Austin, Texas skyline

Sustainability Summit at SAP Ariba Live: Small Spend Adjustments Have Massive Impact

I can’t think of a more fitting way to kick off SAP Ariba Live in 2019 than with this year’s inaugural Sustainability Summit.

Taking place on day one of SAP Ariba Live, which is being held April 1-3 in Austin, Texas, the summit will bring together preeminent leaders and procurement professionals who are passionate about changing the world for the better.

“We’re doing this because we can,” said Pat McCarthy, senior vice president and general manager at SAP Ariba. “Three trillion dollars of transactions go through Ariba Network every year. We have 3.8 million companies on our platform. With the vastness of the business network, we absolutely can help our customers make sustainability actionable.”

Solving the Problem Globally

As McCarthy sees it, the Sustainability Summit is the logical culmination of the ongoing progress at SAP Ariba around procurement with purpose. Recent achievements include the company’s partnership with the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, and supply chain risk management solutions that give companies actionable information about their supply chains to support sustainability.

“Every organization can have massive sustainable impact with just a small portion of their spend,” said McCarthy.  “Companies can support diversity by redirecting a relatively tiny percentage of spend toward suppliers in under-privileged parts of the world. They can root out forced labor and boost fair labor practices when they have a deeper understanding of their entire supply chain. Doing good is the future of business.”

How to Develop Sustainable Action Plans

The agenda is designed to empower procurement leaders, as well as professionals involved in ethical spending and supply chain management, chief risk officers, CFOs, and, of course, anyone involved with sustainability initiatives. Here’s a snapshot of some of the inspiring keynotes, hands-on learning sessions, and thought-provoking roundtables:

  • Learn the importance of public-private partnerships: Sue Allchurch, chief of outreach and engagement at the United Nations Global Compact, will share the UN Sustainable Development Goals and spotlight companies already making progress on sustainability.
  • Turn purpose into bottom-line impact: Justin Dillon, CEO and founder of Made in a Free World, and Tania Seary, CEO and founder of Procurious, will discuss how companies can make the case for purpose.
  • Map out next steps: Led by Mari-Lou Dupont, senior manager for Supply Chain Sustainability at the UN Global Compact, participants in this how-to workshop will brainstorm ideas to achieve their organization’s purpose and get a first look at the UN Global Compact Decent Work in Global Supply Chains toolkit.
  • Apply technology to daily business practices: Experts will share how the latest innovations provide companies with transparent, sustainable supply chains. With Padmini Ranganthan, global vice president Products and Innovation for Supplier Risk at SAP Ariba, Daniel Perry, director of global alliances at Ecovadis, and Sondra Scott, president of Verisk Maplecroft.

Building a True Movement

Anyone involved in sustainability has discovered that it’s a unique blend of logic and emotion. This is exactly what McCarthy plans to foster at the Sustainability Summit.

“Customers want to know that your raw materials are sourced sustainably and without slave labor. They want to buy products from companies that not only value diversity and inclusion, but live and breathe that commitment every day,” said McCarthy. “People who attend this summit will walk away with a clearer idea of how they’re personally invested, what their colleagues have done, and the motivation and ability to take sustainability to the next level in their company.”


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