Chapter 14 The role of purchasing in the diffusion of sustainability in supply networks
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Sustainability risks typically emanate from suppliers in the extended supply chain. The challenge is therefore to extend or diffuse sustainability into entire multi-tier supply networks. In this chapter we explore a set of strategies and practices that companies deploy to diffuse sustainability into their supply networks. We also explore the role of purchasing and supply management (PSM) in this process. We report on five pilot cases from the Italian luxury fashion and food industries, uncovering how companies in these sectors apply the diffusion strategies and the role of PSM. Our findings reveal marked differences in terms of sustainability maturity levels: in some companies the right intentions are in place but not necessarily followed by adequate actions. Our cases show how PSM can play a critical role in sustainability diffusion often in collaboration with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Sustainability functions.

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