One area that many individuals tend not to lump in with supply chain sustainability initiatives is supplier diversity. But supplier diversity, which still falls under the same CSR umbrella as other sustainability programs in some companies — at least from a corporate initiatives perspective — is very much a component of this area. And when it comes to doing it for the right commercial reasons (e.g., driving profit, reducing supply risk, improving margins, etc.) it can make tremendous sense to pay far more than just lip service to it.
Consider how in P&G’s latest sustainability report, the company notes that “supplier diversity is a fundamental business strategy … [and] in 2009, P&G spent more than $2 billion with minority-and women-owned businesses”. Which is far more than just a rounding error in spend, even for such a large organization. But what types of programs has P&G invested in? And why does P&G care beyond just wanting to not deviate from the multicultural lemming philosophy that seems to underlie far too many supplier diversity programs today?