The Five Principles of Responsible PurchasingTM: Better BuyingTM Launches High-Level Principles for Brands and Retailers

The Better Buying Institute is launching a set of five high-level principles for responsible purchasing for brands and retailers to adopt and follow.

The Five Principles of Responsible PurchasingTM have been developed on the basis of  data provided by suppliers engaged with Better Buying’s ratings platform, surveys, and Supplier Roundtables over the last six years, and are rooted in resolving the day-to-day challenges they face dealing with poor buyer practices.

The Five Principles focus on five fundamental behaviors that underpin all responsible purchasing: Visibility; Stability; Time; Financials; and Shared Responsibility. The Principles are defined as follows.

  • Visibility: Provide enough information about your planned business for suppliers to act.
  • Stability: Give your suppliers steady and predictable business across the year.
  • Time: Provide enough time for suppliers to complete all processes in compliance to laws and relevant codes of conduct.
  • Financials: Use fair financial practices with suppliers.
  • Shared Responsibility: Do your part to improve working conditions and environmental performance in its supply chain.

Each can be measured in detail by Better Buying’s Purchasing Practices IndexTM or at a high level with Better Buying’s Partnership IndexTM.

The Five Principles both complement, and align with the seven categories of purchasing practices on which Better BuyingTM already collects supplier data: Planning and Forecasting; Design and Development; Cost and Cost Negotiation; Sourcing and Order Placement; Payment and Terms; Managing the Purchasing Process; and Win-Win Sustainable Partnerships.

Dr. Marsha Dickson, President and Co-Founder of Better BuyingTM, comments: “The Five Principles provide a simple, high-level framework for brands to adopt, and publicly commit to. They are aspirational, and aimed at encouraging brands and retailers who want to show leadership on purchasing practices to strive for best practice, and excellence, in each of the key areas.”

“We will be supporting our subscribers to follow and embed the Five Principles across the whole of their purchasing practices and business operations.”

The Five Principles have been designed to be simple, clear, and easy to commit to memory, and to provide a point of reference whenever a purchasing decision needs to be risk-checked, or sense-checked, in relation to its supplier, worker and environmental impact.

But the detailed list of actions and behaviors brands need to have in place in order to meet each Principle also provide a comprehensive process for brands to work through, assess how they are performing, and determine what purchasing practices they need to improve on in order to be a “True Partner”* to their suppliers.

“The Five Principles are a framework that any responsible business can access, and begin to run with, whatever stage they have reached in their journey towards transforming their supplier relationships,” concludes Dr. Dickson.

*True Partner is the highest performing category in the Better BuyingTM Partnership Index.