Many companies are currently undergoing a recommitment to spend-related initiatives like diversity and sustainability. Being intentional about making every dollar ‘count’ in some specific way requires careful up-front planning, executive support, and accountability.
Kaiser Permanente describes their program as “impact spending.” Impact spending is how they use their corporate purchasing power “to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable economies” by making decisions that are environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially equitable. By outlining these specific goals, they have been able to achieve results that are both measurable and meaningful. As Mary Beth Lang, Chief Supply Chain & Procurement Officer at Kaiser Permanente told Philip Ideson, “We think it’s very important to continue to focus on not only what we do, but be to very intentional about making every dollar that we spend count.”
Working with diverse suppliers
They add different dimensions to their contracting process that are outside of traditional terms and conditions, including looking out into their supply chain to see what they can achieve through their partners. Their security vendor also has a community impact goal for their staff. They have purposefully included specific groups: women, retired military, and other affinity groups, through which they continue to have a community impact focus.
Fostering a healthy environment
They also take active steps to make sure they have a healthy staff and a healthy work environment. They ensure a living wage, and invest in building a positive work environment. They emphasize the importance of that value with suppliers, looking for partners that build similar infrastructures into the fabric of the way that they conduct business.
For more information on How Procurement Can Impact The Health Of Our Local Communities, listen to this podcast interview with Mary Beth Lang.