through greater, more direct access to venture capital, corporate mentorship and strategic connections with Accenture business partners and clients.
  3. Environmental Sustainability Program encourages our local and regional procurement teams to discuss greener procurement during their regular supplier meetings. By engaging our suppliers on the benefits of environmental sustainability, we are increasing the number of participants that monitor, measure and report their environmental impact—in 2020, 57% of suppliers disclosed their targets.

Making a difference

We believe these more inclusive procurement practices help us to create long-term value for our clients and our communities. They also mean we can be more agile, disruptive and ahead of the curve.

Here’s what we’ve learned along the way:

  • Diversity boosts value. Treating supplier inclusion and sustainability goals as an essential part of the Accenture procurement strategy brings value beyond traditional supply chain cost savings—from boosting competitiveness and innovation to building consumer loyalty, attracting talent and improving society.
  • Supplier inclusion is far reaching. Through our global program, we monitor our diverse spend for insights and trends. Our Diverse Supplier Development Program represents a strategic sourcing strategy for Accenture and our clients, as well as a way to strengthen communities by creating more businesses, jobs and economic growth.
  • Success opens the door to others. Award-winning recognition for our Global Supplier Inclusion & Sustainability Program in recent years has resulted in our active involvement in the design and development of a number of our suppliers’ own diversity programs. Similarly, as Accenture has made strides on our sustainability journey, companies are contacting us for our thought leadership on the subject.

Going forward, I’m excited about doing even more around how we obtain and use data, how we help suppliers improve their environmental, social and governance performance and how we innovate with suppliers. Read the case study for more on our responsible procurement journey.

Nedra Dickson

Managing Director – Corporate Services & Sustainability, Global Supplier Inclusion & Sustainability

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