Fertin Pharma works with more than 600 suppliers globally. Søren Laursen is Head of Procurement and responsible for developing and implementing the sustainable sourcing strategy of Fertin Pharma. As part of our ‘Proud to be supporting healthy living’ series, providing insights into the life and work in our company, we asked Søren to tell more about the work with sustainable procurement.
Søren, you have worked in procurement at Fertin Pharma for six years. How do you see the development towards sustainable procurement?
As a global growth company, our supply chain becomes more and more complex. It is important that our sustainable business principles extend upstream and downstream in our value chain to fulfil the expectations of our customers and the world around us.
What is sustainable procurement and what value does it provide to the customers?
Traditionally, procurement has focused more on cost savings not just in our company, but in general. Now, the trend moves towards a more holistic approach, where sustainability plays a key role and organizations realize that Procurement needs a broader focus than just savings, in order to reach its full value adding potential. For our customers, it is important that they can trust us to fulfil their requirements to high-quality and sustainable products all the way through the value chain.
How do you work with sustainable procurement?
It is an ongoing process and we still have work to do. So far, we have issued the Fertin Pharma Code of Conduct, which our suppliers and subcontractors need to adopt and comply with. Our Code of Conduct is founded on the UN Global Compact principles, and we use it as a motivational tool to improve our ways of working in our cooperation with suppliers.
What are the challenges in implementing sustainable procurement?
Operating a global supply chain that is socially and environmentally responsible is a huge task. We have to use a step change approach to ensure that our Supplier Code of Conduct is implemented everywhere. We started in 2018 by selecting key suppliers and they have now signed off. Next step is to move on into other segments of our supplier portfolio. In parallel, we work to establish an audit system in close cooperation with an external partner. In the longer term, we hope to integrate the Supplier Code of Conduct audit into our existing audit programs.
What are the opportunities in sustainable procurement?
It is a fantastic opportunity for the procurement function to move closer to our customers, suppliers and to become an integrated part of business and product development. It provides us with the opportunity to move beyond Excel sheets and focus more on people, relationships, culture, getting an even deeper understanding of the nature of our suppliers’ business. This leads ultimately to sustainable results for the benefit of our customers, suppliers and Fertin adding a new dimension to our work in the procurement team.