Title RESPECT - For more Responsible Purchasing Practices
Project Number 2011-1-CH1-LEO05-00044
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Towards more responsible purchasing practices within global supply chains.
The RESPECT project looked at innovative methodology and tools to help key stakeholders drive change in the way purchasing practices are operated in supply chains. RESPECT explored and tested an approach inspired by the “open innovation” concept to facilitate collaboration among buyers, suppliers and consumers.
The initiative was the joint effort of 8 partners from 5 European countries representing different fields of expertise.
The project collected and built vocational training content and best practices through activities in two pilot countries - Turkey and Bulgaria - and further tailored them for the apparel and footwear industries at the global level.
RESPECT put special emphasis on the increasing role of suppliers and empowers them through training and capacity building.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is nowadays a widely recognized concept with well-known theoretical basis. However, there are still many barriers to its implementation. The issue of purchasing practices perfectly illustrates the tension that might reside between different stakeholders. Buyers (brands purchasing operators) and Suppliers (manufacturing facilities) do not always agree on the best approach to do business together that would benefit both parties and would have the best impact on workers and sustainable development. Buyers very often remain the actor that imposes their practices on the Suppliers who don’t have any other choice than accept the proposed rules.
Innovative approaches to ensure an efficient deployment of CSR are then necessary for a better involvement of the different stakeholders. The vocational training approach of the RESPECT project meant to change this pattern, generate a positive attitude of the Buyers, empowers the suppliers and raises awareness amongst consumers to reach more responsible practices.
The objective of the project was to transfer existing innovative training materials and community building experiences to a new industry target group (apparel and footwear manufacturing) under a particular function (purchasing operators). The initial training offer (training materials, community building experience and support to introduce change behaviour) has been enriched by good practices and a series of input coming from different stakeholders, through innovative collaborative channels and by the enlargement of a practitioners community to support training recognition and dissemination. The RESPECT project tested this approach in two target countries - Bulgaria and Turkey - where the needs for more practical vocational training on CSR are particularly strong.
The chosen consortium of partners fully covered the needs to fulfill the project's objectives. They represented different stakeholder groups and are recognized as significant actors in the field of CSR.
The outcomes of the RESPECT project are multiple. Mixing formal, non formal and informal training techniques, we offered different levels of training for different target groups: Suppliers (mostly merchandiser), and Buyers (purchasing operators). The training content also takes into account the EQF tool to facilitate future ECVET approaches related to job qualifications dealing with purchasing functions and sustainable development practices. We also propose a new standardized model of stakeholder collaboration that is aimed to be further replicate in other countries and other types of industry.
Open and distance learning
• Research material
Quantitative/qualitative field surveys among the purchasing community (buyers, suppliers and consumers); good practices’ case studies for suppliers and buyers.
• Vocational training content for suppliers (self-diagnosis tools, communication & negotiation skills) and buyers
• Communications kit
- Web platform www.responsible-practices.eu
- Social Media www.facebook.com/RespPractice
• RESPECT e-book