Late last year I reported on Avendra’s hiring of a new sustainability manager, Hamzah Abu-Ragheb, and Avendra’s requirement that all of its suppliers have a sustainability policy in place by the end of 2016. For those of you not familiar with Avendra, it is a procurement services provider formed in 2001 with the support of companies such as Marriott, Hyatt, Fairmont and Club Corp. Marriott (managed hotels) is Avendra’s largest customer. The bulk of what is purchased through Avendra is F&B related. I just heard from Hamzah and he informed me that Avendra just posted a document on its website that outlines its sustainability goals and provides an update on its progress. I read through the document, entitled “Sustainability Journey and Goals (2012-2016),” and according to Avendra, 93.5 percent of supplier contracts now have a sustainability policy on file. Those that do not yet have a sustainability policy on file are mainly smaller companies and/or companies in the Mexico/Caribbean area. Avendra is working on outreach and education to support these suppliers in developing a policy.
According to the document, Avendra is requiring that supplier sustainability policies include four elements. The four elements demonstrate a supplier’s commitment to being a part of the sustainability journey, while also supporting Avendra’s goals around accountability and transparency. First, the policy must be written. Second, the policy must include a vision statement around sustainability. Third, the policy must be signed by/endorsed by the CEO, owner, president or most senior manager. Fourth, the policy must be shared with Avendra and customers.
In order to help its customers meet its sustainability objectives and mitigate sustainability related risks within the supply chain, Avendra is also focused on driving sustainability issues forward within key categories/products. The categories include: 1. Personal Paper; 2. Sourcing Locally Produced Foods; 3. LED Lighting; 4. Foodservice Disposables; 5. Seafood; 6. Packaging; 7. Uniforms; 8. Textiles; 9. Palm Oil; and 10. Cleaning Chemicals.
In the document, each of the product categories is addressed. For example, regarding sustainable seafood, Avendra now considers the sustainable offering of a supplier during the RFP process. Alos, Avendra will continue to work with existing suppliers to increase certified sustainable seafood offerings.
Avendra says it will continue to provide updates on its progress in the months and years ahead.