How Business Spend Management Can Drive Financial and ESG Impact for Your Organization

How Business Spend Management Can Drive Financial and ESG Impact for Your Organization

Donna Wilczek

Companies today are held accountable to more than financial success. We see greater importance on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace; environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives to become a carbon neutral or carbon negative business; and intense evaluations over fair labor in particular to the supply chain, to name a few.

This has resulted in a flurry of pressing discussions among the C-suite around how to improve overall business impact, without sacrificing performance.

In fact, a recent Deloitte CEO survey found 90% of organizations aspire to be an industry leader in DEI and 95% have already published or plan to publish sustainability disclosures. And, according to MIT’s 2020 State of Supply Chain Sustainability report, approximately half of companies reported sustainability goals around their supply chain. However, less than a quarter said their top focus was carbon emissions.

Despite all this talk to improve a business’s ESG posture, there’s a major delta between good intentions and tangible action. This is likely because for years, traditional ESG actions were happening in silos or taking years to carry out. Until now.

Business spend as a lever for business sustainability

Here at Coupa, we seek to help businesses use their spend in a way that can make a positive impact in the world, as well as boost their overall business bottom line.

That’s why I’m thrilled to share that today, we announced new capabilities on our leading Business Spend Management platform that will help organizations maximize the impact of their spend across their business, local communities, and the planet. Through Sustainable Business Spend Management (BSM), every dollar an organization transacts can be spent smarter.

We understand that companies are looking to operationalize ESG and seek to make immediate impact in the world, and BSM helps puts ESG factors right in front of spend decision-makers, including:

1. Reducing carbon footprint and improving impact to the planet

Coupa’s platform allows businesses to use a powerful mix of AI and digital twin capabilities to model supply chain scenarios, optimize business operations, and make more impactful decisions.

For example, to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, businesses can optimize vehicle routing to reduce miles traveled, as well as utilize our inventory management software to curtail unnecessary travel from moving inventory. Coupa’s platform can also help organizations better manage water consumption, reduce use of single-use plastics, improve recycling, and, in the process, ensure inventory management optimization. Once model(s) are created, Coupa helps source suppliers quickly. Going from design to bid to execution has never been easier.

2. Directing spend to diverse and sustainable suppliers in an instant

When businesses are in need of a product or service, Coupa makes it easy for them to find, select, and source from diverse-owned businesses and/or sustainable businesses and products. Historically, finding diverse and sustainable suppliers has been a common pain point for businesses. Coupa’s capabilities solve this problem by directly embedding diversity and sustainable tags and filters into catalog search results — providing customers with an easy way to improve and increase their spend with more diverse and/or sustainable businesses.

3. Gaining access to deeper supplier diversity data

Coupa’s platform provides best-in-class supplier diversity and sustainability data — drawing from hundreds of sources, hundreds of thousands of suppliers, and over a million certifications — surfacing the tangible insights businesses need to make more informed spend decisions in real time.

Through advanced Coupa Analytics, customers are also able to better report, measure, and optimize their spend with diverse suppliers. Reports can be custom built and tailored to individual business needs and ESG KPIs.

In turn, suppliers can more easily claim diversity status and complete and house all supporting documentation and forms needed to verify status. Having certification information upfront in their supplier profile helps them get discovered by new customers. It also helps buyers and suppliers not only respond to requests quicker, but improve their working relationship.

4. Obtaining visibility into business ESG impact

Coupa also helps businesses easily measure and optimize the impact they are making on ESG with their spend. For companies that report on diversity activity and spending, these capabilities are crucial to help them easily understand their diverse spend posture, as well as act to improve it if they are not meeting goals.

Coupa’s newly launched Diversity Dashboard is one of the most valuable features to customers, providing insights into exactly how many diverse suppliers they work with, and how much of their spend in dollar amount is going to these businesses. The dashboard also draws from a powerful community of data, showing how many suppliers a business works with that might be diverse to encourage the organization to reach out to the supplier to verify status.

Any business that seeks to find diverse suppliers to work with can do so through our publicly accessible Diverse Supplier Directory.

Additionally, Coupa also provides key sustainability insights, allowing businesses to measure the environmental impact of paperless invoices — showing exactly how many trees, water, oil, and carbon is saved by going paperless.

Thousands of companies are using Coupa to spend smarter together, and we want to empower every organization on the planet to leverage the power of their spend to make a more sustainable impact.