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27 Oct 2023
by Samantha Barrett

Jenni Wilson on how sustainability is changing benefits procurement

Sustainability should be part of the procurement process but there is also room to work with vendors wishing to change

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Speaking on the How business sustainability goals are changing benefits REBA webinar on 10 May 2023, Jenni Wilson, former group sales director at Simplyhealth, shared her approach to sustainable procurement.

Understanding a potential supplier’s approach to sustainability is increasingly important but Wilson warned against demanding too much detail. “There are 50 million things we could be asking, but start by thinking about your own non-negotiables and what’s meaningful to you,” she said.

For Simplyhealth, a supplier’s approach to the health and wellbeing of its stakeholders is a key consideration, but Wilson said she also explores areas such as financial sustainability and policies in areas such as justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Transparency is another key area that organisations can consider when selecting suppliers. “Find out what they publicly report,” Wilson said. “You might need to do a bit of research behind the scenes as well as going on what you’re told.”

Where an organisation doesn’t meet the sustainability criteria, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Wilson said that where an organisation wants to change, she’s open to working with them. “We actually try to encourage vendors to come on that journey. It’s better for business if they can be ticking the box for more customers.”


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