On January 31st the annual EcoVadis Client Committee took place in the suggestive location of la Maison de l’Amerique Latine, in Paris. Around 120 attendees, representatives of 53 EcoVadis client companies coming from Europe and United States joined to spend a day dedicated to Sustainable Supply Chain and Procurement topics.
Morning session was dedicated to vision and future development of EcoVadis and Sustainability in general. A special mention for John Elkington‘s intervention: the Founder & Executive Chairman of Volans, as well as member of the EcoVadis scientific committee, illustrated the key points of his recent book “Zeronauts”, starting from the consideration that “we cannot continue to sustain our consumerist dreams, and hope to live till 100 years old, while the population hits nine billion”, and postulating three scenarios for the future: “Breakdown”, “Change-As-Usual” and “Breakthrough”, that is the direction to pursue (“the way pilots and technologists broke through the sound barrier”). Therefore the Zeronauts consist of “a new breed of innovator, determined to drive problems such as carbon, waste, toxics, and poverty to zero”. Elkington explained which will be three sustainable supply chain trends in 2013: a stricter regulatory pressure (especially versus corruption and conflict minerals), industry vertical initiatives (i.e. EcoVadis’ TfS initiative), and supplier performance continuous monitoring.
Following John Elkington’s introduction two roundtables took place, around the state-of- the-art of Sustainable Procurement, with the participation of SP Directors from companies already strongly engaged in CSR such as Schneider Electric, SNCF, Johnson & Johnson, Bic, Pernod Ricard and Société Générale. A particular agreement emerged around the need for a better awareness and involvement within the organisation on a corporate level, driving top management decisions towards a global SP strategy.
The morning session ended with EcoVadis founders Pierre-Francois Thaler and Frederic Trinel outlining the most recent EcoVadis developments and changes in its vision and strategy. The focus has been addressed to the goals achieved over the past 5 years, in terms of customers and suppliers growth rate, strategic partnerships (such as the recent one with Carbon Disclosure Project), and solution improvements. As a matter of fact, the market has recently experienced an increasing demand for Sustainability Ratings, requiring new tools to drive better engagement of suppliers and lasting performance improvements. For this reason EcoVadis introduced an exciting new roadmap for 2013-2014, moving from simple sustainability ratings to a more comprehensive platform offering innovative monitoring services.
After the lunch break, EcoVadis clients participated to different workshops, where they had the chance to exchange on their challenges and their best practices in implementing Sustainable Procurement in their company.
A satisfaction survey conducted over the attendees after the event showed an extremely positive feedback, declaring once again the strong relationship existing between EcoVadis and its clients: an important result indeed for our company that is going to celebrate its 6th birthday in 2013. For this reason our warmest thanks go to all the people, clients and speakers, who took part in our Committee, and we are looking forward to welcome them next year.