Sustainable global purchasing: assessing the relative impact of sustainability goals and programs
by Robin Von Haartman; Lars Bengtsson
International Journal of Business Performance Management (IJBPM), Vol. 19, No. 2, 2018

Abstract: Global purchasing and offshoring are established strategic means for lowering costs and improving competitiveness. However, firms purchasing globally have been accused of committing, supporting or just turning a blind eye to a number of environmental and social misdeeds, such as disregard for environmental regulation, poor working conditions and corruption. The purpose of this paper is to provide quantitative evidence, based on a large-scale survey, on how global purchasing actually impacts sustainability performance. The study finds no significant differences in sustainability performance between firms purchasing globally and firms purchasing regionally. However, firms purchasing globally are significantly more likely to fulfil their sustainability goals compared to firms purchasing regionally. Moreover, only firms that purchase globally show a significant impact of sustainability programs on supplier sustainability compliance. Global purchasing can thus aid in social and environmental responsibility if it is accompanied by ambitious sustainability targets and sustainability programs.

Online publication date: Thu, 11-Jan-2018

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