Procurement: the sustainable model proves a winner

Published on Friday, 14 June 2019

Until very recently, procurement for companies simply meant managing purchases to ensure the best possible margins. Today at Enel, however, procurement has taken on a much broader meaning to reflect the Group’s vision, and now embraces a sustainable supply chain, the circular economy and digital innovation.  

This new model was described by the Enel Group’s Head of Global Procurement Salvatore Bernabei as being “one of the pivotal tools Enel is using to pursue its strategic goals of becoming a genuinely data-driven company and a leader in the transition to a sustainable energy model.”  

This represents a paradigm shift in terms of supplier relations, which are no longer based on contracts or exclusivity agreements, but on a shared vision, values and goals. With this in mind, Enel’s sustainability-oriented approach now also extends to suppliers and the various companies orbiting our business. 

The value of the new procurement model has been acknowledged both in Italy and internationally with various prizes and awards in recent months.  

On May 16, more than 800 sector professionals representing around 150 companies from 49 countries gathered in London for the World Procurement Awards. Enel was the only company from the utility sector to make it to the finals, thanks to our “Procurement Transformation” project.

At an event at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan on 23 May, we also won some of the sector’s most prestigious plaudits, the 2019 Procurement Awards in two categories: Best Negotiation Practices (with the “Should Cost” project) and Competence Development (the “Procurement School” project). The jury, which was made up of 10 CPOs (Chief Procurement Officers) from some of Italy’s leading companies (from Bracco to Ferrero, De Agostini and Lavazza), also decided to give us the runner-up position in two other categories - Innovation in Procurement and Ethical and Sustainable Procurement - for, respectively, our “Digital Procurement” and “Sustainable Procurement” projects. Not only that, our “Digital Procurement project also won the Purchasing People award by public vote.

At the 2019 CPO Summit, which took place in Milan on 3 and 4 June, we took the “Best Purchasing Practice” segment in all three categories of the CPO Master Award in which we were nominees. These were namely: Change Management (again with the “Procurement Transformation” project), Sustainability and Green Procurement (with the “Sustainability from a Procurement Perspective” project) and Digitalisation (with the “Digital Procurement” project). The event, which is organised by Business International to foster excellence in the Italian procurement world, is now in its 11th edition. This year it introduced a new award acknowledging the important role played by purchasing and the supply chain in improving the social and economic context in which companies operate.  

These plaudits confirm Enel’s leadership in the sustainable procurement sector and attest to the effectiveness of what Salvatore Bernabei described as “the commitment we share with business and suppliers to innovate and redesign all the procurement processes on a global level in order to maximise value for stakeholders.”

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